Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church


                   Highway 53

                                   February 16, 2014



A while back, I had a moment of epiphany where I realized that God had taken me down many roads in my life. Some of these roads were literal and filled with many amazing sights that I have cherished and carried with me for lo these sixty years. Some of the roads have been experiential excursions that Jesus gave to me that were packaged with blessings and challenges that have helped to shape me into the person I am today. These roads tested my character, proved my strengths, highlighted my weaknesses, but at the end of the day, they made me better.

Then there were the roads that were hard, covered in hazards and difficult to maneuver. These were roads that I had to travel to get to places I had to be...they were not roads of choice, nor were they roads of necessity...they were simply the roads that brought little more than pain, but at their end was the trophy of growth, maturity, and character.

There is one final road that I discovered some time back. It is a road that God designed for each of us found in His Word. It is a word that reminds us of our fragile voyage through our time on earth and the precious lessons we receive on this trek. It is found in the first five verses of Isaiah 53...but I have affectionately referred to it through most of my Christian walk as “Hwy. 53”...and that is what I would like to share with you today.


Along this road, there is...



A place of learning faith


Isaiah 53:1 NKJV



Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?


Our faith fuels our lives. The ability to believe past the circumstance is as valuable to us as the air we breathe into our lungs.


It is a necessary element to successfully making this trip and seeing the fruit from its venture.


The Bible tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Shaken faith makes for a rough trip down this road. This is why we must always keep our eyes on Jesus. If man is laying the precedent for your walk with God, you are in a place of peril.


Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.


Helen Lemmel 1922


A place of understanding humility



Isaiah 53:2 NKJV


For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There  is no beauty that we should desire Him.


We get ourselves so caught up in the “dog and pony show” of life.

When we look at Jesus life, we see on that came to earth of no effect to the flesh. He did not come to impress the world... he came to save it.


The flash and sparkle of worldliness is not the pearl in our oyster, It is the rat trap for the destruction of our soul. We must remember that everything on this planet is but temporary.


God did not send his son as a superstar...he sent him as the bright and shining star...that man would be attracted not to his physical beauty, but to his resemblance to the Father that we would have eternity with Him.



A place of renunciation of man pleasing


Isaiah 53:3 NKJV


He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.


Jesus did not come to earth to beg us to follow him. He came to show us the way to the Father. Because our maker loved us so much, he gave us a free will...the choice to serve God is ours.


Man pleasing is a horrible thing. It places man before us as our God. It affects what we do, how we act, and the choices we make. Man pleasing is the arrogance of the flesh ascending to the throne of our lives.



The last part of this scripture says “He was despised, and we did not esteem him”. Most people give more thought to how they honor their worldly friends every day, than how they treat the Lord of Lords in their life.


This is the “CROSSROADS” in our is the place where we will choose  our flesh...or where we will Choose Jesus.



A place of considering prices

Isaiah 53:4 NKJV


Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.


Man has become elective and choosy about his time with God in this life. He has become too busy for God. He has placed God into a timeslot in his life...rather than placing God over his life. It shows and it is ugly.


When God sent Jesus to earth to settle the sin problem, he pulled out all of the stops. He did not scrimp or bargain for a better deal. God sent His best...His Only SON. He did not give us salvation at discount prices. He did it once for all.


Isaiah 53:4 is where we have the choice of coming to a halt or putting our foot on the gas and stomping it. It is a stretch of highway where we have examined all He has done for us...determine that we will never know the immense depth of his love....and heading full speed into a life lived for Him.



A place of appreciation for great gifts.



Isaiah 53:5 NKJV


But He was  wounded for our transgressions, He  was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.



For me there is nothing more beautiful than the beauty and splendor of the mountains. It is a place where you can get a perspective of the vastness of God and the smallness of man.

I have been to the Swiss Alps in Europe and I have driven the Black Forest of Austria, but nothing does it for me like the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. It’s where I can truly get in touch in some way with God’s immeasurable love and mercy.


This is where our trip down “Hwy. 53” does not end, but comes to resolution. It is where we arrive and realize the accommodations that have been made for us. We can grasp the price paid for our stay in this paradise. It is where we can put into perspective the grandness of the reservations that have been made for us. Its where we say....put my bags in storage...I’m staying.

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