A road map for life

Published 9:33 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

By Thurman Hayes

For me, GPS technology has become an indispensable part of life. I remember when the early GPS systems started appearing in cars. I was a bit slow to embrace it. But then someone gave me one as a gift — an older model that was mounted on the front window of the car. Occasionally that thing would come crashing down, which was more than a little aggravating — but I never went without a GPS again.

Now, things are much easier. My GPS operates through my phone, which operates through the Bluetooth in my car. I’m not sure how all that works, but I know it works, and it has made life a lot easier.

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People need a GPS for life. We need a map to tell us where to go, and a voice that will give us directions. Thankfully, that map and that voice are found on the pages of the Bible.

But most Americans are following a very different map for life. It goes something like this: “I’m going to determine what brings me pleasure, and maybe occasionally check my own internal compass, and follow that road.”

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a person, but in the end it leads to death.”

As followers of Jesus, we need to do more than tweak the map that the world gives us — we need to follow a whole new road.

Here are three coordinates to keep us headed in the right direction:

First, God created us for his glory. Rick Warren, in his book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” begins with these four words: “It’s not about you.”

No, it isn’t. It’s about God and His glory. We are created to be in fellowship with our Creator and to bring Him glory. Isaiah 43:6-7 says, “Bring my sons from far away, and my daughters from the ends of the earth — everyone who bears my name and is created for my glory. I have formed them; indeed, I have made them.”

You are not an accident. You are created in God’s image, to bring him glory.

Second, all of us have failed to glorify God as we should. We have all chosen our own way. The Bible calls this sin. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We have rebelled against the very one who made us. We have departed from His design for our lives. We have not loved Him or others as we should. And it is more than just committing sins. The reason we commit sins is that we are sinners. Something is broken inside us.

Third, God’s remedy for our sin and the brokenness that comes from it is the gospel. Gospel means good news. The good news for us is that rather than give sinners like us what we deserve, which is condemnation, Jesus came and took the condemnation in our place. Because of nothing but love, God gave His Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Indeed, Jesus rose from the dead so that death is defeated for all who repent and trust in the Savior. Follow this map. It leads to life, not death.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.