This Is The Way

Far from home and visiting another country, I was finally getting off the night train and walking into the station. There were specific places to go and paths to get into the proper areas of the station.

Although I did not know where I was supposed to go, there were others that did and I followed their direction.

Last night, as I was reading the Bible, a particular verse from the book of Isaiah stood out to me:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

—Chapter 30, verse 21

We do not really know the best way in any area of our lives apart from the directions given to us by God.

The verse above was concerning the people in Jerusalem, yet I feel that God gives us direction and guidance, telling us the way we should “walk.”

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For the Lord Himself Will Come Down

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Sunday afternoon, the train cars were parked, awaiting their next journey as they sat quiet and still along the rails.

Something about trains makes me want to photograph them almost every time I see them.

Maybe it’s the thought of travel and moving on to a different place that intrigues me.

For a believer in Jesus, there is always the faith that a different place awaits us in Heaven.

Many songs about our eternal home have been written using a train as a metaphor regarding our way of passage.

One that I have been familiar with for a long time is, “This Train.”

This train is bound for glory, this train,
This train is bound for glory, this train,
This train is bound for glory,
Don’t ride nothin’ but the righteous and holy
This train is bound for glory, this train.

Another song is “The Gospel Train.”

The gospel train is coming,
I hear it just at hand,
I hear the car wheels moving,
And rumbling thro’ the land.

Get on board, children,
Get on board, children,
Get on board, children,
For there’s room for many a more.

Still another is “The Warning.”

The Gospel train’s at hand,

Be in time, be in time!

The Gospel train’s at hand,

Be in time,

Behold your station there, JESUS has paid your fare; Let’s all engage in prayer:

Be in time, be in time!

Let’s all engage in prayer:

Be in time!

The lyrics to “The Gospel Railroad” encourage others toward salvation:

Come, sinner! join the Gospel-train
Would you the Holy City gain;
That you the journey may begin—
The train is waiting—O step in!

The lyrics of all these songs point to one, very important thing:

There is just one passage to Heaven.

That passage is through Jesus; He is our “train.”

We can hear Him in our land right now.

Only those who have believed in Him for salvation may go with Him.

He has paid the fare for any sinner to come and there is room for every person that wants to go.

Here’s the big question:

Are YOU on board?

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For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

—1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

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Walking over to the train station, I crossed the tracks with my camera in hand.

Train tracks have always caught my interest, maybe because I grew up with a freight train crossing just about four houses away from mine.

As a young child, I walked over the tracks twice a day going to school.

My friends and I would put pennies on the tracks and wait for the train to come.

When the heavy weight of the engine and cargo had passed, I recall only seeing the image of Lincoln faintly in the railing—no penny left at all.

Looking at the the photo I took near the train station the other day, I thought first of the two converging tracks as they became one, allowing a train on either track to go to the same destination.

This evening, I thought of the rails another way.

What about a train that was leaving the station and coming toward me?

A choice would have to be made as to which direction to follow.

Should it travel to the right or to the left?

We all have to make such a choice about our destinations.

Jesus had this conversation with His disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

—John 14:1-7

For all of us, there comes a time when the tracks in front of us split into two different directions.

We can choose to follow Jesus or we can go our own way without Him.

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I Will Instruct You

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Train signals.

I stood looking up at the colorful array.

They’re very important, aren’t they?

I don’t know anyone who would want to board a train if they knew that there would be no working signals for the conductor along the route.

Without signals, who could know what was up ahead?

There would be no preparation to avoid a possible disaster.

God encourages us with these words from Psalm 32:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (verse 8)

We are not without instruction.

God has not positioned us aboard a train that will travel without proper direction and warning.

Through His Holy Spirit working in us and through His Word in the scriptures, we have instruction and direction to guide us as we travel through the journey of time allotted to us.

The question is, will we follow the directions that are given to us?

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