Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures. He experienced the death of his son. A fire in Chicago around 1871 devastated the city; invested hugely in real estate, the disaster wiped him out. Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe by boat for him and his family, his wife and four daughters. He was unable to go, struck by another vessel the ship sank, his daughters all drowned but his wife was saved. Knowing God as his personal Lord and Savior, he held on and wrote the hymn, “It is well with my soul”. His words, “Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul”. What is it that empowers man who has been through so much to have such a faith? Is it made-up phony mysticism with little substance? I think not! Do not make the eternal mistake of dismissing Christianity as a foolish collection of mis-guided writings. Rev. Alistair Begg said on April 29, 2010 of our response to the Truth of our Savior God, Jesus the Christ, that “this is the great issue of life”!
Slave trader, John Newton, a seasoned sailor, thought he was in control when one day a large storm at sea forced him to see God. He stopped his focus on himself, saw God as a loving and forgiving God, and wrote “Amazing Grace” in 1779. His words: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” Later he became a minister and dedicated his life to the Gospel of Christ. Oh how we think we are in control. I pray you gain the eyes to see as John Newton did. We do need to be open to God, give in to His control, and not our own. We are lost. We have no control. I remember the day when the world hiccupped and 5,500 people died in Kobe, Japan (the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake), or terrorists brought down Americas’ tallest structures, the two 110 story New York World Trade Center buildings, and killed 3,000 innocent people in 2001.
You are ignorant in your unbelief; it is because you simply don’t know the truth. I know nothing of heart surgery; I am ignorant when it comes to heart surgery. We all fall ignorant somewhere, but what I share with you now is truth. I have personally grown to know this fact: Jesus Christ is the one and only LORD and by His mercy and saving grace, you can be saved for all eternity if you will admit that you are a sinner, repent from your old ways, and accept Jesus as your LORD and Savior, dedicating your life to Him. You will find a beginning. A beginning of Christian growth, and as your roots sink deeper into the fertile ground, your tree will take root and start to produce fruit. As you grow in your faith in Christ Jesus, your old self will pass away more and more, soon to become only a bad distant memory to gage contrast; a newness of life will take hold of you as it did Paul. Of this change, Jesus had this to say:
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:8-11 ESV)
This joy is available to you right now. Invite Jesus into your life, turn from any destructive behaviors, seek a body of nearby Christians, and tell them you wish to know more of the love that Jesus has for you. You must feed on this new found forgiveness and love, and battle against the old self. It is like the Two Wolves:
“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandchild about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My child, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’ The grandchild thought about it for a minute and then asked grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’” (author unknown)
We all want what the good wolf brings to us. This goodness can only come from one source; it only comes from having a close relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the fertile ground into which you must plant your tree; get your nourishment here.