It started out as a road that was straight and narrow but then James saw the bend up ahead. He wanted to stay on the straight path but discovered the moment he told the fib that the road had suddenly changed. He kept the fib to himself and assumed no one knew except God, so he figured he’d be safe. However, when you tell one lie that usually leads to some “upkeep.” A lie has a way of growing until it can become unmanageable.
James saw the bend and the longer that he continued to walk, the more crooked the road became. He didn’t know what to do to make the road straight again. He even noticed that if he turned back that the road no longer led to the straight and narrow beginning! No matter which direction, James took, the road was now, crooked more than ever.
Up ahead James met an older man- the man seemed really nice. He said the things that James wanted to hear. He told him he was clever and much smarter than the others that traveled the road afore him. The old man told him that although the road was crooked that there would be adventure, games, fun and wealth, even. There was even a promise of eternal treasure if he would continue to walk on that road all the days that he lived. James then asked the man, what the cost would be for such a journey? The man said that the payment was his complete devotion to him. The young man wanted to know what kind of a warranty he would receive to which the older replied: there isn’t an expressed warranty, as such, but as long as you live and travel this road- you will have those worldly things I’ve just described- and if peradventure, you die, you will spend eternity with me in a place that will be revealed in its own time but that you will enjoy.
The older man, by this time, had such a look of rapturous delight that James almost said: yes…except that he happened to see up ahead in the road, another man walking in his direction and carrying a staff or rod in his hand. Suddenly, the man beside James was looking too and seemed somewhat alarmed and quite anxious, as he told James that he must not under any circumstances talk to this other man. James wanted to know why?
“Trust me, he will trick you- and he will come up with some scheme that will not benefit either one of us.” But James kept right on looking up the road to the man with the staff. The old man that stood beside James was pressing James to make a decision. James said, “Sorry, but I like to think about it.”
The man left as abruptly as he came going in the opposite direction, away from the man with the staff in his hand.
As the man with the staff drew yet nearer, James saw a glow about the man’s face. The man was dressed very plainly and appeared a little weary from his travels. As soon as the Shepard approached James, he bid him, “Hello,” calling him by name. James was perplexed and said, “Sir you call me by name as though you know me but I know that we have not met before because I would have remembered.”
That is when the man said, “Ahh, but we have met though you may not recall. I knew you before the foundation of the world was made. I knew who you were inside your mothers’ womb and I know you now too.” James said, “Sir? Who are you then?” “I am the Shepard who has come to release you from your sins and lead you to redemption. And the road will once again be made straight and narrow.”
James asked, what kind of a warranty he would receive to which the man replied: there is an expressed warranty in Genesis 45:7 that states: But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. And again in Isaiah 44: 22- I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” And, again in John 9:29
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. James, these are but a few of the highlights of the warranty, there is a whole book that contains the warranty in its entirety written long before you were born. James listened and thought about it. The man continued, “If you will follow me, I will promise you a lifetime guarantee that after you leave this path that you will join me and my Father in eternity land.
“I will not promise you that every day that you awake there won’t be problems, there will be, but I promise you that if you are faithful and study your warranty and believe in me that I will provide a way out of the problem.” I won’t promise you that you won’t ever feel sick, mad or sad, but again, I say that I will make sure that you recover. Riches?
“Whatever you have need of will be provided, especially if you pay the small 10% premium on all earnings as noted in your warranty because it is an investment that promises 10 -fold returns, and this investment has never experienced any losses. I tell you that I go to prepare a mansion especially for you after this world ends.” With that, the Shepard called, Jesus, asked James if he was ready to follow him and James knew in that instance what choice would be made and the rest, as they say, is history.
Are you like James? Has your straight and narrow road turned crooked? Call on the Shepard and read his lifetime warranty. He will guide you and your road will be straightened. Call on him today, for tomorrow may be too late.
(c) May 2001 All Rights Reserved
Maria Carey MCAREY@GreenwichLibrary.org