“One of my neighbors,” Stan commented one morning after Ricky filled our coffee mugs, “has developed a habit of answering a question before I finish asking.”
“Oh,” I replied, “I know a guy at work who does that all the time. It’s really annoying.”
“Sure can be annoying in relationships with other people,” Stan said, “but if a person interrupts God with an answer before He has finished asking the question, it can have serious consequences, maybe even eternal consequences.”
“How could that be?” I asked.
“Let’s go back,” Stan replied. “If I remember correctly, when you first got your ticket to glory and you went to the station to get on the train to glory, the station master checked the validity of your ticket by asking how much you had paid for it.”
“That’s right,” I replied. “He wanted to know if I had bought the ticket. And when I told him I had not, he said that was a good thing because that’s the only way the ticket works. [Note to reader, see Day One in S. Tory Teller’s book, Waiting for the Train, and Posting Number One at www.waiting4thetrain.com.]
Continuing, I added, “The station master told me that the ticket had to be accepted as a free gift; that someone else had paid for it.”
“Right again,” Stan replied, “and just like it was important for you to listen to the station master, it’s important for everyone to listen to God, and not interrupt Him when He’s asking a most important question about Jesus.”
“What kind of most important question about Jesus?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan said, “suppose God wants to ask you, ‘What did you do about Jesus?’ But you interrupt Him after He has said, ‘what did you do’ and you start giving Him a list of all the things you have done to earn His favor.”
“That’s just like what the station master said,” I replied. “It’s not about what I do, other than making the choice to accept what God has done.”
“You’re right, my friend,” Stan said. “Our eternal destination depends on having the right answer to the question, ‘What did we do about Jesus?’ If we interrupt God and think the question is, ‘What did we do to earn our salvation?’ We’re going to miss the train!”
Bible verses to consider:
For God so loved the world, the He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
A person is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Jesus Christ. Galatians 2:16.
Through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. Acts of the Apostles 13:39.
Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith”. Galatians 3:11.
If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32.
Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” Matthew 7:22-23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption through the finished work of Christ on the cross. Thank you for those people you brought into my life to bring the truth to me, and me to the truth: that I cannot save myself through any self-efforts, but only through accepting what you have done. I confess that too often I do not make the effort to tell others the truth that will free them from trying to work their way into your favor. Please forgive me for not spreading the truth as you intend. Please help me in following every step of your lead so you can and will use me in bringing others to the truth that will set them free. 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 gift of salvation and redemption or are you trying to work your way into God’s favor by what you do apart from accepting what He has done? This is an essential question to be answered. Your eternal destination and your life here before then depends on having the right answer. Make certain you’ve got it right!