“Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison.” (Heb 12:15, GNB)
It was obvious that many in our tour group were disturbed by what they experienced in the Dark Corner of Disgrace. They needed a word of encouragement, and so I said, “Praise and Prayer always go together, and ascend as a sweet aroma of faith and love before the God of Heaven and Earth.”
And then I prayed, “O Lord Jesus, we, Your ransomed people whose lives are being rebuilt from the ruins of selfishness and sin, yield our humbled hearts to become the habitation of the Lord.”
As I spoke, God began to fill us with His Spirit!
King David stepped down from the stage and said to us, “God takes no pleasure in the fall of His children, nor in the shame that scars their lives. He is great in mercy and abounding in grace. Ever ready to receive and to restore, He waits with open arms to embrace freely and fully all who turn to Him and call upon His name.”
Solomon, his son, joined him and said, “We learn from those who have fallen, as well as from those who have stood faithful to the end. We have received grace and mercy; therefore we extend grace and mercy to others. For our single desire is to be like the Lord.”
“Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look after one another,” Paul then added, ” to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace. This will prevent any root of bitterness from shooting forth and causing trouble for many.”
In light os this, may I ask you a question? Where are you, dear friend, in your life? Where has the road taken you thus far? Are you tossed about with uncertainties? Halting in your devotions, and flagging in your zeal? Are you hot one day, and cold the next? Has your affection faded and your commitment softened? Does your heart hunger for something more?
Perhaps in these following words of an anonymous poet, you might find a voice for your own feelings…and deeper longings.
O the shame and bitter sorrow that a time could ever be,
When I let my Savior’s mercy plead in vain, and proudly answered,
“All of self, and none of Thee!”
Yet He found me. I beheld Him dying on the cursed tree.
I heard Him pray, ‘Forgive him Father.’ And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of Self, and some of Thee.”
Day by day His tender mercy; healing, helping, guiding me;
Sweet and strong, and O so patient, brought me lower till I whispered,
“Less of Self and more of Thee!”
Now higher than the highest heavens! Deeper than the deepest seas!
Lord, at last Thy Love has conquered! Grant me now my soul’s desire:
“None of Self, and all of Thee!”
May the grace of God empower you to live in the full measure of His will for your life! May you be a source of joy and encouragement to others around you, inspiring them to forsake lesser things and pursue the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.