I Did it My Way! No! God’s Way!

By: Pastor Shuffel Peter Hepburn Sr./JESHURUN Ministry

All believers in Christ know that there is only one way! This way is the way of Jesus Christ, the Way of the Cross. Yet in every generation men and women come along wanting to do it their way. Puffed up with pride and arrogance, they set out on a fool’s journey, trying to be different and better than any other, intent on doing it their way.

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TEXT: John 14:1-7; Isaiah 30:19-21

Recently I saw a video snippet of a man singing “I did It My Way” at a funeral service, but the Anglican Priest stopped him dead in his tracks!…….. hello/ welcome…….. The priest gently scolded the man telling him that in his church they did it God’s way! The video went viral with a lot of support for the priest, I am told. I was sorry for the singer, and hope the incident did not add to the family’s grief. However, the priest was right. This is not the kind of song that should be sung in church. The priest should not be blamed for this embarrassment, because he said he reached out to the family three times without success, to discuss the program for the funeral service. In my humble opinion, too many secular songs are sung in churches at weddings and funerals. There is no place for this.

After all, JESUS CHRIST used a whip to throw out the money changers and traders from the temple saying, “My house shall be called a place of prayer.” The synagogue, or the church is a sacred and hallowed place. The ways of the world do not belong in God’s house.

Many say that the biggest problem with the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” song is the arrogance and selfishness being expressed. The words “I,” and “my” occur at least 32 times in the song. The song was popularized by many, but none made it more popular than Frank Sinatra for whom Paul Anka originally wrote the lyrics. He wrote the song for the singer at a low point in Sinatra’s life, at a time he was considering quitting! Frank Sinatra’s rendition of the song which was recorded with one take was an instant hit, and stayed at the top of the charts for 75 weeks doing what no other song had ever done. And this all happened in spite of the fact that Frank Sinatra did not like the lyrics of the song. His daughter said he despised the song, because it was self-indulgent and self-serving.

She said it’s stuck to him, and he could not get it “off his shoe.” In other words, it was so popular people kept asking for him to sing it wherever he went. The people of the world love this arrogant self-serving way, and were just lapping it up. I have sung this song many times, and I’m sure you may have sung it also, the lyrics are catchy and seductive. The way of the world is MY WAY, and it is seductive! It is sad that Frank Sinatra said he did not believe in a personal God, nor did he believe in Jesus Christ. Yet, he felt compelled to turn to the Catholic Church for solace late in his career when his mother died in a plane crash. At his death he had a Catholic burial. It is my hope that he did it God’s way in the end.

All believers in Christ know that there is only one way! This way is the way of Jesus Christ, the Way of the Cross. Yet in every generation men and women come along wanting to do it their way. Puffed up with pride and arrogance, they set out on a fool’s journey, trying to be different and better than any other, intent on doing it their way. And of course they fail every time. Then a new generation come behind, and makes the same mistakes, all over again. There really is only one way! God’s Way. In the book of Acts, Christianity is several times referred to as, “The Way.”…… Before he became the Apostle Paul, Saul of Tarsus had persecuted followers of “The Way.” In fact in Acts 9:2 he is seen asking the high priest for letters to the synagogues of Damascus, scripture says he was asking this, “so that if he found any who were of ‘The Way,’ whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” He was locking them up!

We all know that later, Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit converted Saul to ‘The Way,’ and changed his name to Paul. Later in Acts 22 we see the converted Apostle. This time he is in chains having been arrested by Roman soldiers for preaching ‘The Way.’ He asks the soldiers to allow him to address the crowd of Jewish people that had gathered for his sentencing, and they consented. He told the crowd that he was indeed a Jew. He said he was, “taught according to the strictness of our Father’s law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” Then he told them how he was converted after hearing the voice of the Lord speaking from heaven saying, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?” And as a result of the Apostle Paul’s sacrifices: we gentiles have come to know the only Way, who is Jesus Christ the Lord.

There are many since the Apostle Paul who have railed against the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but later repented when they discovered that indeed His way is “The Only Way.” I hope and pray that the young man singing at the funeral service will forgive the priest, and come to accept that the only way to do it is, The Father’s Way, through Jesus Christ. This message is not just for this young man who made the error of singing ‘I did It My Way’ in church. It is for the writer and preacher of this sermon. This message is for the Anglican priest, it is for the loved ones and those who attended the funeral, and for all who would listen to it. We all need to examine ourselves, especially the writer, and determine whether or not we’re doing it God’s way! One day Jesus Christ was teaching his disciples, and He was giving them the most comforting words that He had ever given them, which thankfully have been passed on to us in John 14. He told them, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” At this point the Apostle Thomas, anxious to know the Way, asked the Christ where was He going, and how will they be able to follow Him to that place? Thomas, who was later called, ‘doubting Thomas,’ wanted to make sure that he would be able to find Jesus and the Father, as well as the Way to these mansions Jesus was talking about. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” In other words, pay careful attention to the things I do. Pay careful attention to the things I say, and you will be able to find me. I am the Way, walk behind me, follow my trail. And of course he laid his trail in blood, all the way to the cross at Calvary.

Today that road in Israel is called, ‘Via Dolorosa,’ the sorrowful road. Perhaps you’re wondering if you can be certain to find this pathway and even if you can stay on it. In the book of Isaiah the word of God tells us that even though, “The Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, this is the Way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” The Lord is telling us here, that His way is not easy, we will have many afflictions. His Way is the way of the cross, a road strewn with sorrows and heartaches.

Nevertheless the Holy Spirit who is our teacher will be very near. He will guide us along the Way that leads to Jesus Christ, and those heavenly mansions. In Hebrews 10:19 the writer says that Jesus’ broken body is ‘the new and living Way’ for us to enter the most holy place. Christianity is called ‘the Way of Truth,’ in the writings of the Apostle Peter. In the writings of Luke it is referred to as ‘the Way of God.’ However, the followers of Jesus Christ were called by a number of other names over the years. At one point His followers were called Ebionites, and also Nazarenes. However, it is reported that in Antioch they were called by the Greek name Christianos, in English this became Christian or Christianity. Christianity simply means the Way of Jesus Christ, it is not a religion, it is a relationship. It is the only theological doctrine based on relationship with The Father Himself, through His Son, and it is The Only Way.

Today some reject the name of Christianity, and in the same way some even reject the name of Jesus Christ. Not only is Jesus Christ The Way, but he also is the Truth and the Life! It is important to accept Him as the truth because there are so many deceiving falsehoods out there. Holy Scripture says that many Antichrists have gone forth teaching many false doctrines. Hold to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and you will never be lost. Fortunately we have no need to fear that we will not be able to know truth. Because God’s Holy Spirit is entrenched in His position as a deposit on our inheritance, and rules in the hearts of all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord. He continues to lead us into all truth daily, and protect us from error. He does this only for those who really want to know truth. Government leaders and politicians all over the world are feeding people with alternative realities, with their version of truth. They do this so that they can lead them down a garden path to be used and abused by them and their cronies. But if the Holy Spirit is in your heart, He will not allow you to become comfortable with a lie. I say, He will not allow you to become comfortable with a lie! He will not allow you to be a respecter of persons, and to become comfortable following blindly after wicked people! You will demand truthfulness and transparency from all.

Finally, Jesus Christ is the Life! He came to show us how to live victoriously! He lived a life of daily communion with the Father. Never moving unless the Father gave Him peace, and unless it was in accordance with the Father’s word. He said his ‘meat’, His food was to do the will of the Father. In other words, it was His daily bread. It was the one thing that energized, motivated, inspired and fired Him up every day. Everyday He was working at fulfilling the Father’s will, and bringing forth His kingdom here on Earth. His Way is Truth, and leads us to eternal Life.

Picture of Pastor Shuffel P. Hepburn Sr.

Pastor Shuffel P. Hepburn Sr.

The Senior Pastor of Jeshurun Ministry Bahamas. He has a Ph.D. in Christian Psychology and Counseling.

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About Jeshurun

Jeshurun ministry is a non-denominational Evangelical, outreach ministry in Freeport, Bahamas. We believe the whole Bible to be completely and equally inspired and that it is the written Word of God. We are located at #6 International Bazaar across from The Royal Islander Hotel, 2 Doors South of the Castaways Inn and 2 Doors East of the Perfume Factory. Come worship with us this Sunday!

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