As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called to live lives that are pleasing to God and to make choices that honor Him. One of the most important decisions we will ever make is the decision to follow Christ and to surrender our lives to Him.
Unfortunately, many of us tend to procrastinate when it comes to this decision, putting it off until "someday" or "when the time is right." But the truth is, we never know when our time on earth will end. That's why it's so important to make the decision to fully surrender now, while we still have the chance. We are told in 2 Corinthians 6:2, "Behold now is the acceptable time; behold now is the day of salvation" (ASV). This is not a decision that can be put off or taken lightly. It requires us to be serious and to act with urgency.
Years ago in the state of Ohio, a young man was found guilty of a terrible crime and was sentenced to death. Those who loved the young man worked to have his death sentence commuted to life in prison. When this failed, the boy's parents were granted a face-to-face audience with the governor. When their attempts to change the governor's mind failed, they begged him to visit their son at least. He agreed and went without announcement.
When the young man saw a sharp-dressed man approaching his cell, he said to himself, "Here comes some preacher to bother me--I won't see him." As the governor stepped up to the bars, he said, "Good morning, James." The young man just turned his back and would not answer. So the governor continued, "Your friends have been talking to me about you, and I have come to see you." The prisoner responded with a snarl, "I don't care to talk today." With compassion in his voice, the governor continued for a third time, "James, if you knew the importance of my message, I'm sure you would give me an audience." But James again replied, "I don't care to talk. Please do me a favor and go away." Finally, the governor obliged his request.
Soon afterward, a curious prison guard came by and asked, "Well James, how did the conversation between you and the governor turn out?" "The governor!" James yelled. "You don't mean to tell me that little man who looked like a preacher was Governor Nash! "Yes, that's exactly who that was. He came to see if he could help you." The prison guard replied.
The opportunity for James to suspend his death sentence was gone forever. Sadly, a few days later, they put the black cap over his face as he cried out, "Oh God, what a fool I was! He wanted to help me, and I wouldn't let him."
Although this story has a very sad ending, it teaches valuable lessons about the dangers of procrastinating life's biggest decision. James missed the opportunity to have his sentence suspended, due to his lack of willingness to listen and engage with the governor. Unfortunately, this is also true when it comes to spiritual to God. Like the prisoner, we too, are under condemnation in the prison cell of sin. But oh how many of us are unwilling or too busy to listen and engage with our God? In John 5:40, Jesus pleads, "You will not come to me, that you might have life."
Precious child of God, it is critically important that you open your heart to God today. Do not reject that which you do not know. The prisoner in this story refused to listen to the governor due to his own preconceived notions--notions that turned out to be flat wrong. Thinking he was a preacher, he missed his one big moment to change the trajectory of his life. In the same way, many people today reject Christ because of their own preconceived ideas about Him. But I challenge you to come, taste, and see for yourself. Never let someone else's misguided opinion of God become your reality. There is simply too much at stake!
It is important for us to realize the fragility of life. Today's decisions can have eternal consequences. Time is short friends. Every day, thousands are going down into silence to await their day in court with God. Life's record is then closed. Probation forever ends. And each will have to give an account for the life we choose to live.
My friend, make a decision today, right now, to renew your commitment to Christ. Don't miss the opportunity to have your death sentence suspended. Although you may have strayed away in the past, and may be living in sin right now, the blood of Jesus is pure enough, strong enough to cleanse you from sin. He can deliver you from wrong habits. He can restore broken relationships. He can heal your broken heart. He can rewrite your past and provide a clear life purpose for the future. He can and will do it, if you choose right now. Let's pray together:
"Jesus, I want to surrender my life, my dreams, my past, and my future to You right now. I can't predict the future, and I don't know when my life will come to an end. But Lord, I want to be ready. Forgive me for neglecting to spend time with You. Forgive me for allowing my preconceived ideas to paint the wrong picture of You. I desire to know You personally, so please reveal Yourself to me in truth. I thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. In Your name, I pray, AMEN."
Praying for you--Pastor DL