Of all the weather events happening across the country, I know higher than usual temps and a sudden stop to rain isn’t a big deal. However, across northeast Ohio, autumn weather has looked more like summer. In September, there were 11 days that were above average, and I think three were in the 90’s. None of those days had rain.
Where I live, it’s known for the cloud cover. I heard during WWII the area was used for military maneuvers because our weather mimics where planes were headed. To have sun is not only a welcome sight, but a rare one.
To bring the scenario even closer, we live in a development where many residents have companies come in to do their lawn. These are doctors, lawyers, business owners and retirees who are not able to mow and handle landscaping, so they hire it out. We have a son that does a remarkable job, so we rely on him.
I noticed this week one thing about every yard in the development.
All the lawns are burned. In front yards where the sun hits, there is no green grass. It’s a brown, and straw-like. It’s in our yard, it’s in the doctor’s yard. Dead grass covers the retiree’s front lawn just as it does the teacher’s. There’s no escape.
That got me thinking. The sun took a toll, and it didn’t matter the title of the homeowner, their job, or how much they make a year. The wealthiest appearing homeowner has burned grass as much as any other home. There was no sparing or distinction.
When I talk to people or write about Jesus, I make sure everyone understands the sentiment is the same. It doesn’t matter how big the check is we write to charity or how many senior citizens we helped cross the street. It doesn’t matter if you go to church and it is the Main Street Baptist or Main Street Pentecostal. There is one criteria for heaven’s entry.
Do you know Jesus?
When I teach kids or teens, I remind them it isn’t a “know” like they know Ariana Grande or the latest YouTube star. They are aware of those people, but truly do not have a relationship with them. I teach the teens that they need to invite Jesus into their life as a friend. Friends interact. Friends want to know more about each other. Friends are relational.
I’m a visual person and one scene I picture time and time again is a heavenly banquet with Jesus as the guest of honor. I imagine who might sit next to me. Thing is, the Holy Spirit reminded me I will be surprised. It isn’t always the “pretty” people who will be dining with their Savior. The example that often comes to mind is Ted Bundy.
Before his execution, Ted had an interview with Dr. Dobson from Focus on the Family. He shared that his evil acts started with a porn addiction and escalated. He also professed a personal faith in Christ. Now, I’m sure inmates pull that card a lot with no authenticity. But I remember reading that Dr. Dobson found his “walk matched the talk.” If true, Ted could be my banquet neighbor.
The same serial killer has a ticket to heaven as I do for lying and whatever other sins I’ve confessed. Just like the grass after a rain in our development, God’s grace doesn’t just hit one yard. Everyone who calls on His name receives God’s forgiveness and relationship through His Son. And like the blistering sun killing our grass, we all have to answer for that relationship or lack of.
Heavy topic, and I’m certainly not a master in evangelism, but I hope you hear my heart for you today. You know the bad news out there, and I don’t need to tell you things are escalating. I’m not promised tomorrow, and neither are you. If you aren’t sure what your eternal destination were to be if this was your last day, I beg you to ask Jesus into your daily life.