One of the things on my to-do list in March is planning coverage for racetracks and touring series, making preparations for the upcoming season. In days past, when there were three of us and two series to cover, it was a simpler task. With over twenty of us, eight plus series and several local tracks and events it takes a little more planning. The main criterion in figuring who goes where is; maintaining connections. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have you ever wondered how many people you know? When I thumb through my contacts on my phone I wonder; who are all these people? When I slow down, I realize the connection I have with them. Some are personal, some racing, some church, some business, but each one has a connection. There is a reason I have their contact information.
I think through some of those connections and remember how it was made. Some have great stories about how our paths crossed. Some are clearly through the leading of God, I hold those most special.
How about you? Are you connected? Do you know a guy that can help you out? Don’t worry, I have some connections. I know a guy who can open some doors for us.
Life is about connections, relationships built through sharing common experiences. Walking through life, living through things; together. We are built to be together. We are drawn to want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We look for inclusion and camaraderie.
Adversity is overcome much better when there are friends alongside. Misery loves company, but not just the difficult times. Who do we depend on? Who do we celebrate with? What or who are we connected to? As we continue our journey in preparation for Easter we listen to Christ as he shares about connections.
John 14:1-4; NLT; “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
Christ reveals that he is going to prepare a place for us in his Father’s house. He is going to make a way for us. There are a couple of things that we should note. First, if Christ is going to make the way the implication is that we can’t. The fact is we cannot be good enough to be in the Father’s house. That is to say in God’s presence. Jesus indicates that he will make a way for us.
Sometimes we need clarity and Thomas asks the question;
John 14:5-6: NLT; “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Jesus is referring to His sacrifice, death on the cross, atonement for our sin. He, the perfect sacrifice, would give up his life to cover our imperfections. God said he would accept that. We can reside with God for eternity through a connection with Christ. The only requirement is to accept it.
Romans 10:9-10: NLT; If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
Are we connected? Do we have the right credentials to enter? Do we know the right person to be welcomed in? Eternity with God is the desired resting place. Getting in is simpler that we think. It is not what we’ve done or not done in life, it is who we know. If we know Christ our credentials are in order and we will be welcomed in.
But what about all the good things we have done? Jesus shared a little about that also.
Matthew 7:21-23: NLT; “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
You see none of us is perfect, we all fall short, but there is a connection we can make to overcome that, knowing Christ. We can’t earn our way in; it is a gift from God. Jesus paid the price of admission so that we could receive the blessing. The key is accepting the connection.
There is a second benefit, a satisfying and fulfilling life here until we get there. How do we find that in the midst of this crazy mixed up world we live in? Connections. Connect ourselves to the source of life.
John 15:1, 2, 4-5, 8; NLT; I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Are we connected? I encourage you to make the right connection, accept the gift offered by Christ. Let true life flow through you and into the lives of others.