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March 5, 2018, 12:00 AM

How far is Wherever?


It is one of the most important days of their lives as Mark and Linda stand before their family and friends exchanging marriage vows. Each person is asked to repeat the following phraseology.

"Mark, will you have Linda to be your wife, to live together in holy marriage?

Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health,

and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?"

Mark responds with: I will.

In turn Linda is asked to repeat the same works directed at Mark. At the completion of the ceremony Mark and Linda are introduced as husband and wife, and the minister quotes the following verse from Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."

 

Fast forward five years the scene has changed and instead of standing in front of a minister, Mark and Linda now stand in front of a judge seeking divorce. The judge queries the couple about the commitment they made for better for worst, till death do us part which was meant to be forever. Their response is “things change.”

 

In this week’s sermon we have the account of a man who wants to follow Jesus. The account in Luke 9:57-62 goes like this:

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

In the first illustration which is all too familiar these days, forever (till death do us part) is only temporary, and in the second account from Luke 9:57-62 wherever has conditions.

 

Here are two questions to reflect on this week and I will address these in my sermon this Sunday:

  1. Are you still faithful in your relationship with God, or have things changed?

The passion we feel when we first come to Christ can eventually be eroded by the cares of this world, just as the passion in a marriage can grow cold unless a conscience effort is made to maintain that relationship. How long is forever for you"?

  1. The second question is “How Far is Wherever” for you. God’s love and forgiveness is unconditional once we come to faith in Jesus Christ, God’s call to obedience is also unconditional. Are you following God unconditionally, or are there areas in your life that you refuse to surrender to God’s control?

 

In this season of Lent which is a time of preparing our hearts for Resurrection Sunday, we would do well to examine our relationship with our Savior and ask ourselves if forever is temporary and wherever is conditional.

God’s promises and calling upon our lives is unconditional. In Malachi 3:6 it says: “For I am the Lord, I do not change”.

 

Have we kept our promises and commitments?