May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Amen.
Good afternoon on this most blessed November day the LORD God has given us, even the vibrant colors of the leaves on this beautiful, gray, overcast day that has the look of a coming snow shower.
We are all on a journey as God has prepared for us to walk during this time in the 61st century of human history! This journey I speak of has a beginning, and it has an end, which then becomes a new beginning forever. My life has been quite a journey. It has been a winding road with lots of twists and turns, dangers, potholes and bumps all along the way. But in these wonderful years of late in my life, the road has become more narrow the more I walk. There is Someone up ahead awaiting me; I can’t see Him yet, but I know His arms are wide open. I cannot fall off, for now I am secure on the Roman Road, the same one Paul walked. I invite as many as would come to walk the Roman Road.
THE ROMAN ROAD
One of the greatest accomplishments of the ancient world was the Roman roads. They built roads wherever they conquered and most can still be seen today-many are still in use. Soldiers and travelers on the Roman roads knew the way, and the distances were marked off by mile markers so they would know how far it was to Rome, for “all roads led to Rome.” Therefore, they could determine the beginning and end of their journey. The Apostle Paul traveled these roads to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
In our journey through this life, we also know the way. Do you remember what Jesus said to His disciples just before His death? In the Gospel According to John, chapter fourteen, Jesus had just told them that He was to die at Jerusalem, and that one of them would betray Him. His words upset all of them, and they were greatly troubled. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, comforted them by telling them not to worry, and that He was going to His Father’s house to prepare a place for them, and that He would come for them so they could be with Him forever.
Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.
Thomas said unto Him, Lord, we no not where you go; how can we know the way?
Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by Me. – John 14:1-6
The following story is used so that you, like the old man, can walk the Roman Road just as he did not so many years ago.
In a churchyard near an old Episcopal church in the town of North East, Maryland, sat an old man one Sunday morning. He seemed to be carrying a heavy burden, his face was sad, his body hunched over; he was looking down. Just then a man on his way to the worship service came over to see what was the matter. He explained he had recently lost his wife; that he was unsure of his faith, unsure of his future. Tears welled up in his eyes as he spoke. Anxious to help, the man took his Bible and turned to the Book of Romans, and that perhaps a journey together on the Roman Road could help.
“Do I need to pack”?
“No, we’ll journey from here.” “Are you ready?”
“Yes, I think so,” said the old man. “How long will the journey take?”
“A lifetime,” came the reply.
So they set out together on the Roman Road. But instead of mile markers, the way was lined with passages from the Bible. As they walked, they came to the first Scripture marker, and the believer handed the old man a card: Romans 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.”
Up ahead they came to the second marker; it was Romans 3:11, and the old man read: “There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.”
As the road turned, there was the third marker, Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Not far up the road was yet another marker, and the old man read aloud, “But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
As we came to the straight and narrow part of the road, the old man seemed to straighten up; his countenance was different. And the next marker was Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now he was almost running to get to the next marker: it was Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
I can’t describe his sudden happiness as tears of joy rolled down his cheeks, and I heard, “even for me, yes, even for me.”
For right in front of us was the message of Romans 1:16, “FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVES: TO THE JEW FIRST, AND ALSO TO THE GREEK.”
Straight ahead, just over the hill we canme to the eighth Scripture marker, and the old man halted and looked, and looked, and wept, and so he began to read again and again the beautiful, heartfelt words of Romans 10:8-9, taking them in as one taking a deep, deep breath:
“But what does it say? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with your mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
“Oh yes,” he cried out, “Jesus, the Son of God is my Lord and Savior!”
As we neared the end of our journey, we read together the last two markers:
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
What a change had come over him. “Will we see you here next week?” I said.
“Yes, I believe so,” said the old man. “You see, I grew up in this church as a child, but over the years I lost my way “
And they departed, each going their separate way-for the old man had found his way.
May this be a blessing to you.