Monday I had a meeting in Calera, a smaller city that sits on I-65 just a little southwest of Birmingham, Alabama. Normally when I drive to Birmingham I take highway 280 because it is the straightest shot to The Summit shopping area (Anthropologie, anyone?), but Calera is on the other side of Birmingham so from Auburn I drove south on I-85 and then north on I-65.
I don’t travel on I-65 between Montgomery and Birmingham very often anymore. As a child I found myself frequently riding down that road as we would drive from Birmingham to Montgomery to visit my grandmother or on to the beach for a vacation. And sometimes you forget what’s on a stretch of road if you haven’t driven it for awhile, and sometimes things on a road can change quite a bit.
As I’m driving to Calera I start to see an extremely large flag come into view just north of Prattville. My assumption was that it would be an American flag, but just imagine my shock when I got closer and realized it wasn’t an American flag at all but a ginormous Confederate flag! Now I wasn’t shocked because it offended me. I was shocked that it was still there. It’s still there because it is on private property and was erected by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and at least for now, the government can’t make them take it down (but just wait – I’m sure that’s coming).
After that I drove up a little more and to my right saw the sign that as a child scared me to death every time we drove past it. It’s still there, again sitting on private property so there it will stay. Its message is pretty simple:
And lastly I came up on a highway sign that simply read:
War on Terror
As I drove on to Calera I thought about how all 3 are related and high on people’s minds these days.
“Go to the church or the devil will get you.” “Sons of Confederate Veterans.” War on Terror Memorial Highway.”
All these signs point to issues that are prominent in the America in which we live today.
And all are issues that the enemy uses to confuse and destroy friends, families and yes, this country.
John 10:10 starts by saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” And let’s be clear that the thief is our true enemy – satan. He comes to steal our joy, kill our hopes and dreams and destroy our families and our country. It’s what he does. It’s his single mission. It’s his 24/7 obsession.
But our hope lies in the second half of that verse: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” That’s why Jesus came to this earth and died for our sins – so that each one of us can have an abundant, full, joyous life. And if you never go to church to hear the gospel or you get offended when someone flies a flag you don’t like or you refuse to acknowledge terrorists want to destroy our country because we are (or at least we used to be) a Christian nation, the sign that terrified me as a child will come true in your life. The devil will yes indeed, get you.
Sharing the gospel is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING any Christian can do right now. Let’s stop being offended and scared of what really doesn’t matter and start being bold about the only thing that does matter – where a person will spend his or her eternity. Share. Be bold. Stand up for Christ. It’s what Jesus did and it’s what He calls us to do, or else… just read the sign.