2017-11-02 / Editorial Page

Words of Encouragement

Son did precisely as his father directed, but didn’t get into ballpark
By ROGER ALFORD
columnist

As a father neared the gate to the ballpark with his son, it dawned on him that he didn’t have the tickets.

“Run home son, and see if I left the tickets there,” the father said.

Half an hour later, the boy returned to his father who was waiting outside the stadium.

“Yep,” the boy said, “they’re still there, right on the kitchen table where you left them.”

Well, technically, that son did exactly as his father told him, but not exactly what his father wanted him to do, because, to state the obvious, he wanted his son to bring the tickets back with him.

The Bible tells us we should follow the wishes of our parents.

‘Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching’ (Proverbs 1:8).

If the Bible admonishes us to listen to our earthly fathers, how much more important is it that we listen to our Heavenly Father? You realize there’s great blessings in following His commands.

Perhaps you recall that, when the Israelites were marching toward the Promised Land, God gave them an incredible promise of what He would do for them if they simply obeyed. Listen to this:

‘If you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways’ (Deuteronomy 28:1-9).

Those must have been welcome words to God’s people in that day as they dealt with great difficulties. They faced enemies on every side. They faced hardships and trials and tribulations. But they knew, on the authority of God’s word, that they would prevail as long as they obeyed Him.

You know, our greatest goal in life is not to get into the ballpark. Instead, it’s to get into Heaven. Let’s commit to obey God by accepting Jesus as our Savior. He is, after all, our ticket to Heaven.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.

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