“How’s that discipleship class over in Johnsonville going?” I asked Stan one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast.
“I went to Johnsonville the other day to find out,” Stan replied. “Once I got there, the pastor had a great report of lives being changed and Christians becoming disciples.”
“Once you got there?” I responded. “Did something happen on the way?”
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “I was supposed to meet the pastor at ten o’clock, but just before I got to the summit of the Weston Mountain Pass, he called and asked if I could make it at one o’clock instead because something had come up.”
“That’s three hours’ difference,” I commented. “What did you say to him?”
“I told him that would be just fine,” Stan said.
“And,” he continued, “as God is likely to do if I’m open to seeing, He had something to show me during the free time He had provided.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Right after I got over the summit,” Stan said, “I pulled off the road at a trail head parking lot. It was for the trail towards Johnson Creek. I hadn’t been on that trail for a long time, so I thought I would take a walk.”
Continuing, he added, “As I was walking along the trail, I came to another trail that headed toward Johnson Creek. There was a sign that said, ‘River access for fishing’.”
“Did you go that way?” I asked.
“No,” Stan replied, “I didn’t have a fishing pole and I’m not much of a fisherman anyway, but I did stop and contemplate that sign as God opened me to see a couple of different things about river access.”
“River access?” I repeated. “What was that all about?”
“You familiar with the saying about ‘teaching a person to fish’?”
“Sure,” I replied. “Give a person a fish and you feed that person for a day, but teach people how to fish and they can feed themselves for a lifetime. What about it?”
“There’s another vital aspect to all of that,” Stan said. “People have to be given access to the river so they can fish.”
“Access, as in equal access? Is that what you mean?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “If people don’t have equal access to opportunity, any supposed opportunity is kind of like an empty promise or an empty gesture.”
“That sounds about right to me,” I said. “You mentioned that God showed you a couple of things about this. What was the other?”
“Access to Him,” Stan replied. “God sent His only Son so that all who believe can have access to God for eternal purposes. As well, there is the access of being able to know God the Father and Jesus the Son on this side of eternity. That access is available to all who are willing to pursue an ever-deepening personal relationship with God in Christ, and I’m forever thankful for those who pointed out the access that was available to me. I may have never found it on my own!”
“So,” I said, “we should do the same thing for others. Is that what you’re saying?”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile. “Point out the access.”
Bible verses to consider:
For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:18.
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Ephesians 3:11-12.
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. John 16:6.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the free and gracious access to you for all of eternity that is available to all who will accept your provision through the finished work of Christ on the cross. Thank you, too, for providing access to you and Jesus in an ever-deepening relationship while you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not take advantage of the access you have made available because I choose to do something else. Please forgive that foolishness and please help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible personal relationship with you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of access to be with Him for eternity? If no, why? What’s in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with taking advantage of the access God provides to know Him and Jesus in an ever-deepening relationship? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense changes may be needed, how are those changes going to happen?