AMBULANCES AND GUARDRAILS
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14
When I was a kid, my parents took the fam on Sunday drives. It was a cheap way to get six kids out of the house for a little adventure. On an occasion or two, we ended up on a mountain road. I remember three things about the mountain roads: (1) They were winding, and I would often get carsick, (2) The views were beautiful, (3) The roads were narrow and dangerous … and it would be easy to drive off the cliff if one weren’t careful.
On most curvy mountain roads, guardrails have been erected to keep drivers from a deadly fall. The guardrails aren’t there to squelch anyone’s fun. They are there to protect everyone from the inherent dangers of the cliff.
GRACE AND TRUTH IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is God in the flesh. He is full of grace and truth. What a wonderful combination! You see, He has grace to rescue sinners who have fallen off the mountain road. He has grace to meet us at the bottom of the cliff in an ambulance of love, mercy, forgiveness, and restoration. But Jesus also comes to us in truth. Truth is much like a guardrail. It is designed to protect us and keep us from falling.
Sadly, many view the truth and commands of God in negative terms. The reality is this: God’s commands are given to keep us safe, not steal our fun. Let’s take the subject of sex, for example. The Lord says, “Let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4). That verse explicitly teaches no sex before marriage or outside of marriage. Why does God say this? Is He trying to rob you of the joys of sex? No! God isn’t keeping sex from you … He is keeping sex for you. He is trying to protect you from hurting yourself and damaging your ability to truly experience physical intimacy in marriage! Those who blow past the loving guardrail of sexual purity find themselves at the bottom of the cliff---broken, disillusioned, hardened, and guilt-ridden. Furthermore, they can easily experience the lasting pain of an incurable disease and an unwanted pregnancy.
ARE YOU IN NEED OF AN AMBULANCE?
Perhaps you have blown past a guardrail of truth. Perhaps you find yourself at the bottom of the cliff today. Perhaps you feel like the prodigal son at the pigsty. Have you sinned too greatly? NO! God has grace for you … amazing grace that, like an ambulance, can bring healing to a broken heart and life. He can forgive you for any sin if you will repent and return to Him. He can restore you to fellowship and give you beauty for your ashes. He can take all your mess and turn it into a message that can be a blessing and benefit to others. He is full of grace. Aren’t you glad?
REMEMBER THE GUARDRAILS!
It’s sad but true: our world today has disregarded God’s guardrails. We take the clear commands of Scripture and add our question marks and caveats. We make exceptions become the rule. As a result, multitudes of people plunge down the cliff at an increasingly rapid rate. It is heartbreaking to witness.
Furthermore, those who erect and promote the guardrails of Scripture are often labeled as “haters.” How dare you put up a guardrail! How dare you fence in “my driving!”
Listen, it is loving to drive the ambulance … AND it is loving to erect the guardrails. We desperately need both! We need grace and truth!
Let me encourage you to view the commands of God as guardrails given for your protection. Obey God and you will save yourself a ton of grief and pain. I’m glad for the ambulance … but I would rather not have to call for one. I’d rather stay safely within the guardrails. How about you?
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. If this message has ministered to you, I’d love to hear about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. By all means, share this message with family, friends, and neighbors. Let’s do all we can to keep people traveling safely on the narrow road!
Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
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