THE "IF" WORD
Bernard - Publisher
"In my Father’s house are many mansions, If that were not so,
have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" John 14:2
states that the word if is conditional, one that is
predicated on a supposition or a qualification. Only two
letters long, it is singularly
of the most important small words in our vocabulary.
It is also one of the most potentially powerful and dangerous in
the English language today
on it hinges happiness, sorrow, regret and loss for it is
filled with endless possibilities that can even change our
gift of eternity.
we were children, our mothers would say, if you
are good, I will give you a treat when we get home, or in school
our teachers might tell us if you complete this
assignment, I will add extra points to your grade. The main
staple word of commercials constantly toot the “If”
all the time telling us if we use their products we can
expect amazing results. It
is also a standard for doctors and dentists. If
we take our prescrptions, if we
our teeth we will
be better for it. It is a contingency word and on the negative
side can be very unpleasant. We
might be told if we do not pay
bills we will have to pay a penalty, if
we are not nice to friends or family we will face their
displeasure, or "if"we do not work we
will have no money and will find ourselves without food or
so this mighty “IF” follows us wherever we go in
our secular lives as well as our spiritual lives.
we can step away from the sidelines of doubt and passiveness and
take our place on the frontline of God’s steady fight against
sin and iniquity, we can and will gain eternal life. For
I declare that I belong to God then I am only passing
through here. "If" I expect to share in
God’s kingdom, I must be willing to share in His suffering on
this earth. If I can stay the course I will win
the battle against sin and transgression. "If"
I can hold out against the temptations of this world, I will
live in God’s house forever.
only I can hold on just a little while longer my reward will be
great in heaven. "If" I belong to God, I must do
His work here while I am on this trip to my eternal home.
"If" I truly believe, I can change my situation. "If"
I do as Jesus taught, I will get my reward in heaven.
we are really serious about following the ways of the Lord we
will only see His way. The world with all its empty promises and
dead to us as Christians. Satan’s
flashy spectaculars will become like the discarded garbage
littering city streets. Temptations will no longer have the
power to take us away from where our faith leads us.
we get a little tired on this journey called life with all its
toils and trials and we want to rest a little while and enjoy
the fruits of this earth. We just want to relax and enjoy
ourselves a little and let go. We want to forget the problems
and the perils of life blatantly looking us in the face every
minute from early sundown to dark nightfall and even through the
night. We feel if
we can tarry just a little bit and see alternatives in our
lives we think we will still have time to catch the next train
heading for Heaven with that little taste of what earth had to
offer stored away in our memory banks.
we could just get those notions over with, dealt with once and
for all, we think we will be strong enough to get back on
board. But sometimes we get so comfortable we forget that God
expects us to go forward in faith without yearning for the
things sin offers. We get confused about where we should
where we should be going. We linger in the limbo of earthly
temptation, forgetting to keep moving to where God is leading
us. Sometimes we become so comfortable at the table of earthly
delights that we are reluctant to push ourselves up from that
table piled high with easy sin and move on for Christ. We
linger so long in our own agendas that we forget about the
agenda God has written those many years before for us. We
squander time on make believe; time that God has not promised to
keep giving us. But if we can raise ourselves up from that
table of complacency and let our Christian faith carry us forth
on our Christian mission, God will take that walk with us. He
will patiently point out along the way the wages of sin and show
us the signposts leading to the heavenly kingdom. He will tell
us “not long, now. We’ll be home soon. Just a little while
longer. Don't be afraid. I’m right here with you all the way
home.” He will show us how Satan is deceiving us into thinking
we have plenty of time to catch up with our
will put a protective arm around us as Satan tries to prod us in
“Just try it”, Satan
pleads, pointing the way to something we always thought we
wanted. “You have plenty of time to repent” is the
reasoning he uses with us. And then he laughs out gleefully
if a Christian falls for his tired old line.
it’s hard; we all know
how hard it is to take that Christian walk for each day satan brings
fresh and innovative ways to steal us away from the grace of
God. Satan is waiting at every turn with all those beautifully
wrapped temptations. He too, knows what we desire as human
beings, and he makes certain to offer those things that we want
in the guise of comradeship. "If" we fall into his
trap we will find out later he has led us to a deep pit that is
so steep we will find it hard to extricate ourselves.
all standing on the precipice between heaven and hell, and that
little “if” word becomes a reminder of how we will
spend eternity. That little word might become “if"
I had only followed through with my faith” or it might be a
confident “If I stay the course and run the race
for Christ, all will be well with my soul”. This is the time to
find out if we are living our lives the way Jesus
wishes it, knowing God’s grace is sufficient to carry us through
our periods of trouble and distress. Whatever we need, whether
it is hope, peace, solace or comfort, His grace is there.
any good that we ought to do, we ought to do it today. "If"
there is any kindness that we can show, we ought to show it
now. If we encounter a lost soul, gently
give an invitation to them to come along on this trip to God’s
house. "If" there is any help we can give to
others, we ought to give it now, for life is short and we do not
know when we will called to our heavenly home. We don’t want to
say someday “if" only I had accepted Jesus in my
heart as my Savior and obeyed His teachings. We don’t want to
hear Him say “It’s too late”, your time is up”.
be guilty of using the "if" word if
it concerns your faith. Don’t let it lead you to eternal
damnation. Don’t let “If" only I had
listened, "if only I had” be your litany for
eternity. The saddest thing that can happen to us is to
remember forever and ever the words “If only I would
have, then He would have welcomed me home”.
If Jesus is with
me, if Jesus is with you, we can go anywhere!
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