Signs Along The Way
Pay attention to the signs
Along the paths you walk.
Some are smooth and pleasing,
others hard as rock.
Pay attention to the scenery.
While going along your way,
There are many, many signs,
speaking, as if to say.
Yes this is the way,
Or do not venture here.
Others seemingly shouting;
Run, take cover, danger is near.
While we must be able
To discern as we travel,
Wisdom first in the heart,
Into the mind it goes to unravel.
Thoughts locked down,
Unable to bend,
Will create a life,
That has to mend.
Take to the highway
Look for the sign,
Legal U Turn-
It’s been here all the time.
Teach my heart
Oh Lord to discern,
No more to hold on
How to unlearn.
The ways of man
The road I followed,
Now seem barren, hard,
empty, shallow, and hollow.
Tutor my heart,
As I turn these pages,
Learning from The Law,
Prophets and Sages.
Searching and listening
Inspired word pouring in,
This is “The Way” and
And how to begin.
I’m following directions
Looking for the signs
“The Way” marked correction
good for the heart, changes the mind.
Lord, You have patiently waited
When I lagged sluggishly behind
Loving me even when
I was deaf, mute, and blind.
Grant to me new vision,
light shining on my path.
Seeing clearly now, Jesus,
in Your love, no fear of wrath.
Poem written by laurette laster © 2018
Activity is not necessarily productivity.
Many years ago I used to believe people who looked busy were accomplishing many things. I later realized this often isn’t the case at all. Often when people appear to be busy it is just that, an appearance. I thought about this while preparing the Teshuvah Devotional for today. The Pharisees looked the part but actually they were not producing the fruits of repentance. As a matter of fact we hear John the Baptist call them a brood of vipers. Vipers as we know are snakes. While the fruit John is speaking of here is something that can be produced, gathered and shared.
Teshuvah is a season of repentance and a time for introspection.
In the book of Matthew we read the story of John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand: “ (Matthew 3:2) In these scriptures We are given a place in the crowd as John talks to the Pharisees, saying, “bear, therefore, fruits worthy of the reformation,” (Matthew 3:8 YLT). Young’s literal translation describes this passage using the words, bear and reformation. I like this translation because if we read between the lines or look beneath the surface, we can understand the meaning of this text and how it applies to us in our lives.
In order for something to be re-formed it is necessary to understand there was an original pattern. Somewhere the original has been changed or has been replaced with a counterfeit and is no longer recognizable when compared to the original. How else could we understand what reform is and what it should look like? Other translations say; to prove by the way you live or produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
The Good News Translations says, “But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”(Galatians 5:22). We are told this is the fruit of The Spirit. So the fruit produces fruits, which are evident in our lives and in the lives of others when true repentance is at work and growing.
We know that the Pharisees liked to prove their righteousness by their works and outward appearances of keeping the law. Yet, John is using a phrase that points to production and growing and seasons which if planted will yield a harvest.
We know that seasons are very important to our Father, and so is productivity. John is likening repentance to fruit. By using the metaphor of fruit, John is pointing out to us that there is tangible sweet evidence attached to true repentance. This evidence should show a change of heart that reproves and reforms our mind. John cautions the Pharisees not to rely on their religion. Religion can hinder and cut off relationship. We do not want to get lost in the traditions of men.
The message that John the Baptist preached was to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and to prepare the way for The Lord. We read in the gospel of John, that John the Baptist is called, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, saying, “Make straight the way of The Lord.” (John 1:23)
From this we surmise that John was teaching the only way to straighten things out, (pun intended), and prepare for the Lord, and avoid and leave crooked hard paths, is only through repentance. To turn (shuv) or return (Teshuvah) to the straightway from which we came.
Jesus began His ministry by preaching and saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).
Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,” (Luke 5:32).
To prepare our hearts and repent is to be ready to receive the blessings The Lord has planned for us. Repentance is a cleansing and clearing away of the road blocks that will make crooked ways straight. After we have done the work of repentance, the way becomes clear. We get back on the highways and off of back roads and gravel roads that have dangerous pot holes and usually do not have road signs.
When we are traveling we begin to look for signs along the way. We look for signs that say your destination is 187 miles ahead. Or maybe we see a sign that says destination exit 1 ¼ miles ahead. Today we have global positioning systems or GPS, that give us clear directions with voice commands telling us destination exit coming up in 2 miles, stay in the right 2 lanes.
Well, I know I want to be in the right lane and not miss my exit leading to my desired destination. I hear The Lord saying, “Blessings straight ahead repentance next exit.”
The Lord is not holding our sins against us. He has a clear path lined out for us with road signs all along the way. As we continue to travel His path and His will for our lives “The Way” is confirmed over and over to us. We see signs along the way that point us in the right direction so we can proceed on the path of peace. He gives us specific directions on how to prepare ourselves to meet with Him. He has an appointment set; I pray we don’t miss it.
Pray this prayer:
Oh Lord, I want to be on the straight path of peace with my life. I ask that you show me the signs along my way that allow me to be in the right place at the right time. I am tired of struggling with going my own way or unknown ways. I am going to be looking for the signs that I know You have placed in front of me. I am looking and watching for the signs that lead me in “The Way.” Lord Jesus, I want to bear good fruit and have a fruitful life. I want to go the way that You have planned for my life. I believe there is more to see than I am seeing. Open my eyes that I may see. Give me eyes that see and perceive, and ears that hear and understand what The Spirit is saying to me at this time during this season. Amen
He has prepared “The Way” and more over He is “The Way”, and He is The Truth and is The Life. He is Jesus and, He did it for you and for me. Repent and turn around.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling oh sinner come home.
Don’t miss this season.
Teshuvah, is my favorite time of the year.
God bless you and keep you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, and give you Shalom.
Today is the day.
Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette