Never Alone

Sturdy Guardrails

The ride along the Central Coast of California is one of my personal favorites. State Highway 1 is cut into the side of the Santa Lucia Mountains, which rise dramatically from the Pacific Ocean. While I love the sheer walls of granite on one side and the grandeur of the Pacific on the other, the guardrails along the road have a story to tell. Their very existence, placement, and scars tell the story of near death experiences. Guard rails, when properly constructed and installed, save lives. The most joyful journeys and unimpeded views are found in the center of the lane anyway.

Jesus wants us to “abide” in His love. Just as He is fully loved by the Father, He loves us.* Strong, uncompromising, permanent love, even for the unlovely. Then Jesus opens the truth of eternity and explains how this is possible. How can a selfish, prideful man even comprehend His love, let alone abide in it? Jesus said to His disciples that the key to abiding in His love is to keep His commandments.* Just as the highway is lined with guardrails to keep us safe, Jesus’ commands keep us safe on the path of joy and blessing.

Isn’t that just more legalism? More religious laws to limit my freedom? The answer is an unequivocal “no.” When we obey Jesus’ moral commands, we are abiding in His love. Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City says, “God put guardrails around sex because it is the most delightful yet also most dangerous of all human capacities.”*

Jesus loves us so much that He warns us against self-destructive choices and behaviors. But He also wants us to know the joy of living within God-given moral boundaries. The commands of God flow from His perfect justice and inconceivable love. Like guardrails on a coastal highway, Jesus’ commands keep us in the center of our lane – the only safe place to ride. And, the only safe place to live. His commands are not only a warning of dangerous roads ahead but also an invitation to live in the warmth of His love.

Rather than restricting our freedom, Jesus’ commands set us free from crashing and burning in the canyons. Around 1400 BC Moses received ten basic laws from the hand of God. These laws were called the Ten Commandments. Now it seems like our culture sees them more as options to be considered. God says these are guardrails for a safe and sane journey through life. God is not the eternal kill-joy. He gave these commands for His glory and our benefit. That we might abide in His love and experience His overflowing joy.

Traveling with you on the highway of holiness,

*John 15:9-11
*I recommend reading Tim Keller’s The Reason for God

5 thoughts on “Never Alone”

  1. Great point Steve. How easy it is for us humans to stray even a little from God’s commands & will. His commands, if followed, will keep the “little” from becoming the “bigger” but we must remain “on guard” and willing to receive conviction from the Holy Spirit. Like critical “check points” in our lives. Many people don’t want God cause they KNOW they would have to give up their sin. They think His is the big “cosmic kill-joy”. If they only knew His great love for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We were both inspired by your post & the amazing analogy of the PCH guard rails. Since the Ten Commandments were removed from our schools in 1964, our country is raising generations of children who do not know or fear God, and therefore only view His Commandments as ‘suggestions’. We need to touch lives & spread the Good News so others know God’s ‘guard rails’ are there because He loves us & not because He’s a cosmic ‘kill-joy’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good word Pastor Steve. I sent it to my family! Missing you – and thank you for the exhortation to stay withing the safe and peaceful “guardrails….”


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