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Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Today’s message is from Bob who was a prodigal who returned home and was remarried to me for an additional 23 years before the Lord took him home to Heaven. Bob wrote 19 books from the prodigal’s perspective for more than two decades after our divorce and remarriage. – Charlyne

THE ROAD TO RESTORATION
 
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12
 
Marriage interruption has suddenly thrust you upon a busy expressway of life that you never imagined having to travel. You have never been this way before, and have no idea how to reach your destination of Restoration City. Like any lost traveler, early in the journey you probably asked directions from the first person you encountered.
 
Living in South Florida, we know about confused motorists. A resident does not have to go far from home to have someone with out-of-state tags on their vehicle, approach and say, “I’m lost. Can you help me find…” Many of these visitors have a road map in hand, but they still can’t find their destination.
 
Prankster teenagers have been known to give out wrong directions. Other people have given out wrong directions, not to be harmful, but because they barely knew the way themselves.
 
A few years ago, while on the way to North Carolina, Charlyne and I missed our exit in Atlanta and became lost. Like our Florida visitors, we began to ask directions. We found people who did not even know where they were, attempting to tell us how to reach our destination. We had people send us the wrong way. The more people we stopped and asked, the more confused we became. Finally, we asked a lady who was busy restocking vending machines at a gas station. Her directions were so exact that Charlyne thought the Lord must have sent an angel, in response to her prayers. The woman told us which lanes to be driving in, the exact mileage between turns, and even landmarks where we would be turning. She even had direction for us inside North Carolina.
 
While you travel the road that you have been forced upon, do you ever feel like we did in Atlanta? You know the destination, a restored marriage, but so many different people are attempting to tell you which road to take. Some people are even saying, “You can’t get there from here.”
 
From where we sit, there seems to be an interchange of four roads coming, and each is marked “Restoration Ahead.” Unfortunately, three of the roads are known to be riddled with potholes, detours and dead ends. Let’s take a look down each of these four roads to restoration:
 
PEOPLE PARKWAY is the first exit. There seems to be a lot of traffic taking this road, so all you would need do is to follow others. Do what they did, say what they said, and you will reach the destination, called Restoration City. After all, others on People Parkway have already made the trip, so they must know the way. If you are following us down this road, Charlyne will wave you off. Over and over we have all witnessed a Christian leader who is being followed down People Parkway. When that leader runs into a ditch, others will follow them into the ditch, and possibly destruction. You need to draw close to our Lord Jesus, allowing Him, not us or any person, to be your Navigator.
 

What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  1 Corinthians 1:12-18
 
PROMISES PLACE is fast approaching. Should you take that route? The person who suggested this route “promised” you a restored marriage, if you would only purchase a certain book or do certain things. You need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for His promises to you, and not depend on the promises of others to you.
 

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”  Numbers 23:19
 
PROGRAM PLAZA is the next exit. No one at Rejoice Marriage Ministries has gone this way, but others tell us the results of a ride on this road can be disastrous. The dictionary tells us that a program is, “a plan or sequence of things to be done.” How can we tell God the “sequence” that He must do things in? For example, His divine plan might be to bring your prodigal home before their salvation experience, or He might use you to lead the one you love to Christ, after they are back in the home. By the way, Program Plaza is often the toll road toward restoration. You need not pay and travel Program Plaza to restoration. The price of your marriage restoration was paid by your Lord Jesus on Calvary.
 

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Psalm 33:10
 
PERSON WAY is the only remaining option for reaching Restoration. Once you experience traveling The Way, you will be thankful that you passed up all the road options leading to nowhere. The road is narrow but what a beautiful journey. You will encounter mountaintops, and also some valleys, but every so often The Way will allow you to get a glimpse of your destination, Restoration. Do not worry about traveling alone on The Way, because roadside assistance is available instantly, via the call box of prayer. The speed limit varies, as some days you will be getting there faster than others, but the road signs are excellent. While on The Way, you will meet brothers and sisters who will become friends. On The Way you will find rest areas, as often as you desire, where the Bread of Life is served in unlimited supply.
 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”  John 14:6-7
 
Charlyne and I acknowledge how frightening the expressway toward restoration must be for you. The best advice we can give is to take no one’s advice, but to travel close to the Lord Jesus Christ. Soon you will be receiving your instruction from the Lord, who has the right answer for your every question. We will be here to support you, but please remember to take The Way, and listen only to God.
 

“The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”  John 10:3-5
Because He lives,

Bob Steinkamp
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.

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