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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Church sign in Lancaster County, PA
Church sign on Route 772 in Lancaster County Pennsylvania

"Staying On The Bible Road"

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"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).
"Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take" (Jeremiah 31:21). “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13,14).

Route 66 historic signCharles Kuralt observed, "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything." Now that's a bit of an overstatement but I know what he means. I have a cousin, Richard, who refuses to travel the interstates when he makes long road trips, preferring the slower pace of old US highways and state roads and the scenery of Americana.

Several times during our Midwestern trip we got off the interstate and traveled on old US Highway 66. It was slower but more scenic and now there is a resurgence of interest in the old road's heritage. We enjoyed our travels on Rt 66 and will share several photos today but let us consider another old road we all travel, the Bible Road. Many are abandoning it as well in favor of what they may perceive as a "better way".

An early designation of the Church was "The Way", used 5 times in the Book of Acts. Perhaps this was based on the statement of Christ, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6).  Jesus clearly states that He is "the Way" to the Father, and instructs His disciples concerning Himself.

Bible commentator John Gil's exposition of the Scriptures writes this: "I am the way"; Christ is not merely the way, as He goes before His people as an example; or merely as a prophet, pointing out unto them by His doctrine the way of salvation; but He is the way of salvation itself by His obedience and sacrifice; nor is there any other; He is the way of His Father's appointing, and which is entirely agreeable to the perfections of God, and suitable to the case and condition of sinners; He is the way to all the blessings of the covenant of grace; and He is the right way into a Gospel church state here; no one comes rightly into a church of Christ but by faith in Him; and He is the way to heaven: He is entered into it Himself by His own blood, and has opened the way to it through Himself for His people."

The spirit of lawlessness is growing exponentially in our time. Our world is dealing with indescribable evil resulting in rampant sinful behavior that signals a return to the turbulent Biblical period of the Judges when the people became their own authority. They completely ignored the laws God had laid down and acted on their own opinions of right and wrong.  The writer portrays the spiritual climate with these words:  "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Is this not also also descriptive of our own time period?

Bible Road (Centre County, PA) We pray that God will give each reader deep discernment to understand the times. We must have a firm resolve to be actively faithful to God. In a remarkable prophetic statement in Daniel 12:10 we read, "The wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand."

We seek God for insight to understand and believe that timeless biblical truths are God's appointed means to convey to us His plan for our lives. As we travel the Bible Road we become very familiar with God's roadmap and recognize the enemy's snares and tactics. We learn to navigate through difficult terrain!  Road bumps are inevitable, but with a firm resolve to stay the course on Bible Road we will arrive safely at our destination and not be steered astray by deadly alternate routes.

An interesting aspect of our first daily verse is that it's repeated twice verbatim in the book of Proverbs.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." It seems that the Holy Spirit wants to make doubly sure that we absolutely get this one! It's a clear and straightforward saying with an enduring truth. There are many ways that seem right to man. Our world is full of these other "ways."

Today, there are indeed many ways that seem right. The vital question of life we all must consider and answer for ourselves is, "Am I going His way?"
I believe that requires us to travel the Bible Road, not veering to the right or the left.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I am thankful for the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures that provides an objective and accurate guide for every season of my life. The Bible is a lamp unto my feet and a light for the path that lies before me.  It teaches, convicts, corrects, and trains me in the ways of godliness. Though many will choose other authorities to guide their lives, I choose Your Holy Book to equip me for the works You've called me to do in Your name. I rely on its inspired texts to sustain me in my lifetime commitment to walk in Your ways as I travel the Bible Road that leads to eternal life. Amen.

Some Route 66 photos

Route 66 Trivia: It turns out that we had a lot of Route 66 connections in our younger years, although at the time we lived near it we thought nothing of it. Brooksyne grew up on a small farm right off Route 66 southwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We met in Bible College which is right off Route 66 in Springfield MO. We were married in a church near Rt. 66 in Sapulpa Oklahoma and our very first pastoral experience was in a tiny country church in Northfield, MO near Route 66.

Route 66 mapRoute 66 is probably the most famous US highway route, the road from Chicago to LA and popularized in the John Steinbeck book, "The Grapes Of Wrath". He termed it the "Mother Road". Although for the quick-paced, it's been abandoned, as a major US route, it is still 85% active with state and county road designations. Most old US highways like Route 1 up the east coast or Route 40 through the midsection are still active highways and are generally the commercial roads with ever-changing business locations. But in many places Route 66 seems locked in time and driving on it brings you back to what a family road trip might have been like in the 1950's.

Vintage Route 66 filling stationhttp://www.wagonwheel66cuba.com/
A vintage filling station along old 66 near Cuba Missouri.
No longer selling gas but sure fixed up nice!

Route 66
Quite a number of business owners tend to seize the sentiment of being on Route 66 to decorate their businesses in a nostalgic manner.

Route 66
Lot's of painted buildings along the way, this one in Claremore, OK.

Route 66
And Chelsea, Oklahoma

Wagonwheel Motel Route 66
The old Wagonwheel Motel in Cuba MO, so different than modern lodging!

Longhorn mount
Longhorn at the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, OK

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Heaven On My Mind"  Video   Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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