FENCES OF PROTECTION
The fence in this picture looks almost like a corral. If this had been present in the day this church was active then it might have made a good place for the small children to play and be safely protected from dirt-slingin', wild-hoofin' horse-drawn wagons. :-) Most probably it was put there to keep vehicles from parking on the grass though. With pullover space a premium as times, people get very creative in their parking and too often it damages the environment.
The Bible gives us fences in the way of laws or commandments that are not meant to infringe upon our fun or freedom but to protect us from this fast-paced, dirt-slingin' secular society whose ethics and morals are quite contrary to God's desire for His children. These teachings also keep us from doing harm to ourselves and others. Fences are good for most of us who have a tendency for pushing boundaries.
Observe how the Psalmist felt about God's precepts (rules, directions, commandments)... The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. ~Psalm 19:8
The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy. ~Psalm 111:7
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. ~Psalm 119:93
Observing God's rules or precepts results in joy, enlightenment, trust and life in the believer. Those are some pretty good reasons to stay behind the fence!
Missionary Baptist Church
Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains (c) Bryan Nowak
Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains
(c) Bryan Nowak
If you've traveled the gravel roads in Cades Cove you know too well that these lanes are better suited for 1-way traffic than for two. They are very narrow. But those of us who love the Cove would not want it any other way.
Jesus said, "Broad is the road that leads to destruction." ~Matthew 7:13
Most people believe that the wide road with many lanes and higher speed limits is the way to go. Interstate highways were constructed for this purpose... to move the masses. Surely, if everyone else is choosing that route or the GPS sends you that way then it must be right! Or is it?
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. ~Proverbs 14:12
Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean it's right. Just because most people accept that there are many lanes to heaven does not make it so.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." ~John 14:6
Biblical teaching and thinking does not bode well with today's all-inclusive, anything-goes culture. God certainly desires that all people would be saved, but most are not willing to get off the broad, convenient, fast moving, yet deadly interstate in order to take the exclusive, narrow road to life everlasting.
Which road are you on and where exactly is it leading? I hope you are certain about your eternal destination. If not, look again at the path you've chosen to travel. Christmas celebrates the paving of THE WAY. Jesus is Christmas Lane.
Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (c) Bryan Nowak
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