Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heat Wave!

What a heat wave! Across America there are beautiful people that are way past glowing...they are down right dripping from the heat. The evening news is filled with temperature reports, health risk and energy conservation tips, and pictures of people finding relief from the scorching temps in cities all around us.

Every time I have seen a weather report this week I have been thinking about the military personnel serving right now in places much hotter than our heat wave records - where those high temps are a daily reality...and there is no stopping the mission just because they are hot. They press on, drink water, monitor each other, and keep their eye on the mission. Praise God for the dedication of our troops! We need them, and I thank them. Talk about dedicated service!

I have been wondering why no one on the news seemed to mention the fact that our troops are living in hotter conditions that we are - and then I saw it. One of the channels - the one that is the most supportive of the military and their families - the one without a spin - finally reported the fact that our troops saw a high of 110+ for that day, and that they live in that heat every day. Our country needs to understand the cost of their freedom.

We need to understand that as our citizens have freedom, (whether a freedom to do harm or to do good, and unbelievably so, to bash our President (Lord strengthen him and protect him from those who desire to do him harm), bash our government policies, live rebellious lives and speak out of turn lies), that somewhere, in sweltering heat, is a soldier, an airman or a sailor, who is standing for our freedom to do so. They are serving without calling attention to themselves through their own arguments or ideas - they are dedicated every day to do what needs to be done to assure that we, as a country, remain free. Whether we choose to be free to be rebellious, free to speak out, or free to live a Christian life in the midst of complacency, we are free because someone protects our right to do so.

Take time today to thank a military person for their service. They deserve our appreciation more than we can comprehend.

Jesus stands in the gap for us as well. As humans, we are all sinners and fall short of perfection. All of us. There is nothing we can do in our own strength to create, recreate, or obtain salvation and eternal life in our own strength. There is no "restart" button that we can press in order to try again in another life. We have one life; one chance to choose God and believe in His Son or not. One life, one chance to make our choice for eternity - to be with God or without God. God represents freedom in eternity - a life eternal lived in the presence of God. There is a literal heaven. But we have to choose. We have to accept. We have to repent of our sins, and call on the name of Jesus - allowing Him to be Lord of our life, and allowing Him to guide us into a life lived that is pleasing to God.

But for those who do not choose God - there is a much different outcome. That old line about hell, fire, and damnation that preachers of old used to speak about is real. That is our other option. Even in a generation where the feel good Gospel is running rampant, where no one wants to talk about the "H" is still there. It is still the other side of the coin. And it is still the lake of fire. It will still be a fire filled furnace for those who reject Jesus. It is our choice.

So, back to the heat wave we are experiencing - the temporary heat that is making us so uncomfortable. We are complaining about it, hiding indoors from it, and seeking relief. We are looking for a way out of the heat. Makes you really think about the unending heat that those who deny Jesus will be experiencing for eternity, huh? Well, if it doesn't, it should...hell is a literal location for those who do not believe Jesus is the Son of God! It is real. It will happen.

But, the good news (yes, the Good News of Jesus) is this: we have a way out. We have a solution to the unending heat that awaits those who deny Christ - we can repent and believe. We can be saved. It is a promise. Our entrance fee has been paid. Your entrance ticket is awaiting you at the "will call" booth - will you call on Jesus today? I pray you will. I pray we all pick up our Bibles, dust them off, and open the pages to read about the truth of the promise of freedom that never ends. God is truth. He's calling.

Much love in Christ,