When on our first trip to Freed Hardeman University to drop our son off for college from Oklahoma we traveled through Arkansas to get there. At one point on the trip, there came a transition where the highway split off into three directions, one continued east, one went north, and one went south. Although the signs were clear, the way the highway exits were laid out was just a bit confusing, especially when you are heading toward them at 70 miles per hour and aren’t familiar with the area. The GPS on my phone was telling me which way to go but I just couldn’t make sense of it, and by the time I got there I ended up in the wrong lane, even when I thought I was right, I began to head in the wrong direction.

If I had just listened to the voice on the phone it would have told me the lane to be in, but I thought I knew better and believed that where it was telling me to go, that was the way I was going. Wrong I was! I took the exit and was driving on a long loop that began to head north towards a different city. One I did not want to go to. It didn’t take me long to realize that the way I was going was wrong and was being reassured of my mistake by my wife and the people in the car. I had gone the wrong way and it was taking me somewhere else.

Peter & Jesus

As Jesus spent His last hours with His disciples He said to them,

“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. “Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” Peter *said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You. Jesus *answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.”…John 13:31-38

As we begin to look at this text there is one main theme to note. Emotion is Not the same as faith. Peter as he is looking into the eyes of our Lord truly believes in his heart that he would lay down his life for Jesus and seems to begin to prove that theory as the Roman cohort comes with the Jews to arrest Jesus (John 18:7-11). John tells us that, Peter would take out his sword, swing, and cut the right ear off Malcus, the servant of the high priest striving to prove that he was willing to fight and die for the Lord. However, Peter had missed the point. the battle was not going to be a war of swords drawn from the sheath. It would be a war with the Sword of God’s truth.

Why was Peter led to do this? He was driven by his emotions. Far too many “Christians” today (I use that term loosely) believe that they have a strong belief in the Lord, ready to fight for His word and His truth, but in reality, miss the point.

If Peter had understood the point, his mind would have been focused on the spiritual side of the Kingdom, which will be an everlasting Kingdom (Daniel 2:44) and NOT the physical seat of David. Unfortunately, this is how many people are misled within religion and therefore give into doctrines like Dispensational Premillennialism, once saved always saved, saved by grace alone, and other Calvinistic forms of predestination teachings. Why? The Bible doesn’t teach these doctrines, and in fact, teaches against these doctrines. It is because they have missed the point.

To be in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus speaks to Nicodemus and explains to him that to enter the Kingdom of God you must be born of “water” and of “Spirit” which shows us that to enter into the Kingdom you must be “born from above.”

Paul would say it in this way,

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son”…Col. 1:13

How does this happen? Not by emotion, but by faith that is built on understanding!

Why is it that we begin to change the message to gain the ability to possibly reach a few more people?

Why is it that we dumb down the word and believe that other people or everyone else just simply aren’t smart enough to comprehend the truth?

Why is it that we begin to change our ways to form to culture?

It is because we have missed the point!

Here is the Point!

God has a great desire for you and all the world to be with Him (Matthew 28:19-20) and therefore has sent out a message with messengers to tell you of His Word that will lead you to Him. This means IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND!

God has given us a pure and undefiled word that leads to righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and therefore has given a righteous word that will lead you to Him and Him to you (James 4:8). This means His Word cannot only be understood but FOLLOWED with ease, by way of understanding.

God has proposed, installed, set out, established, and carried out a foolproof plan. One that leads to the salvation of all mankind and can wash any sin clean. ANY OTHER PLAN IS NOT HIS PLAN. There are no alternative variations of His plan. No side notes to His plan. No other possibilities by which you can be saved outside of His plan.

What God has said in His word, the totality of His word is what He means. The Bible is given by God’s inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16-17) by way of the Holy Spirit (The Helper…John 16) and has spoken through the pen of men and spoke.

Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…Acts 2:38

When Jesus said,

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments“…John 14:15

That is what He means.

Many arguments have been formed to disprove the biblical way of salvation described in Romans 6:1-12 but one fact remains. What the Bible says is what the Bible says.

Only people who live by biblical faith in God’s word allow themselves to follow the fullness of God’s Word. Those who allow themselves to be captivated by the “emotions of religion” cannot and will not ever see the fullness of God’s Word because their belief in the Lord and His kingdom is built on fleshly desire and feeling.

Emotions are built on today while Faith is built on tomorrow!

Only when we see the point of the spirituality of the Kingdom, its King, and His promises will we get the point. True disciples strive for His acceptance and not the other way around. My life is and should be built and fashioned after His truth to be accepted by Him and not the message and truth fashioned after me for me to accept Him. I am saved by His terms; I am not saved by my own and that is the point.

My faith looks forward. It allows me to see Him as greater than myself. It looks to the Word of Truth and allows me to follow the scriptures and adhere to their words. It puts me in my place, puts God in His place, and reconciles us by way of Jesus through His powerful blood.

When heading to Freed Hardeman University for the first time I missed my exit because I missed the point and that led me the wrong way. If only I had listened to the words from the phone telling me right where to go, I would have gone the right way. But I missed the point. The GPS is designed to tell me the direction and roads to follow, but I thought I knew better because my emotions got the best of me.

I was wrong and it led me the wrong way. Don’t let your emotions lead you the wrong way, allow God’s word to lead you in the right way, because that is the only way it is designed to lead!

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Garrett married his wife, Cristen, in December 2005 and has four wonderful boys! Parker is married to his beautiful wife Claire and their daughter Taytum, Cohen, Ryder, and Kamden. Garrett has directed and participated in many camps, retreats, conferences, and workshops and serves on the national staff for Lads to Leaders. He is the President of Excel Still More and an annual writer and instructor for ESM. Garrett currently serves as the pulpit minister for the Hydro Church of Christ in Hydro, Oklahoma, where he and his family reside.