Jesus is also calling you to follow Him. Will you obey His sweet call?
A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Daddy was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, who was five years older than me, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play big brother and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors—Mom taught me to love the Bible, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our story teller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries, and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening.
If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so lifelike that I would often laugh or cry as I watched.
He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill, and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind—but sometimes Mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places—go to her room, read her Bible, and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house—not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted. My dad didn’t permit alcohol in his home—not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.
He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely, openly, and often about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationships were influenced by the stranger.
As I look back I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
We always just called him TV.
Final Part: This message is about Jesus’ most devoted disciple. She was a broken woman who fell many times, until Jesus came to her to set her free from her sins. Who was this person? Click on the link to find out!
Picture Jesus walking slowly through a beautiful garden in heaven with the quiet sound of a waterfall and birds happily singing as they hop from branch to branch in the trees. Jesus looks quite concerned. Soon an angel joins Jesus and they begin talking.
“I will be so glad when I can go back to earth again and get all My friends,” said Jesus. “I want them to enjoy the beautiful and exciting things I have prepared for them here. They are missing out on so much. Young men driving new sports cars on earth at 120 miles per hour think they are really doing something. Here in heaven they can fly themselves anywhere at 120 thousand miles per hour! Girls think the horses they ride are so pretty but they are like sway-backed mules compared to those they can ride here! The most beautiful houses on earth are like shacks compared to what I have prepared for them. We have beautiful delicious fruits and foods to which the earth has nothing that can compare. But what’s bothering Me,” Jesus says to the angel, “is that many of My friends on earth are more interested in the little tiny enjoyments the earth has to offer than what we have for them here in heaven. Why aren’t they interested in the more exciting things of heaven?”
“One reason they don’t seem to be interested,” says the angel, “is that they don’t know anything about the beautiful things of heaven.”
“Why?” says Jesus, “I’ve told them a lot about heaven in the Bible.”
“That’s just the trouble, they don’t read the Bible for themselves anymore,” says the angel. “This is the reason so many don’t know and care about being ready when You come.”
Tears come into Jesus’ eyes. “Why do they care for the cheap things of earth more than they do for Me and the Kingdom that I have prepared for them? The things of earth will all pass away, but what I’ve prepared for them will last forever.
“I’m so happy for those who have chosen My way and love Me as their Best Friend. I am anxious to go to earth soon and get them and bring them home. Oh, if more would decide to come, it would make Me very happy. I’ve got a home in heaven for every person who has ever lived. If they would all come, I would be so thrilled.”
From: “Following Jesus: A Junior Baptismal Guide”, by Monte Church, pgs. 19-20.
The picture is from Google Images
Part Nine: This message is about the Mount of Transfiguration, when Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah. Gather great and encouraging lessons from this awesome bible story!