Beyond the Entrance

Hi…
I was visiting Disneyland the other day and I noticed a very excited little boy. He was dressed up in a Mickey Mouse shirt under his Mickey lanyard with a few Disney pins and even had Mickey socks on…no Mickey ears yet, I was guessing that was one of the first stops. “Look there’s the train,” he shouted out. Then he kind of squealed because a character was in the entrance area taking photo with people as they entered the park, this little guy could not believe his eyes…’They are real!,’ he said with a gasp.

Once up at the turn-styles he proudly displayed his ticket and the Cast member said, ‘is this your first time?’ He responded with a big ‘YES!’ He slowly walked into the entrance area of the park, eyes wide open, looking around, soaking in every detail with a smile from ear to ear. After a few steps in he just stood there saying, ‘I’m here, I’m here, I AM in Disneyland,” as he threw back his head, opened his arms and slowly spun around. It was fun to see him so excited, his parents were so pleased, and those of us who had been watching this scene unfold, were smiling as well.

But what happened next was very interesting, and a good challenge for all of us in living out our faith. What happened was this little boy’s parents let this moment soak in as he took his first steps into Disneyland, but now it was time to move on. So the parents went to take his hand and lead him into the park…you know through the little tunnels into all the fun beyond the entrance; the sights, the rides, the characters, the adventures, the food, the castle…it’s all beyond the entrance. Well, this little boy did not want to go and started to throw a bit of a tantrum saying, “I want to stay in Disneyland, I want to stay here!”

As I walked by, I heard the parents trying to explain that this was only the entrance and there was so much more beyond, they said they had been beyond the entrance before and it was so much fun. The kid was just not buying it and he was not going to leave. I never found out what happened, but how sad if that little guy were to have not seen and enjoyed all that Disney offers beyond the entrance.

As we passed through the tunnel and took in the sights and pleasant aromas of Main Street in Disneyland, I thought about how I can be just like that little guy with faith. See we come to faith in Jesus as we hear about God; His nature, character, and creation as we read or hear what the Bible teaches 2 Timothy 3:16. We also learn about this nasty reality of sin that has separated us from God Isaiah 59:2. This separation is not good news, but there is good news in that there is redemption and restoration of sin’s marring through Jesus 1 John 4:10. However, this is just the entrance…there is so much more. There is a regenerative life waiting to be lived that is beyond our entrance into faith…that thrill of life lived in relationship with God!

Yes, it’s great to come to faith, and I hope you have (by the way if you are not sure and would like to, write me back and we can start a dialog) but living the faith is where the real adventure is.

We experience a real family relationship with God…                                                 Ephesians 1:4-5 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined (chose in advance) us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,

We live out our destiny…
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

We experience life in order…
Matthew 6:33-34 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (put in order). 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Our character is transformed and produced…
Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

And yes, blessings beyond measure…
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

All this and more is beyond the entrance of faith, it is experienced in the living out of our faith in everyday; as we continue to read and study the Bible, practice God’s principles and commands, strive after The Lord’s purposes, and seek to follow Jesus (doing what He did in our context). As we take the risk, make the sacrifice, and walk on in faith we experience the life we were created to live.

Are you living and enjoying faith beyond the entrance? Maybe you do, awesome! Keep enjoying life lived Jesus’ way. Maybe it’s time to take on the adventure of living live Jesus’ way. If so, get help and step out, you will have the time of your life!

Seeking to take faith beyond the entrance with you,

Mike

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