05 June 2014


While traveling in another city, I noticed a sign in front of a church building with this message: “Traveling down the Wrong Road? – God Allows U-Turns.” I suppose that many of us have found ourselves traveling in the wrong direction and needed to turn around. However, when we needed to make the turn, a sign that read, “No U-Turns” warned us that we couldn’t. On our interstate highways, it is not possible to make a U-Turn without violating the law.

In contrast, if a person is traveling down the wrong road in life, God does allow U-Turns; in fact, He not only allows a U-Turn, He requires that we make a U-Turn if we want to travel the way that leads to eternal life (Acts 17:30). That way is in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Though God demands a U-Turn, man has the power of choice to decide whether he will or will not avail himself of this privilege.

Repentance is that pivotal position in life that enables a person to change directions.  God desires that all men come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).  His goodness should lead men to repentance (Romans 2:4).  To repent simply means to change one’s mind; that is, to resolve to stop living in sin and determining to give one’s life to the Lord, to submit oneself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Godly sorrow produces repentance unto salvation (II Corinthians 7:10).  And, true repentance brings forth a reformation in the life of the penitent person (Matthew 3:8).

The prodigal son in Luke 15 is an example of a person who was traveling down the wrong road in life.  Eventually, he came to himself, realized his plight and made a complete U-Turn.  He came back home, confessing his wrongs and was received warmly by a forgiving father.  This story depicts the mercy and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father.  There is no sin but that God will forgive and forget if we will repent and obey His Son.

02 June 2014


The true strength of a congregation is not found in the large number of people on the roll, the amount of money in the treasury, the host of prominent citizens found among the membership nor the beautiful and expensive building which might be owned by the local church.  Such could be in evidence because of a strong spiritual group of saints but would not necessarily and always be true.  You can read the history of the early church and learn that this statement is accurate.  The kingdom of God is manifested in such qualities as “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.  Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23). Please observe that the word “fruit” is singular.  This means that all the qualities mentioned are aspects of single life, that is, one that is committed to living for the Lord and governed by the Spirit. While we sometimes pride ourselves in the fact that our attendance has increased and our monetary contributions are at an all time high we must understand that true strength is to be measured in the spiritual development of individual Christians.

Such growth is not necessarily reported in our brotherhood papers as progress reports.  For example, a Christian lady related to me that if she worked two days in a week one day’s salary would be given to the Lord.  That’s just wonderful!  A brother related to me once that he had the chance to have his overseer fired because of personal differences but didn’t since the man would not have financial support for his family.  That is growth because prior to this brother’s conversion to the Lord the two men had actually fought.  You witness a sister who at one time neglected the worship assemblies but now is attending faithfully because of her love for the Lord – that is growth.  You notice the increased interest in Bible study in a brother and hear him talking to others about the need of obeying Jesus Christ – that is growth.  A husband and wife who once fought and argued all the time but are now living in peace and harmony and rearing their children in the way of the Lord – that is growth.

It is a beautiful thing to witness Christians growing in “the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).  We all should heed the exhortation found in Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection…”  Each one of us should strive “to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29).  However we must understand that by ourselves we cannot accomplish the desired results.  Our help comes from above.  As Paul said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).