Saturday Morning Devotional – by Jay Sikes
One-Way Frontage Road Traffic
Warning, Danger, Caution, Attention, Beware! Everywhere you go these days you see signs of some kind of warning or information. Recently, a road construction sign was placed less than a mile from our house. This sign has the potential to prevent accidents, injury, and even death! However, I don’t particularly like the information given on this sign. Although it is beneficial, it portrays a huge inconvenience to many local travelers. After 21 years of convenience of two-way traffic, this sign says, “One-way frontage road traffic begins soon.”
The inconvenience is time, gas, wear and tear on our vehicles, and Susan arriving at work later than she already does now! Due to the change from two-way to one-way traffic, we will have to head off in the opposite direction for a couple of miles only to go under the highway and head back those same couple of miles just to arrive where we would have been when traffic was two-way. We don’t like that but we know it will be beneficial to the infrastructure of the roads for the area. That is how many warnings are, we may not like them but they are beneficial.
My first vocational ministry position was a youth minister. Even after becoming a pastor, Susan and I were always involved with the children and youth of the church. Therefore, I have been blessed with the opportunity to preach the baccalaureate service to graduating seniors several different times. Each time, I incorporated warnings into my message. I wanted our seniors to know that “one-way frontage road traffic” is vitally important. In life, there is at least two-way traffic in most situations; two-way referring to options. Young adults, as well as all of us, need to be going in one direction, the right direction.
Warnings from Acts 27
I would like to take this opportunity to share some warnings from Acts 27 where Paul sails to Rome. Along with these warnings, I want to share the warnings I presented in each of the baccalaureate messages I preached.
“Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.”
Acts 27: 9-11
- Paul realized the danger and gave warning.
- He had already experienced three shipwrecks and knew about the danger.
- However, the Centurion had the final say and he went along with the majority.
Godliness is a much safer bet than going along with the majority.
“Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the “northeaster,” swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.”
- The wind rose to hurricane force.
- The ship was out of control and being pushed by the wind.
When living outside of God’s will, you might find yourself out of control.
“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.”
- The storm continued to rage on for many days, no sun, no stars, and they were lost at sea.
- They gave up hope of being saved.
Living outside of God’s will can seem hopeless.
“After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: ‘Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.'”
- The ship would be destroyed but the people would survive.
Living outside of God’s will comes with consequences.
“They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. Altogether there were 276 of us on board. When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.”
- 276 people were affected by the decision of the owner, the pilot, and the centurion.
Living outside of God’s will affects the lives of others.
“When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could.”
- The ship was demolished and everything was lost.
- Everyone made it to shore safely although they were not where they intended to be.
- An ill-advised 40 mile trip that lasted 15 days, took everything but life, and ended up somewhere else.
Living outside of God’s will can take you where you don’t want to go, can keep you longer than you want to stay, and can take more from you than you want to give.
5 Warnings Offered to Graduating Seniors
These are lies from the devil and apply to all people, not just seniors.
WARNING – “If you love me you will” – LIE
- This is a guilt trip tactic! The proper response to this is, “If you love me, you wouldn’t ask me to.”
WARNING – “If it feels good, do it” – LIE
- A feel good moment may result in long term consequences.
WARNING – “No one will ever know” – LIE
- There are very few things you do, if any, that don’t affect others.
WARNING – “It’s now or never” – LIE
- When faced with now or never decisions, RUN!
- These are most likely not an opportunity but a gimmick.
WARNING – “You need a credit card” – LIE
- A credit card is NOT your friend.
- Credit cards destroy lives and families when not handled properly.
- In most cases, credit cards aren’t handled properly.
Two-way traffic is convenient, and it’s easier, but it can cause problems. Options are nice to have and can be beneficial. However, warnings must be considered and even followed. If not, accidents, injury, death, unhappiness, failure, debt, struggles, storms, or even loss of hope may occur.
You may be starting a new chapter in life, making some changes, or wanting some things to be different. Heed the warnings. Seek God first. Follow His leadership. Thrive in the blessings thereof. One-way frontage road traffic begins soon. It may be inconvenient but it will be beneficial.
CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2023!
A Gift to Download
I want to offer this E-book download as a free gift in the month of May for anyone who wants it. This is a thank you for supporting “Home with Grace and Joy” this past year. I hope you know someone who will enjoy it.
Ten Ways to Encourage Children, Grandchildren, and Graduates – by Becky Jordan
Until next week…
Have a Grace & Joy-filled day!
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“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.” Psalms 94:19