“…For He Himself has said: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:5-6
Jesus Christ came into this world to reach those who feel that nobody cares. The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him. The Lord Jesus Christ does care and He is reaching the lonely and the desperate, the confused and the hurt, the depressed and the disillusioned. Jesus Christ, Himself is reaching out to you.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. As we turn away from our sin and turn to Christ we find forgiveness and freedom.
In 1977, shortly after my conversion to Christ, I wrote this poem:
Jesus Christ is a friend to the friendless,
A helper to the helpless.
He gives freedom to the addicts.
He loves the unloved.
He accepts the outcasts.
He changes the unchangeable.
He forgives the unforgivable.
He accomplishes the impossible.
He saves sinners.
He seeks the lost.
He gives direction to the aimless.
He gives hope to the disillusioned.
He gives Truth to the confused.
He gives joy to the depressed.
He gives purpose to the purposeless.
He gives hope to the hopeless.
He redeems and He renews.
He touches and transforms.
He answers prayer.
He works miracles before our eyes.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; all things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”2 Corinthians 5:17
God Gives the Very Best to those Who Leave the Choice to Him
Have you surrendered your life to Christ? Pray to God and give Him all the bad things in your life: your hurts, disappointments, fears, failures and sins. Give them to Him and leave them with Him. Let Jesus Christ heal you inside and forgive you and clean you. He will change you and turn your sorrows into joys, your fears into peace of heart and mind. Submit to Him and He will give you a new direction in life. “Repent and…be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
Frustration and dissatisfaction are the first symptoms of a backslider. No matter how deeply hidden inside, there is that despondent recognition that he is missing out on the abundant life Christ came to give. There is that uncomfortable realisation that he is rejecting Christ’s love. The backslider knows that he is out of touch with God and that his once treasured relationship with the Lord has ceased. He is beginning to wonder if he will ever again experience the joy of fellowship with Jesus, the confidence of being in the centre of God’s Will, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything is working together for good and that inexpressible fulfillment of being in contact with and union with Jesus.
What happened? How could anyone who had experienced God’s perfect will settle for second best? What on earth could have made him give up? Why did he fall away from Jesus and settle for the world?
Was it public opinion, group pressure, or social acceptance that troubled you? Did you find the going too hard or the requirements too tough? Was the opposition too strong or the temptation too great?
Why did you settle for less than God’s best for you?
It is a tragic fact that in the spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18) of the Christian life there are many casualties. That is why Jesus taught us to follow in His footsteps (1 Peter 2:21) because the devil’s landmines should not be found in the middle of God’s road (Isaiah 35:8-10). As long as we remain in God’s perfect will we can weather the storms and assaults with safety (Matthew 7:24-27). It is because of the very real danger of the enemy (1 Peter 5:8,9) that the Word of God urges us to put on the full Armour of God.
The Lord Jesus warned us that those who receive the Gospel in a superficial way and do not lay a solid foundation of full commitment will fall away (Mark 4:3-20). Those who only want the blessings and benefits are not willing to pay the cost and make the sacrifices. The seed which is sown on rocky ground will not last long (Luke 14:27-33).
Strangled by Sin
Jesus further warned us that those who allow sin to remain in their lives (1 John 3:8) and do not repent of it and root it out will find that, just as the thorns choke the plants, so these sins will undermine and strangle their spiritual lives (Matthew 13:7).
The Bible also clearly warns of the dangers of bring concerned with what people think of you (Proverbs 29:25) as that tempts us to compromise on principle and follow their example rather than the Lord’s (John 13:15). We must live to please God not men (John 8:29).
Dual loyalties also undermine our devotion to the Lord (Matthew 6:24). Whatever comes between ourselves and the Lord must be rooted out and forsaken (Hebrews 12:1). If money, or ambition, or friends, or materials things, or education, or politics, or selfish desires receive more attention and importance than the Lord does, then we must choose this day whom we will serve (Joshua 24:15,19). Jesus Christ is either Lord of ALL or He is not Lord of all.
All too often the problem is that the backslider neglected his spiritual life. The Word of God is to our souls what food is to our bodies. Nobody can survive spiritually without feeding on the Word of God (Matthew 4:4). You can become a spiritual skeleton by neglecting regular, prayerful and obedient study of God’s Word (James 1:25).
Jesus Christ gives us a new start in life and a new life to start. We must not only surrender to Him all our sins and failures, but all the good things that He has entrusted to us as well: your talents and your abilities, your plans and your opportunities, your energy and your time, as well as your love. Give everything to Jesus Christ and determine: no longer will I do with them just what I want to do, or what other people tell me to do. From now on I’m going to use my talents, time and treasure as God wants me to. I will ask: what would Jesus do in my place?
I will no longer live just for fame and fortune, for popularity and prestige, no longer will it be just for me, myself and I, anymore. From now on I must live for Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost, to help and to love and to reach this world for Him.
Our Highest Priority
His Great Commission will be my supreme ambition. His last command will be my first concern. My highest priority will be to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbour as myself. We only have one life – it will soon be passed; only what’s done for Christ will last.
Guidance and Provision
The will of God will never lead us – where the Grace of God cannot keep us. God’s servant is God’s responsibility. Where God guides – He provides. God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.
First Things First
Our priority must be to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, then all these things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33). When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:3-5
Peace with God
The Word of the Lord promises us: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3.
Do you know that peace that passes all understanding?
Does the peace of Christ guide you?
Is your mind steadfast?
Are you trusting wholeheartedly in Christ alone?
Revive Your Devotional Life
If you want to revive your devotional life turn to the Psalms. The Psalms are the middle book of the Bible, the biggest book in the Bible, the Prayer book and Hymn book of the Bible. If you do not know what to pray, if you do not even want to pray – turn to the Psalms and begin to read and pray through them. There are 150 Psalms. If you pray through just one Psalm a day it will guide your prayers for 5 months. Make the Psalms the daily prayer of your heart and you will experience a revival in your devotional life.
More than Conquerors
This is God’s Word for you: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit… and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose… who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?… Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:1,28,35-39
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa