John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” NIV
My wife looked up at me with a wry smile on her face. “Did you know that even your nostrils stink?” She asked.
My NOSTRILS stink? Hum! Just how does one respond to such a comment? I had NO idea, so I just stumbled out: “Thank you.” But I didn’t blame her for her words. It HAD been four days since I had taken a shower!
My last shower had been the coin-operated shower at the last campsite before leaving the island of Newfoundland. We hadn’t showered our first night after the ferry, on Cape Breton. The shower floors were filthy, and the floors were tracked up with muddy feet. Besides, they, too, were coin-operated. The showers looked wonderfully clean in Amherst, Nova Scotia, but when my wife came back from her shower with frostbite, the rest of us decided that another day of dirt wouldn’t hurt. We learned later that the heating generator, or whatever you call the thing responsible for heating the water at this campground, had ceased to exist in a functional state. Though it was repaired by the time we struck camp, it was too late for us to change our minds about the shower!
So after all of this, should I have been surprised that even my nostrils stank? And so I dutifully made my way to the shower at that lovely campground near St. Leonard, New Brunswick. I soaked up the deliciously hot shower water to my heart’s content, even letting it run into my nose. (Funny, my wife, who showered later, got another cold shower!) It sure felt good to be clean, and what was the nicest thing of all, was that there were no comments about my nostrils.
In those four days, we were all hungering for a hot shower. In just the same way, so many people are starving to find the truth. Salvation is free and readily available, but where do people turn to in order to hear the gospel message?
Some turn to coin operated churches, where good works are stressed as part of obtaining one’s salvation. Salvation by grace is preached, but salvation by works is practiced. People only feel empty in such churches, and are often led to doubt their own salvation. It reminds me of Jesus’ comment in Matthew: “They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (15:9)
Others turn to muddy foot-printed churches, where once you are saved, you are free to lead an immoral life of sin. Often members of these churches feel guilty for leading others to perdition, and they feel burdened by their addictions. Rom 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” NIV
Finally, some turn to heat-deprived churches where everybody tends to offer cold showers to anyone new coming through the door. Mutual love and respect is absent and materialism and self-promotion seem to reign in such churches. Members don’t seem to be too eager to attend church in such conditions. Who would? Rev 3:16-17 “So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” NIV
Truth is only to be found in God’s Word, and Truth is only shared by those Christians who have put their relationship with God as the most important part of their life. Jesus came to offer the Truth. He was the Truth. He died sharing the Truth, as well as for our sins. His glorious resurrection is our guarantee that eternal life is ours, if only we do accept Jesus as our Savior. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” NIV
Nothing legalistic about salvation. Nothing about a free ticket to live a life under the addictions of sins. Nothing about uncaring attitudes towards others. It’s all about Jesus and His exemplary love towards us.
What kind of a believer are you?
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” NIV
Be careful of those stinky nostrils!