James 5:19-20 – My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (NIV)
There is hope for everyone, even the worst of sinners. I know this to be true, for I am part of that category. We all make ill-advised choices, especially when we are young adults, some of which can ruin our lives entirely. We follow our own path and determine our own future. We hate being wrong and don't want to repent of or admit our foolish ways. Some of us would rather keep making the same sinful choices rather than say that we are wrong. Being ornery and stubborn, mule-headed and strong-minded comes with the territory of growing up. What we eventually become is largely based on how willing we are to change direction, especially if we are following a self-centred and self-destructive path.
When I was addicted to alcohol, I never needed anyone's advice. My mother wept over me; my father gave up on me, and my friends began to abandon me. I stubbornly refused to concede that I had a problem. I believed that I was right and everybody else was totally wrong. I wouldn't seek help and almost got myself into a lot of serious trouble. If I hadn't met Christ on the road that I was on, I probably would be dead by now. It took His presence in my life and the candid words of His followers, who were my peers, to turn my life around. Their love convinced me to repent. Their understanding and faith saved me from my sinful addiction.
Sometimes, I worry about our young folk at church, college, or in their new careers. Some of them are making foolish choices just like I did, so I pray for them on a regular basis. I want them to know that the lessons of faith that they learned as children or teenagers are still relevant in their lives today. I want them to know that when all else fails, Jesus will never let them down. I want them to have a place of acceptance and love, renewal and hope in their lives. They are still, and always will be, children of God's grace. My frequent prayer is that they will personally experience this for themselves in the most crucial times of their beautiful lives.
Points to ponder: Who are the young people in my church? How often do I think about and pray for them?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You personally know the young people in our lives who are an important part of our family, church, and community. Please be with them each day and bless them with Your guidance. Let them know that they are fully loved by You, as well as by Your people. Help them to make good choices which will bring positive benefits to their entire lives. May all of them experience Your loving embrace. In Your holy name, we earnestly pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Lover Of My Soul" (Lyrics)