BORDERS

Our years of ministering the Word of God has necessitated that we travel a little more than the average person. Always, we are conscious of crossing borders between countries, states, even towns and cities. Sometimes, we have run into humorous situations, but other times we have met the rigid process by the determined officer examining our papers.

Crossing from Bermuda to the U.S.A. is most simple because the U.S. keeps immigration and customs officers stationed in Bermuda. That flight is treated more like a domestic flight.

We have never encountered a problem crossing from the U.S. to Mexico or coming back. Admittedly, I have heard all types of stories, but by obeying the laws of each border, we move freely from one country to the other.

One of our most interesting crossings was from Jordan to Israel. We were required to stand back from others and take a picture with our camera pointed to the sky. I would suppose that if I intended to blow anyone up, it would be me.

Years ago we were crossing from California to Arizona. We had been living in Alaska and fresh fruit was not available in abundance in our locale. We purchased a good amount of grapes to enjoy as we drove across the desert. However, we were informed that it was not permissible to take them across state lines. I backed the car up and we enjoyed our grapes before crossing that border.

You might recall how God set a “border” at the bottom of Mt. Sinai. (Exodus 19) The people were not to touch that border, or they would die. The 12th verse said: “You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.’” God set bounds for His people then, and He sets bounds for His people today.

A beautiful portion of Sacred Script that shows some clear-cut borders would be found in Ephesians 4 and 5. For instance, Paul told the believers that they should not follow the manner of the Gentiles of that hour: futility of mind, ignorance, hardness of heart, callousness, sensuality, greediness, deceitful lusts, falsehood, anger, stealing, laziness, unwholesome words or grieving of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:17-32) He also followed that with what should be the goal of every believer: “Be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” More was said following this.

Did we not say that there are borders for believers? These borders are not porous, as those of our country. They are legitimate borders that the Christian should do everything in his power to observe. The 30th verse of Chapter 4 warns concerning grieving the Holy Spirit, while the 18th verse of Chapter 5 enjoins upon us the filling of the Holy Spirit.

God is not being parsimonious in establishing borders. We are a “chosen” people. We have been chosen to a high and lofty calling. Any borders established are to enable us to be “imitators of God, as beloved children”. (Ephesians 5:1)

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