Monthly Archives: June 2015

Counting The Cost Of A One Way Trip

one way astroMaggie Lieu is like many 24 year-olds with dreams and aspirations. She wants to complete her PhD; she wants to work with people; she wants to occasionally visit her mom; and…she wants to live on Earth.

For most of us, that last one might seem pretty obvious at first, but not so for Maggie. It was a careful, difficult decision that came after significant consideration. You see, Maggie was one of one hundred finalists who had been selected for consideration to go on the Mars One Mission to colonize Mars.

I imagine that, for many, being a part of colonizing another planet is a cool idea – intellectually. But in practical reality, the potential cost was too high for at least 6 candidates who have dropped out, including Maggie. Why is it so tough? Because it is a 1-way trip!

The very idea of a 1-way trip is unnerving for many. You can’t come back! People can’t fathom the idea of not returning to the point of their departure. If you’ve ever bought a 1-way ticket before, you’ve probably sensed an uncomfortable silence and felt the need to explain your trip to the person who checked your luggage! It isn’t “normal.”

Perhaps that is why so many people have a difficult time accepting the idea of heaven and hell. Intellectually, we get it. You go to one place and you can never return. But in practice, the idea is a bit unnerving – it requires “counting the cost” before making a decision about our final destination.

Jesus tells His disciples to count the cost before making the decision to follow Him:

“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’” (Luke 14:28-30).

But did you know that everyone is on a 1-way trip already? Every one of us will experience death and face the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Finishing the journey well was important to Jesus, and He warned His disciples to choose wisely.

Because of our sins, we are headed for eternal separation from God2 Thessalonians 1:9). But we can change our destination to heaven…a 1-way ticket to be in the presence of the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Count the costs. It might be difficult to leave the lifestyle you know and enjoy; it might be unimaginable to spend eternity away from loved ones or family; it might be painful to leave the known for the unknown.

I don’t know if a trip to Mars is worth the cost, but I hope you will see that heaven is definitely worth the journey! Want to learn more about how to get there? Get in touch and let’s talk…

A Pharaoh in America or An American Pharoah?

american pharoah

I was a bit surprised when I read the headline. After all, it isn’t every day I am commanded on the front page of the paper to, “Hail, Pharoah!” Was there a major coup while I slept?

Of course, it wasn’t that kind of Pharaoh. And by now, you have probably heard about “American Pharoah,” the horse with the misspelled name. Pharoah pulled off a rare feat – a Triple Crown win. He is the 12th horse to accomplish this honor (the first was in 1919 and the most recent was 1978).

So the headline was about a horse, not a dictator. Whew! But here’s a thought, what if  “Hail, Pharaoh!” actually was the headline today?

You see, a few thousand years ago, back in Egypt, “Hail Pharaoh,” was a common headline. Tuesday’s paper read: “Hail, Pharaoh!” Wednesday’s? “Hail, Pharaoh!” Thursday’s…yeah, you get the point. Because, “Hail, Pharaoh” was the way of life.

And if you were an Israelite, you were a slave. You had no hope of a better life. Your parents and grandparents were slaves. Life was hostile. Egyptians even passed laws ordering the murder of babies in order to control the population.

But there was one hope to hold on to in that bleak world. God had made a promise to your ancestor, Abraham. He said that your people would be enslaved for a time in Egypt, but they would be delivered one day.

Of course, God fulfilled that promise through His servant Moses. But, sadly, many of the Israelites had given up hope. In fact, they had become so used to being slaves that some actually preferred slavery to God’s deliverance.

Fast-forward almost 1,500 years. God’s people were enslaved to sin, but He had promised to free them through a new covenant with an even greater deliverer.  And He fulfilled that promise in Jesus. All those who follow Christ will enter the Promised Land of Heaven.

Fast-forward almost 2,000 years. The headlines today proclaim, “Hail, Money,” “Hail, Politics,” and “Hail, Fame.” Is your trust in slavery to this life or eternal freedom with God in Heaven?

Consider this: Some people bet on “American Pharaoh,” the winner, and others chose the losing horses. Betting on the “wrong horse” has come to mean putting your trust in a losing ticket.

The Triple Crown is impressive, but there is a crown that is far more impressive. Won’t you “hail the power of Jesus’ Name” to which “angels prostrate fall?” As Perronet’s 1780 hymn says, “Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all!” Trust in the Crown of Life, Christ Jesus.

How Much Does Love Weigh?

love locks removedWhen does love weigh too much? Strange question, right? Can you really weigh love? I’ve heard of the cost of love, the meaning of love, and the depth of love. But how can one possibly weigh love?

The question was answered, as you might expect, in Paris, France. After all, Paris is the self-declared city of love and romance! So how much love is too much? 45 tons! And the French are saying, “au revoir” to the hefty love.

For about 10 years now, couples have been professing their love for one another by locking padlocks to the fencing of the famous Pont des Arts Bridge, in Paris. They scratch initials into the locks, lock them to the bridge, and then throw the key into the Seine below. There are an estimated 700,000 keys in the river!

But the weight of all that “love” has taken its toll on the 19th century bridge. So officials are taking action. And as “unromantic” as it seems, the fencing is being replaced with Plexiglas so the bridge and the boats below will be safe.

So…to be honest, it isn’t actually the love that weighed too much. Rather it was the “love locks.” Thankfully, true love doesn’t weigh a thing!

Unfortunately, though, some people experience love like a bridge with an extra 45 tons of baggage! In the name of love, people experience guilt, selfishness, ego, reminders of past mistakes, etc. These “locks” masquerade as love, but they are really barnacles weighing down your bridge.

Have your burdens been made light by the blood of Christ? Or does your religion (or lack of religion) bring you nothing but shame and guilt? When you come to know Jesus, it ought to feel like you just lost 45 tons of locks!

Consider Jesus’ words and ask yourself, “Do I feel more like the bridge or more like what Jesus described?”

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Lock yourself to God and throw away the key. He can handle the weight! He takes all our burdens, sins, and past mistakes. Why? Because His love doesn’t weigh anything…it lifts all burdens for those who live in Christ!