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Saturday, March 1, 2014

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

For The Journey

Keith Wishum recently shared some rules to equip us for our journey through
life:

Each year some 2,000 eager hikers set out with high hopes of walking the
entire 2,100 mile length of the Appalachian Trail as it meanders through the
mountains of eastern states [of the U.S.] from Springer Mountain in north
Georgia all the way to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Only a few make it. Of those
who begin the trek, only about 150 complete the trail. Following a couple of
simple rules of backpacking could keep many of them from failing.

The first is: PACK LIGHT! One guy struggled over the first 40 miles of
mountainous terrain carrying a propane bottle - the big kind like you use
for your gas grill in the backyard! Another hiker tried to travel the
rugged trail pushing a grocery buggy full of supplies. . One couple brought
along their scuba gear because they thought it would be fun to go diving in
the rivers and lakes along the trail. (They shipped the scuba gear back home
and continued.)

Even if you don't intend to do any hiking, you may still want to remember
the "Pack light" rule. It's a Biblical principle for life. We are just
passing through this world as "aliens and strangers on earth" (Hebrews
11:13). So, it's foolish to get too attached to things which may hold us
back. In fact, God advises us to lighten our load - to "throw off
everything that hinders" (Hebrews 12:1). If you are feeling weighed down,
maybe it's because you are.

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and
let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
We must turn from our sins in repentance, but we must also turn to Christ
for cleansing. Jesus Christ, God' Son, died on the cross for our sins (1
Corinthians 15:1-4). Through Him, we may have the forgiveness of our sins
(Ephesians 1:7).

To be cleansed by the blood of Christ, we must place our faith and trust in
Jesus (Acts16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31),
confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into
Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4).

Wishum continues: The second simple rule of hiking is: STAY ON THE TRAIL!
Much of the Appalachian Trail is miles from any kind of road. The trail
twists and turns so that it is difficult to keep a sense of direction. Other
trails cross or branch off the AT. It would be easy to get lost, and, once
lost, very difficult to be found. The good news is that the Trail is
clearly marked with white paint blazes on trees every 200 yards or so. All
you have to do is keep an eye open for those white marks and stay on the
trail.

Life can be disorienting, too. And getting off the right course can be even
more deadly than wandering off the AT. Again, though, the way is clearly
marked! God sent his son to mark the course for us. All we must do to stay
on the safe path is "fix our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:2).

God has promised: "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we
have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son
cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Wishum concludes: It doesn't matter whether you ever hike the Appalachian
Trail. It does matter, however, whether you walk the straight and narrow
path to God's house. To succeed at either, remember these simple rules: Pack
light, and Stay on the Trail.

Won't YOU submit your life to the Savior and follow Him all the way to
Heaven?

David A. Sargent

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