What shall I do? We all find ourselves either asking that question or at least pondering it at times. Recently as I was driving down the interstate I saw a sign that read, “West bound lanes closed ahead. All traffic must exit.” I was faced with the question, “What shall I do?” Since there was no convenient alternate route, I made the mental decision to stay as long as I possibly could, then find a detour. Travelling went fine for a while, but before I knew it there were brake lights ahead of me, and travelling came to a stop. Things had not gone as planned!
Salvation and the New Birth
Like thousands of other Nigerian Christians in recent years, John Yakubu and his family fled their home to escape repeated attacks by Boko Haram terrorists. But, unable to feed his family in the refugee camp, John returned home to collect some of his livestock. There the terrorists seized him and demanded he convert to Islam. On his refusal, they tied him to a tree, cut his head and body with large knives, and left him for dead. However, he was later rescued and taken to a hospital for treatment.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt 13:45-46).
Editor’s note: This article is an example of an inspirational devotional that was recently shared in a Sunday morning worship service.
A few years ago a local farmer was called into question for a land use violation. Eventually a hearing was held, and the two sides came together to look at the issue. This was not something the older farmer looked forward to or enjoyed. He was definitely out of his comfort zone!
There is a teaching which states that a believer once called and chosen unto salvation and eternal life is no longer in a position to lose it. It teaches he is secure and can never fall from the grace of God. This is false.
In the Old Testament, God spoke to the need of repentance. He also promised that the time would come when He would give the results of repentance – a new spirit and a soft heart. Very early in the New Testament, it became evident that repentance was of prime importance. Both John the Baptist and Jesus began their ministries by preaching repentance. If repentance was taken out of John’s message, there would not be much left.
Jesus was “a ram caught in a thicket”! Jesus’ sacrificial, vicarious cross death satisfied the justice of God. This act can set men free from the law of sin and death! Hallelujah!
Young Pedro was walking on the way to high school. When he got to the railroad track, the crossing gates were down and a train approaching. He made a run for it. But he had missed his mark by 15 inches. He was struck by the train. The efforts of emergency crews were of no avail. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Fifteen inches for poor Pedro was the difference between life and death. He was probably planning on another typical school day, but it turned out so differently.
It was May 9, 2008, and I was delivering mulch into Western Cor rectional Institute, a State minimum and maximum-security prison facility in Allegheny County, Maryland. This prison houses approximately 3,000 inmates and covers an area of 30 acres. I needed to arrive before 2:30 p.m., since the inmates would be in the yard all going back to the mess hall. I was to be out by then.
Jesus had a friend named Simon. Jesus loved Simon. Jesus loved Simon in exactly the same manner as He loves all people, and just as fervently too. What Simon obviously misunderstood was that he was a sinner, but that Jesus was not. Deep down inside Simon lurked a thought that perhaps there was in himself potential for righteousness. Therefore, Simon seriously erred. Simon did not know how sinful he was. Simon did not know that only God is righteous. Simon had a faulty concept about how holy his guest was and how much he needed Him too!