“Reading the Signs”
Dear Members and Friends of our ELS:
Drivers are seldom fooled when it comes to construction zones. Signs show up ahead of time. The chain of orange barrels alerts everyone to adjust to the posted speed. But sometimes you wrongly assume you already are out of the zone. In actuality, you are not. You can see the last of the barrels in the rearview mirror. No extra sign pops up for miles. You increase speed. Then, cruising for a couple of miles down the road, comes the “end construction” notice. Suddenly it hits you – you could have received a double fine!
Noticeable moments appear in life’s journey indicating our need to assess how we are “constructing” or “building” spiritually. Listening to a riveting sermon at church, experiencing a jarring loss or life-changing event, or observing how another Christian copes or makes plans – any such thing readily reminds us we are taking our own souls through a “construction zone.” But when those moments subside and we start cruising along with the world’s pace, we can quickly lose sight of the fact that we are in a crucial zone. There is a time-limited period of grace for each of us in this present life.
How are we constructing our time, abilities, and treasures? Jesus contrasted a man who built his house on a rock foundation with a man who constructed his house on sand. For the one erecting his life on sand, far worse than a double monetary fine would strike. Tumultuous destruction of eternal proportion awaits every person who is not prepared – by faith in the Savior – for the world to come. “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:27). But for the one who builds on the solid foundation, who anchors his soul through repentance over sin and finds complete solace and strength in the forgiveness of sins won by the Lord Jesus, there is sure confidence for whatever calamity lies ahead in this present earthly life. In fact, our Rock of Ages, our Savior-God, provides this unbreakable promise: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
Checking the highway signs is a priority for any driver. Getting lulled to sleep in the midst of the dangers ahead results in disaster. How much more should all of us observe the signs that God sets before us to keep our souls, hearts, and minds on the road to eternal life! Remember the fig tree (Luke 21:29-30). Remember the house on the Rock.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Rev. John A. Moldstad, ELS President