James 5:19-20 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (NIV)
When I think about how I became a Christian, I sometimes shudder at what would have happened to me if I hadn’t found Jesus. Like most young Glaswegians, I was besotted with alcohol and couldn’t get enough each day to feed my addiction. Somehow I managed to keep my job as an insurance clerk during the day, but after my work, my sole quest was to get to the nearest pub and drink as much as I could buy or mooch until I got drunk. It was a self-destructive cycle which worried my parents and deeply concerned my true friends. When I eventually came to Jesus and poured out my heart to Him, He turned my life around and set me on a path which, thankfully, I am still walking upon.
Some people think that Christianity is just about loving one another and being at peace with other folks. Those are great gifts to the world, but there’s more to our faith than the Earth dreams of. Christ has the power to change our lives completely for the better, totally and forever. Most folks fear change and resist the urge to humble themselves before Christ, to plainly ask Him for mercy and grace, support and renewal. We all make mistakes in our mortal lives, but perhaps the greatest mistake of all is not taking the opportunity that Christ graciously and lovingly gives us – to stop heading down the wrong path, to turn around to face Him and to allow Jesus to direct our future lives.
Perhaps you are in a muddle or your life is an actual mess. Maybe you’ve made some decisions recently that have harmed you or hurt others. It could be that you don’t know what to do or how to change things. You may even feel trapped by your own choices. Please know this: Jesus has the power to overcome what you are presently facing and He is willing to give you His power in order to prevail. It is no shame to admit that you have made some bad decisions – we all do that at times – but what would be a shame would be to miss out on a wonderful opportunity to re-set your life and begin again: Jesus can give you that, even now as you read these words.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know of all the bad choices and sad mistakes I have made. Despite these errors, You are still willing to grant me forgiveness and allow me a fresh start for my life. Help me find the courage to admit my mistakes and then turn to You for mercy, grace, hope, and love. In Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please contact John by email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s Cross drawings called ‘First Dawn.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3353/3326921922_68d111931e_b.jpg