The Way to Paradise

Ausbund, 51

The way back to God is narrow and steep. The one that wishes to climb it must watch out lest the trouble, anxiety, terror, and need that accompany it, make him lose his resolve.

His love dare not grow cold. His absolute confidence in God dare not waver. People of the world set their sights on possession and wealth. They forsake God. But the one that seeks eternal joy must tell the world goodbye, forsaking all created things for Christ.

He must give himself, body and life, to Christ. For his sins to be forgiven he must become Christ’s disciple, thinking of nothing else but serving him, taking not one step in other directions, saying, “God will keep me in his love until I obtain the crown!”

To this God answers: “That I will do if you cling to nothing else but me, if you love me from the heart, and prepare to suffer for me. Then I will reward you and take away your pain. I will bring you into my Kingdom and we will rejoice together. Where I am you will be, under my protection, seeing my glory forever.”

For this reason I pray God will give you grace and strength to accept the discipline he lovingly applies. God will do what it takes to bring you back into the paradise Adam lost, and Christ restored, beautiful and clear.

The beauty of Paradise is God. The sun, the moon, and all the stars in the firmament praise him. Birds of the green forest fly up and the music of their praise echoes through the trees. Everything that lives and moves in heaven and earth points to eternal Good.

If you want to live in pardaisical joy, ask God to keep you from evil. Then you may rejoice for eternity in what he made. No one knows the extent of the joys we have yet to discover in Christ.

Those that live by the will of Christ avoid the pride of the world, the feasting, the drinking, and lust for money and goods. They avoid buying and selling for gain, for God has said all earthly profit will disappear on the day we stand to give account before him.

Everyone—the great, the powerful, and the common—that follows the world will find the door Christ entered, shut. But the one that follows his steps, though hated and mocked, and suffering shame, shall discover it leads to eternal life.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for showing us the Way!

anonymous Anabaptist writer, 16’th Century, Europe

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