There was a certain man who was convicted of a crime. He was so helpless he could not afford a lawyer, his friends and family had turned their backs on him. While in the prison, he had a sober reflection, felt sorry for all he did and wished he could be given another chance. Well, it did not change anything because he was going to be sentenced to death after all. Nobody cared about how he felt, no one was interested in the new person he had become. Everyone saw him as the notorious person he used to be. Days went by and his hope began to dwindle. He threw in the towel and it soon dawned on him there was nothing he could do about his situation. The day he appeared in court, so many witnesses testified against him, it was so bad he knew his end had come. From nowhere, an influential old man spoke up and decided to defend him. He pleaded on his behalf and assured the judge the man would not repeat what he did. Finally, he was discharged and acquitted!
The old man realized the criminal had a lot of potentials, he saw how sober and sincere he was and he decided to be his guarantor.
God has a specific purpose for creating us. He formed us and ordained us even when we were in the womb and He predestined that we will live to show forth His glory. Romans 8 vs 30, ‘moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called and whom He called, them He also justified and whom He justified, them He also glorified’. The Adamic [sinful] nature in man created a wide gap between God and man, we lost our calling and became slaves to sin. Thanks be to God who in His infinite mercy and love gave up His only son for the remission of our sins and when we were yet sinners Jesus died for us. He reconciled us back to Himself and imputed His righteousness in us. We therefore can be called sons and daughters of God.
It is disheartening to know that we still take God’s love for granted despite all He has done for us. Each time we forsake Him and yield to the power of sin, we nail Him to the cross one more time. Remember, He first loved us, we were chosen by Him and we must make ourselves available for His use. Let us examine the story of the prodigal son. He had everything he wanted within his reach, he got carried away by ephemeral things of this world and asked for his share of his father’s property. He went into the world, squandered it all and became a pauper. Imagine a prince living in abject poverty. He realized he could not continue to live in misery, he returned to his father and of course was welcomed home. So many of us [so-called children of God] have lost our identity. We now move around without the consciousness of who we truly are. We have left the treasures God has prepared for us for frivolous things. We are now easily lured into sin, we are easily influenced by unbelievers and we succumb to pressure from those around us. This is so common among the youths, we have so many of them who were born and brought up in good Christian homes but because of one reason or the other have fallen from Grace. Romans 1 vs 28, ‘even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do things which are not convenient’. When you know the truth and ignore it, you are not different from those that do not have the knowledge of God.
The availability of God’s grace should not be an excuse for moral laxness. We cannot continue to sin deliberately and expect the grace of God to abound. You cannot outsmart God. He will never force anything on you, the choice is yours to make. You see, God created us but we have been empowered to make choices. Only the wise will choose life which is embedded in Him. For this reason, some individuals feel they can do whatever they like with their lives. They do not care about the plans God has for them, they act like they created themselves and they feel they owe God no apology for their kind of lifestyle. We seem to forget it costs God nothing to cease our breath, we get up daily because He has decided to sustain us. Have you ever wondered why God still forgives those who genuinely forsake their sinful ways? Well, it is because He is not interested in the death of a sinner. Jesus came that we may have life and have it in abundance. Jesus did not come to condemn the world; He came that through Him the world might be saved. Forsaking your old ways simply means you are grateful for the gift of salvation, you believe He is able to erase your wrong doings and give you newness of life. Imagine how happy the prodigal son’s father was when his son came back to him feeling sorry for all He did. He welcomed him with open arms and immediately his identity changed.
For those who are seated with Christ in heavenly places, your duty as a child of God is to bring back the erring ones. If all you do is sit back and judge others, I am sorry for you. Matthew 7 vs 1 & 2, ‘judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’. Our primary assignment on earth as Christians is to make disciples for Christ. We should not rejoice in the downfall of others rather we should rise for the salvation of the lost. We should strive to let our light shine into the life of others. Remember, not everyone has the same measure of grace. Although we are all equal before God, some are specially ordained by God. You would find out that what one person does and gets away with, another will do and get punished terribly. Do not covet another person’s grace! Peter’s grace was different from Judas’. Make your way right before God.
Every believer should see it as a great opportunity to bring sinners back to God. The question is: how exactly can we save the lost souls? I believe we cannot do this without the help of God. The first thing to put into consideration is your lifestyle. Does your lifestyle portray you are a child of God? Are you living a life worthy of emulation? What do people say about you in your absence? The disciples never told people to call them Christians, the people of Antioch perceived they acted like their master [Christ ] and they gave them the tag, ‘Christians’. People no longer read the bible, they watch our actions, they are on the lookout for the things we do not attach meaning to and they try so hard to find faults in us. It is amazing how we have over populated churches and huge church buildings still, the world is diminishing morally. Are you proud of the kind of life you are living? Can you be called a true child of God? Are you bringing others to Christ or depopulating the kingdom of God? If your answer to these questions is yes, I say congratulations and if otherwise, ask God for the grace to retrace your steps and come back to Him. Another important thing to do is to express the love of God. It is very important for us as children of God to have proper understanding of what love is. When you love your neighbour, you would never want to see them perish. Love is living for the needs of others. We can only know the true definition of love when we know God. Ensure your light shines into the life of others. Matthew 5 vs 16, ‘let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven’.
Strive to reach out to the unreached, show love to the unloved and be a blessing to others. You are indirectly propagating the gospel. Christianity is a religion of love because God Himself is love. When a lost soul sees that you exhibit this character, he/she would not hesitate to accept the good message you want to present. Do not hesitate to pray for them that God may give them a heart receptive of His word. Ezekiel 11 vs 19, ‘and I will give them one heart and I will put a new spirit within you and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and I will give them a heart of flesh’.
Do you think God has turned His back on you? I would say it is one of the antics of the devil to keep you on his side. Like aforementioned, Jesus does not delight in the death of any sinner. Do not think your sin is too great to be forgiven. All you need do is acknowledge you are a sinner, forsake your old ways and give God room to operate in your life. Pride and ignorance will only lead you to eternal doom. God is forever waiting to accept you but you have to do it as quick as possible. Not everyone would get a second chance like that criminal. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.