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May I See Your License and Registration?
Andy Bustanoby
(C) March 26, 2005

     I was out on the highway settling down for a long trip.  The road
     was well designed--divided with four lanes.  The speed limit was
     sixty, and my cruise control was running about sixty-three.

     I noticed a state trooper about a mile behind me and thought, I
     wonder if he'll ticket me for three miles over the limit.  I figured
     that he could if he wanted to because I was breaking the law.  So I
     slowed down to sixty.

     The trooper followed me for a while and then passed me doing about
     sixty-five.  I noticed that he was being followed by a car matching
     his speed.

     I thought, That guy isn't very smart.  He may be following, but he's
     still breaking the law, and certainly the trooper knew it.

     The trooper moved over to the right lane after he passed me and
     slowed down to sixty.  The other car stayed in the left lane, slowed
     to about sixty-three, and slowly passed the trooper.

     I thought, What an idiot.  He's challenging the law to ticket him
     for doing sixty-three.  Doesn't he know that no law-enforcement
     officer can permit such a willful disregard for the law--even though
     it's only three miles an hour?  Sure enough, after the car passed,
     the trooper flashed his lights and pulled him over.

     As I drove past them, I mused about this.  James 2:10 came to mind.
     "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet goes one-mile-an-hour over
     the speed limit is guilty of breaking all of it" (Bustanoby Modern
     Version).  Actually, James said, ". . . yet stumbles at one point is
     guilty . . ." (NIV).

     The driver doing sixty-three is like a lot of people I talk to on
     the road to eternity.  I ask, Are you going to be ready when you
     pull up in front of those Pearly Gates?   They tell me, Sure.  I
     keep the law most of the time.

     They never read what Jesus had to say in His Sermon On the Mount.
     Speaking to those who thought they would be accepted into heaven by
     keeping God's law, Jesus made it clear that "most of the time" won't
     do.  After pointing out how exacting God's law really is, Jesus
     said, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect"
     (Mt. 5:48).

     I'm not saying that keeping the law will get you into heaven.
     Christ died for our sins because we can't possibly be perfect.

     Are you one of those people who is trying to make it to heaven at
     sixty-three-miles-an-hour?  I don't know how close you are to the
     end of the road.  But when you get there, don't be surprised if you
     see flashing lights and hear someone say, "May I see your license
     and registration?"

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