Some of you may remember these cautions. “Look before you leap,” “look both ways before crossing,” “look where you’re going,” and “look to your own” have resounded up and down the valleys of Southwest Virginia for centuries. These words carried specific messages and those to whom they were directed knew well the caution given. God’s word sends equally clear messages concerning the way to approach heavens gate. Some do not read with understanding nor listen to learn. Some are led astray by apostates. Good lessons, not practiced, are of no use in obtaining true salvation.
Proverbs 14:9-15 tells us, “Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.”
Hebrews 12:1 reads “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Following in the old path is the way. Even when being attacked from all sides, focus on Jesus and the path he walked for our direction.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) In Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
Jesus well knew there would be those who would worry and fuss over many things. When COVID-19 struck the entire planet earth, thousands were vaulted into panic mode. In the words of our savior we discover, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Know God, know peace. (John 14:1-6). Amen.
The Rev. Boda Lawson is assistant pastor at New Melody Church in Duffield, Virginia.