Fizzled or Far-reaching?

A message is preached, a stirring invitation is extended. Several leave their pews and move to the front, to an altar or prayer room. Tears are shed, prayers offered, commitments made and seekers leave with joy and excitement. Pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. are thrilled. Church folks are rejoicing. What about three months, six months from that joyous time? Did it last? (Some do go on, by the grace of God, many don’t). Have those, who were moved, grown and deepened in their walk with God? Are there some who have fizzled, maybe even disappeared? Consider a different situation: The facts of the gospel are clearly set forth; there is a realization of the exceeding wickedness of sin(s), a sense of our guilt and lostness is felt, the love, mercy and grace of God is explained. Then the implications of receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord are made very clear to the mind and heart of any potential convert. (All of this is done in dependence on the Holy Spirit to use it). Some listener(s) really understand(s). Maybe, only one! He or she owns their guilt and condemnation, reaches out for God’s love and forgiveness, receives the grace and mercy offered and surrenders body, soul and spirit to Jesus as Savior and Lord and is truly born again. They may do this quietly, thoughtfully. They might do it  privately or they might “go forward.” There may not be a lot of excitement. However, a gradual change is noticed. There is growth, a deepening love for God, a close walk with Him and an awareness that this person has become God’s child and is wholly committed to Him. In the first example, what looked promising fizzled; in the second example, and with little or no excitement, God’s work in the life became evident and continued and matured. This is what Paul was urging in Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” in the hymn, “I Surrender All,” Judson W. Van DeVenter expressed what one must do with heart and will: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His Presence daily live.” Selah! The essentially emotional response will likely fizzle; the Bible-grounded response, with or without excitement, will prove to be far-reaching.   Ron

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