Summary: To navigate through life safely, notice the "road signs" God places in his word.
This sermon and the other "road signs" sermons made use of traffic sign images and family photos projected for visual impact.
God’s road signs Part 2 Jeremiah 31:21-22
Jesus was a Master Teacher…clearly the greatest teacher of truth the world has ever known. And He had the greatest challenge any teacher ever faced…to take the incomprehensible truths about God’s perfect kingdom and translate them into understandable, human concepts. To do that, Jesus used parables and stories…for stories have a way of communicating truths in a way that everyone can understand. Because everyone can follow a story.
Jesus also had the wonderful ability of being able to take familiar objects… everything and anything and use it to explain spiritual truths. Everyday things…like seeds and dirt to talk about how the hearts of people determine what happens when the word of God is shared with them. And sparrows and lilies in the field to speak about God’s providential care over His creation. And grapevines when talking about the importance of staying connected to Jesus to be fruitful. Jesus used all kinds of visuals and images. He spoke on being a gate that people enter to come to God. He used the images of salt and light when speaking of the illumination and preservation his disciples are to bring to this world. The Lord used children when talking about how one must receive the kingdom. He spoke of being The Good Shepherd in communicating his concern for and his watch care over those who are His. Jesus used the image of “fishing with a net” when discussing how God will sort out people in the judgment at the end of the age. I’m convinced that if Jesus came today, He’d teach in a similar fashion since we are such a visual society.
For years the church has understood the power of images. Many churches have stained glass windows. Art historians will tell you that each window tells a story and every image in the picture contributes to it. We hang crosses in our churches…and place them on church steeples. We hang banners to draw our attention to a particular aspect of God. We project Bible verses, so you not only hear them you see them.
I’m telling you all of this to explain my use of the highways signs in my sermons this week. My prayer is that hopefully, when you go home and see a stop sign…(post stop sign) they will remember the importance of stopping the careless use of their tongue and sinful habits. Or when they see the yield sign, (post yield sign) or the merge sign, (post merge sign) they will remember the importance of yielding to God’s will and merging their will with His.
Now we may jump to conclusions and say, “People won’t think that”…but I don’t buy that argument. Can I ask you…how many of you are wearing a cross around your neck today? What do you think when you see someone wearing a cross? Do you think of the barbaric means the Romans used to execute criminals…like an ancient “electric chair”? Or do you think of the sacrifice of Jesus? You see, we have taken one image…and because we have seen that image often enough and had it explained to us… we now view the cross in a different light.
Have you ever seen this symbol on the back of trucks, cars or on T-Shirts? (post image of an Icthus symbol) This is called an ICTHUS. And it means much more than “fish”. The word “icthus” is the Greek word for fish. And the five Greek letters that form the word form an acrostic which is a message to other Christians. The first letter
I--—Iesus, that is Jesus
C—Christos, that is Christ
TH---Theos, that is God
U-----Huios, that is Son
S-----Soter, that is Savior
So in the days of the early church to make an “icthus” symbol, you were saying in code “Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the Savior.” Because early Christians were often put to death for practicing their faith, they worshiped in secret places. A fish painted on the outside door of a house let other Christians know that they would be safe and welcome inside. You see, we have taken this “fish symbol” and now use it to identify Christians and Christian businesses.
When you see a Bible someplace, what do you think about it? “Here’s there is the best selling book of the last 38 years?” Or…there is the inerrant word of God.
You see, that’s why I used the road signs this week. I want people to think about their walk with God, even when they are driving. I don’t want you faith to be just a part of your life. I want your faith to inform every part of your life. What is it that Psalm 19:1-4 says?