I tried to live life well, stay in the present and to do right unto others and hopefully they would do right unto me in return. I always believed in God but didn’t truly know Jesus Christ.
I was brought up in a lukewarm Christian environment, officially our religion was Anglican, but in real terms we would only occasionally discuss religious matters on special occasions like Christmas and Easter, meanwhile all the school’s I attended were very secular.
For years I suppose you could say I prayed to a God I didn’t truly know. God of course, in His foreknowledge knew I would come to Him by faith later on and so I strongly believe He kept me safe and protected in those early years of my life.
So, I didn’t have a solid grounding or a strong foundation to anchor myself to, subsequently I didn’t see things through the lens of faith and made the mistakes that any lost, young person with a fair amount of freedom would make.
I used to go out and party and drink alcohol not because it was really that fun or entertaining but as a way to try and fit in and be accepted, likewise I used to think that chasing female attention at parties and bars was ok as that was a vehicle to potentially meet a girlfriend who may end up being my wife, I kind of thought there was always some random element to meeting Miss Right but it never worked out that way for me.
There is a Paul Kelly song that says I did all the dumb things and I can totally relate to that song!
I even pawned my rings as it where, if it meant I could go out with my friends on a Friday or Saturday night rather than staying in, saving what money I had, reading a book, doing something productive, taking stock and waking up refreshed the next day.
I seemed to have a fear of missing out. Really what I was missing out on was a loving relationship with Jesus and a group of committed Christian friends to help guide me through.
Naturally, there was a fair share of disappointment and failure as well, but I say to you don’t just throw in the towel after every major failure. For God always has a Plan B for our lives.
You may have missed out on God’s perfect will for your life, but God can always use you.
You may have done irreparable damage, but there is always a place to for you in His Family, in the Church, in this great community of believers.
Look, whether you like it or not God is going to use you one way or another.
Whether that be to use you as a kind of byword as how not to live your life, for example If you’re not saved and are living a worldly, sinful life God may use you to demonstrate to a Christian looking in, how not to do things or if you’re a saved believer, serving God and trying to live your best life possible, He may use you as an example of someone living life well, according to His ways. He may bestow extra blessings on you if He feels it will draw more people to Him.
This is the God we serve; He is a God of love; He is a God of wrath and He is also a jealous God.
‘(For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.’
Now there are consequences for our actions, for instance a divorced person could not still be the Pastor of a Church. For the Bible says ‘A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;’ 1 Timothy 3:2
Some people mistakenly think that plan A is still on the table, when they have moved past that option now.
God is the perfect judge so your Plan B might not be someone else’s Plan B but there is always hope though prayer and repentance when you’re a child of God.
The story of Samson is a great illustration of someone who messed up big time and missed out on the ultimate rewards in his physical life but in the end, he defeated his enemies and so God’s plan B for him still worked out well.
‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.’ Proverbs 24:16
To the saved person who is perhaps backslidden, I want to encourage you to get back up and get right with God. You can serve Him in a different capacity than you once envisaged but get up and get back in the fight for we are outnumbered down here, and we need you!
I say to you, don’t go back to the trash. There is still so much work to do in reaching the lost and many rewards for you should you come back onboard.
To the unsaved person, I say please, before it's too late, come to God through Jesus Christ and secure your eternal destiny today. We serve a risen saviour He’s in the world today!
I may of done a lot of stupid things in my younger life, things that I am sorry about and regret and I’m sure there were lots of good things I did too, but the one thing I got 100% correct was calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I’m here to tell you that there is nothing as exhilarating or liberating as being in fellowship with the Lord and walking in the light with Him. There is nothing more enlightening than having the Holy Spirit inside you leading you into all truth. I now have God’s very own DNA running through my veins and you can have it too!
‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Romans 10:13
My friend, Jesus didn’t just pay for the sins you’ve already committed, You might have moved passed God’s perfect plan for your life and that's ok, Jesus paid for sins you will commit past, present and future.
'But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.' Romans 5:8
When Jesus Christ died on that cross over 2000 years ago, you hadn’t committed any sins or done anything wrong yet! My point is His sacrifice covers every sin you’ve ever committed or ever will if you’ll simply call upon Him by faith alone. Just accept His free gift, and except it through faith, this is the Good News. This is the Gospel.
If someone gives you a gift and you agree to receive it there is no work on your behalf involved. You simply accept the free gift, receive it gratefully and enjoy the fruits of it. That is the best picture of Salvation I can give. God offers you a gift, completely paid for and you receive it.
It is that simple. The very moment in time you call on Christ as your Saviour is the moment you are set free from the bondage of sin. All your sins then, past, present and future are forgiven.
‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ Ephesians 2:8-9
Once you make that call by faith alone through trusting in Christ alone you enter God’s Family.
You are saved and can never lose your salvation. It’s done! You will no doubt still sin, mess up from time to time and God will have to bring you down a notch or two when you do, but you have been reborn, regenerated spiritually and have complete security in Christ.
‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
And to end with a bit more of my own testimony, I’m sure that if all had of gone perfectly in my younger life and someone had of given me the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a young age, I would have lived life very differently. Maybe I would have married young, had kids and gone onto pastor some idyllic Country Church somewhere! But likewise, I wouldn’t have met the people I did and had the experiences I’ve had so far. I wouldn’t have met my wife who I love, be able to attend and serve in a great Church and perhaps wouldn’t live in such a beautiful place as I do now.
God has been so very generous to me throughout my life, particularly after coming to Him through the Blood of His Perfect Son, almost 4 years ago now.
So maybe this life as some kind of Singer/songwriter, Evangelist and Preacher is God’s plan B for me. Well it’s a very good Plan B and I thank Him daily. And I know that I’m going to be a lot better at getting people saved if I’m living a better/cleaner life myself.
If I mess it up though I’ll be sure to get back up again and have a go at Plan C, Plan D, Plan E etc and this is the message I’d like to finish with here, if you’re a Christian and you’re still breathing God’s air, God can still use you mightily.
So why not go and give a lost person the Gospel today? Pull them out of the fire and show them God’s incredible and life changing Love.
‘Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.’
2 Corinthians 9:15