Martin Wiles

Dr. Martin Wiles

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12 NLT

The path seemed just right for me -- and a lot of other folks I loved.

My grandmother’s house in Vance, South Carolina, nestled itself just a short distance from my aunt's and uncle’s home, both connected by a winding path that was well worn by an almost continual stream of foot traffic. I loved staying with my grandparents in their old farmhouse -- sitting on their wrap-around porch, listening to the crickets after the sun settled in for the night. And I also loved visiting my aunt. Her youngest son trumped me by just three months.

Many were the days when I’d trudge from my grandmother’s house to my cousin’s house so we could play together. We were country boys living in a period before technology had overrun kids’ imaginations. My feet helped wear down a path already cut deep by relatives and friends. Every time I walked the path, a smile creased my face as I thought about the fun I would soon have with my cousin or the good meal I’d eat at my grandmother’s house. He was a master of make-believe games, and she was a chef superb of Low Country South Carolina meals.

The path -- which has long since disappeared from lack of use -- was a good path, but I’ve taken some paths that weren’t. Paths that led to bad decisions … or unhealthy relationships. Paths that took me further than I wanted to go … and took me longer to get back from than I cared for.

Solomon was right. A path does exist that appears right, but it doesn’t end where we want it to. Jesus spoke of the same kind of path hundreds of years later. He called them narrow and broad paths and said most people choose the broad path -- the one that leads to destruction.

The death Solomon speaks about and the destruction Jesus says the broad path leads to is spiritual death … eternal separation from a loving God who wants all people to have a relationship with Him. But traveling these paths also leads to death even while I’m living. The kind of death that brings a famine. The kind of death that prevents me from enjoying life as God intends for me to experience.

Saying there is only one way to heaven may be politically incorrect, but that’s the message of the Bible. Believe in Jesus … or else. God has created no other way. Sin separates us from Him, but repentance brings us into a relationship with Him and puts us on the right path.

Make sure the path you’re walking leads you to God.

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Martin Wiles is managing editor of Christian Devotions, assistant editor of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and author of Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. His work is featured at www.lovelinesfromgod.com.


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