2017 READING CHALLENGE RECOMMENDATIONS
The new year is a time to challenge yourself to reach new […]
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There's nothing like the freedom of the open road. . . . No stuffy office cubicle, no piles of paperwork, no supervisor looking over your shoulder every five minutes. Out on the road, you're free-free to make your own choices and to be yourself.
Of course, some days the road is a little too long. You miss your loved ones. Traffic gets heavy or the weather gets rough. Your rig breaks down. You finally get going again, only to see the empty miles stretching out before you like an eternity. The loneliness can be overwhelming-not to mention the temptation.
At times like this, you wish you had a friend, someone to share the journey. Someone to keep you company-and on the right track. Someone to be there, not just for a short stretch, but for the long haul.
The Bible tells us there is Someone who wants to share life's journey with us. God understands our longings; He knows our deepest needs. He created us for companionship. He designed us to find our deepest fulfillment in a personal relationship with Him.
But every one of us has rebelled against God and tried to live life on our own terms. We've disobeyed the "rules of the road." We've rejected God's road map, ignored His directions, and chosen to go our own way (Isaiah 53:6). The Bible calls this "sin"-and it carries a stiff penalty: eternal separation from God.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 16:25).
God, in His loving-kindness, couldn't bear to see us destroy ourselves. He didn't want us to be separated from Him forever, so He provided a way to bring us back to Himself.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Jesus set an example for us by taking the right road. He led a perfect and sinless life of obedience to His Father. Then-although He didn't have to-Jesus took the punishment we deserved and died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Jesus rose from the grave, crushing the power of sin and death. He made a way for us to be reconciled to God and restored to a right relationship with Him. The Bible tells us simply, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).
When we confess our sins and put our faith in Jesus Christ, He takes us down a whole new road. He shows us where to go, because He knows the way. When we're lonely or tempted to take the wrong path, Jesus keeps us company and gives us strength to stay on track (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Traveling life's journey with Jesus is an adventure that never ends Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full " (John 10:10). On those days when the road gets rough, we have Jesus' assurance that He will be with us for the long haul. "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
To begin your own personal relationship with Jesus and invite Him to share life's journey with you, you might pray something like this:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I've taken the wrong road time and time again. Please forgive me. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I invite You into my life. Guide me and direct me. Give me strength to faithfully follow the road You have chosen for me, that I might experience the joy and peace that You bring. Amen.
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