Pilgrims Pathway to His Glory
"Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." - Hebrews 11:12-16
Isn't this Scripture so fitting for where the Lord has led us up to this point!
Beloved brothers and sisters of Christ, we truly shared an amazing time together this past weekend at our church retreat. We learned that we are all called by God to be with our Lord, to depart from the ways of the world, and to take part in the mission that God has given to us. This pilgrimage is a journey...not just to a place we cannot see right now but to a Person who is also before us. We are on a journey of faith...a journey to Jesus!
We learned about the CALLING of the pilgrim, the CHALLENGES in our pilgrimage, the COMFORTS that we receive from the Lord, and the CROWN that is awaiting us when our pilgrimage is complete.
But we also learned that there have been many pilgrims who have gone before us who have risked their lives, counted their losses, and yet have gained the greatest of rewards.
As John Bunyan once said, "You have chosen the roughest road, but it leads straight to the hilltops...If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn't matter who criticizes me...What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it."
Every true pilgrim knows that they are not home yet but that home is never really that far away. Even when they come to critical moments on their journey and are wrestling with their emotions and realize that they are trying to understand what they cannot yet see or know, they will look up and wait for God to show them the way. They learned that when they come to such difficult crossroads in life, the one thing they simply need to do is to ask: What will bring God the MOST GLORY?
Sometimes that is all that is needed to settle the matter. Just like when Abraham and Lot's herdsmen were disputing with each other, we learn from Abraham - "TO CHOOSE TO LET GOD CHOOSE...AND TO REFUSE TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN 'LOT' IN LIFE."
When all is said and done, we must remember that all pilgrims must be willing to lay down their burdens, to walk in the revealed word of God, to daily carry their cross, to work together and keep the unity of the Spirit, and to always let God choose the path for them.
Let us set Christ always before us.
Let us store up treasure above us.
Let us seek to bring heaven around us.
Remember that the crown of rejoicing is not a crown that we wear but the people we invested in being there...in the very presence of God before His throne.
Finally, let us never forget, not even in the last moments of our journey, that there are lost souls that need to be saved and rescued and led on the path of life where there is fullness of joy in His presence and pleasures forevermore. The lost souls are a key part of the crown that awaits us. Let us always be ready to share the Gospel with those who have not yet heard and to never be ashamed of the wondrous salvation we have in Christ Jesus.
As the old hymn goes...
"Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, Sing His mercy and His grace; In the mansions bright and blessed, He’ll prepare for us a place. When we all get to heaven, What a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, We’ll sing and shout the victory!"
While we walk the pilgrim pathway, Clouds will overspread the sky; But when trav’ling days are over, Not a shadow, not a sigh.
When we all get to heaven, What a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, We’ll sing and shout the victory!"