Don't get me wrong — I loved my old car. Though it was almost ten years old, it was easy to drive and was still in great shape. My family, however, strongly encouraged me to consider getting a newer car with better safety features. Eventually, we found just the right car to help me keep driving more safely for some time to come. This car-buying process made me think of many parallels in our walk of faith.
- The Benefit: A car transports us quickly and efficiently where we need to go. Likewise, when a person chooses to follow Christ, there are many attractive benefits: heaven as a new destination, and a wonderful relationship with the God of the universe — a God of love!
- The Decision: I needed to carefully research, think, and pray about purchasing my car, because it was expensive. An unbeliever must also give much careful thought to his decision before entering into a life of faith, because there is a cost to discipleship. "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?" (Luke 14:27-28 NIV)
- The Manual: Full knowledge of a car's operation and everything that the car has to offer will be shortchanged if the manual is ignored. Our Master Manual for living the Christian life — the Bible — is equally essential to learning how we are to navigate our world. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Psalm 119:11 NIV)
- The Guides: Our mechanic can help us to keep our vehicle running smoothly. Pastors and teachers can help us to learn more about Scripture as we grow in our Christian life. "Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding." (Jeremiah 3:15 NIV)
- Personal Experience: Simply driving a car day after day helps us to become familiar and comfortable with its operation. A daily life of fervent prayer and consistent communion with God enables us to live a life of obedient faith. "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." (Hebrews 5:14 NIV)
- Mutual Support: Car owners can trade valuable tips that they have learned. Fellow believers can be of much mutual help and support as they pray together and share what God is teaching them. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17 NIV)
There is far more to driving a new car than simply turning on the engine and driving down the road. The Christian life is much more than accepting Christ as Saviour and then simply cruising along until we reach heaven. The Christian life is a lifelong journey, but the time and effort spent in living it well is so worthwhile.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for the Bible and all the other resources that You have given us to live the Christian life wisely. May we diligently seek to learn and grow as we continue on our journey. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "There Is A Happy Land" (Lyrics)