"Let's go ride on the Blue Streak next," called Matt. His brothers, Isaac and Bryan, agreed, and they all hurried over to the line of people waiting for a turn on the big roller coaster. They were almost to the turnstile when an attendant stopped them. "Hold on there, buddy," he said. "Let's see how tall you are." He smiled at Matt and motioned to a mark on a post near the ticket gate. Matt looked nervously at his older brothers as he went to the post. He stood as tall as he could while the attendant checked his height. "I'm sorry," said the man, "but you're about an inch too short to go on this ride."
"But, sir, it's so close! Can't you just let him on?" pleaded Isaac.
"I'm sorry," the attendant said, shaking his head, "but it's not close enough. For safety reasons, every rider must be at least forty-eight inches tall."
Matt was very disappointed, but he urged his brothers to go on the ride without him. "I'll just wait here," he said. "You can tell me about it."
"You're sure?" asked Bryan. Matt nodded, so the other boys went on.
"I wish you could have come, too," said Bryan when they got off the ride. "But c'mon. Let's try the ferris wheel. It's a high one! I'll beat you there." Laughing, the boys dashed off.
That evening, the family talked about the fun they'd had. "But don't you think they should have let me on the Blue Streak?" Matt asked.
"Yeah," agreed Isaac. "I mean . . . only one inch too short! That should be close enough!"
Dad shook his head. "Close doesn't count in a lot of things. Math answers have to be exactly right . . . and words on spelling tests can't have a single wrong letter. I'm also thinking of another very important thing where being almost right doesn't help."
"What's that?" asked Bryan.
"I'm thinking of people who live a good life according to man's standards and think that makes them good enough to get to heaven," said Dad. "But God says they're still sinners and must be born again." Dad smiled at Matt. "Aren't you glad you meet God's requirement and don't just come close on that important issue?"
Matt nodded. "Yeah," he agreed. "Compared to that, the Blue Streak doesn't seem like a very big deal. I guess I can wait till next year to ride on it."
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you do lots of good things? Do you obey your parents, help around the house, respect your teachers and others in authority, treat other people well, and in general, live a good life? That’s great—people may even think you’re close to being perfect. But God says you’re still a sinner and that unless you are born again by trusting Jesus as Savior, you cannot enter heaven. (See the ABCs of Salvation at the end of this book.) Meet God’s requirement—trust in Jesus today.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: John 3:3 (KJV)
Jesus said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
*Verse displayed is NKJV