There is a sense today that the church; the people of God, are somewhat weary, tired and maybe even a little confused as to what to do in the face of ever increasing evil in this world. We are certainly living in what the Bible declares to be, “the last days.”
It is easy to drift off and lose sight of our anchor; when this happens, we need help, so today we ask God for that help.
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
Before meeting Jesus, we were all very much like this blind man. Oh, we could see with our eyes all right, but spiritually speaking, we were quite blind! We may have known a thing or two about God; we may have known that Christ was God’s Son.
Most of us know about Christmas and Easter, for some of us, it was the only two days of the year, that we really stopped for a moment to consider Christianity; even going so far as to set foot in church on one of those two days!
For most of us, that was the extent of our knowledge of God! We were quite blind . . . and for good reason; the Bible declares that the god of this age (satan) had blinded our minds . . .
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
You see, satan did a wonderful job of keeping us in the dark; while we were without Christ and in unbelief, we could not see the truth, no matter how many times we heard it!
Then something miraculous began to take place. We began to feel something stirring inside; our heart touched in ways, we could not understand. The mention of God and the work of His Son Jesus began to spark an interest in us.
Maybe you heard a message on the radio or TV, perhaps at one of those annual church events you reluctantly attended.
You heard the dramatic message concerning your sin, and about Jesus mission to come to this earth and give His life as a ransom for yours; offering forgiveness for your life of sin. Drawn to Christ, you could not explain it. The Bible reveals an interesting truth about this . . .
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
As God drew you in, you realized that you were a sinner, not in a generic sense, but you felt it and knew it, to the point where you wanted to hide from God, yet He kept pulling you near. The Bible declares to us . . .
. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
This glaring truth stared you in the heart, and you knew that without some intervention you would be eternally lost and that there would be a high price to be paid for the sin you were enveloped in!
You became aware that if you persisted in this sinful state, you would be forever lost, with no hope of redemption! Again, the Bible reveals more truth . . .
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It was at this crucial point that you decided to go “all in.”
You risked everything and trusted in Jesus! You went to Him burdened with guilt and perhaps shame for the way you lived your life. You fell at His feet, sorrowful for the way you lived your life, you told Him that you would repent and live for Him! You asked Jesus to come into your heart, into your life . . . and He did!
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
This you did, openly and freely, unashamed of your allegiance with Jesus. The people around you knew; there was no mistake, you changed, and not just a little, old habits discarded and new ways began to unfold!
The joy you began to feel was awesome; the reality that your sins, which were many; completely forgiven! You had fellowship and friendship with Jesus. You developed an unquenchable hunger for the words of God. You dove into the Bible like a starving man who just sat down for a Thanksgiving dinner!
Your hunger and passion to know more about this Jesus would cause you to skip meals, just so you could read, pray and learn more about Him! Nothing was about to come between you and Him!
- Do you still have that desire?
- Do you still hunger and thirst for His Word?
- Have you lost any of that first love?
Does your heart still burn with the fire it once had, or are you like the man in the opening Scripture who saw people, but they looked like trees walking around. Is your vision blurred? If so, then you, like that man, may need a second touch from Jesus!
I know firsthand how this happens. At an early age, I came to believe in Christ; through a Sunday school, teacher my heart opened to the things of God, and I believed.
As God began to reveal Himself to me, I started reading the Bible daily. The Bible is not an easy Book to read, especially for an 11-year-old boy, but I was determined to know more about God.
As the years passed by and I became a teenager, I began to drift away from those moments with the Bible.It was not a sudden falling away, but a gradual, gentle slipping away; I hardly noticed it happening.
Then one day a handful of us, young teenagers at the time, decided to camp out one night. As we were getting ready to go camp, we decided that we would swipe a 6-pack of beer from my friend’s dad . . . and we did!
I recall with clarity, sitting under the train bridge in near the village we lived in, and as the sun was going down, we all guzzled down that 6-pack; it was awful, but we pretended that it was good! When I grabbed that beer, something stirred inside, there was a powerful voice beckoning me not to do it.
I realized later that it was the Holy Spirit of God who was trying to prevent the problems that were about to arise in my life! The peer pressure was too great and I gave in, just like the rest! That evening, I grieved the Holy Spirit of God!
As He gently tried to woo me back in His direction, I resisted. I wanted to spend my time the way I wanted, and I did not want God interfering! I wanted to be with my friends, I wanted to experience what they experienced!
Over the next few years, alcohol was not enough, and I found new and interesting friends, who had other things I could try . . . and I did! By the time I was 18 years old, I was a wreck!
However, even then, God was trying to get through to me, but I continued to resist Him. Each time I resisted, my heart would be hardened just a little bit more!
The farther from God I drifted, the worse I began to feel. The devil began to whisper in my ear, things like; “see, you are bad and God will never forgive you” or “you will never be good enough for God, so why try.” The Bible declares that satan is a liar . . .
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Satan is a formidable foe, and he is always looking for ways to distract you from God. He will tempt you in a thousand different ways; his goal is to get your eyes off the things of God and onto the things of this world; if he can accomplish this, then he is well on the way to destroying your life.
There is great temporary pleasure in sin; the excitement and adrenaline it can produce are addictive. The spiritual side of sin is deadly. The feelings of guilt, shame and frustration can cripple you.
Sin is fun until you drink too much and while driving home, you hit a small child on a bike, taking a life. Sex is fun until you find out from the doctor that you have aids, or you find out you are pregnant and now you need to decide what your next steps are, taking a life, or allowing one to live! Drugs are fun until you see your friend lying dead from an overdose.
As I continued through life, I began to believe the lie that God was done with me. I can still vividly remember sitting in a bar Jamestown New York one night. The bar tender was flipping through the channels; he stopped briefly on a station long enough, for me to see Billy Graham with that striking pose of his; arms crossed and one hand under his chin, and he declared; “what you need in your live is Jesus.”
I remember running out of that bar in tears; as much as I wanted Jesus, I thought I had sinned too much and had resisted Him too long!
- Do you feel beyond forgiveness?
- Do you feel like you will never live up to His expectations?
If you feel this way, then I have some good news for you! You see, after 18 years of running from God, He kept drawing me back to Himself. When I finally stopped long enough to turn around, He was standing right there, arms open; ready to forgive . . . and boy did I need forgiven!
Just like the blind man in the opening Scripture, I received a second touch from Jesus and I could see clearly.
- How about you . . . is your vision blurred?
- Are your spiritual eyes seeing clearly?
- Do you need a second touch?
Perhaps, the hand of Jesus has never touched you, if so; this is your Day! Maybe you can relate to my story; you wandered off, never intending to go too far, but you lost your way and now you are hurt, confused by life, wondering where God is, and if He even really exists; He is here and would love to have a conversation with you!
If you want salvation, if you want restoration, if you want healing, whatever the case may be, please take a moment and talk to Him about it; it will be a turning point for you!
Satan wants you to miss the opportunity, he wants you to believe his lies, he wants you to wait until the next time, today is not right, he wants you to believe that God will not forgive you, remember, he is a liar!
Listen to the words of God Himself from the Book of Isaiah . . .
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.