Congratulations to all of our graduates and families. While graduating High School is a great milestone, it is the transformation in the lives of these students that I celebrate. A transformation that has changed the trajectory of their life and eternal destiny. As I shared with one Senior, “now, continue to follow God’s lead as He reveals His perfect plan for you with courage. Don’t miss an opportunity to say ‘Yes’ to Him!”
In Luke, Chapter 18, verse 35 we find an encounter between a man and Jesus that not only changed the trajectory of his life, but his encounter inspired other people because of the transformation he experienced. This weekend we look at his condition before meeting Jesus, the request He made of Jesus and the transformation that followed.
Here are some discoveries we can identify with through this encounter:
Physical Blindness can be difficult, but there is something worse, and that is Spiritual blindness. Romans 11:8 speaks of people who are in a spiritual stupor "they have eyes to see, but they do not see spiritually." 2 Corinthians 4:4 says "The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel....."
People who are walking in spiritual darkness hear about sin and a savior and being born again but they aren't interested enough to investigate, or they are too embarrassed to ask and they cannot see that they are sinful and in need of forgiveness. They cannot see that they will die one day and stand before a holy God. And they cannot see that Jesus Christ died for them personally on a cross and wants to forgive them and empower them to live forever.
Now, if you are offended by this, before you shut down and stop listening, realize that what God wants for you right now is that you be honest about your spiritual condition (Is Jesus Christ the Savior and Lord of your life? Have you responded to his invitation by professing your faith that He is the Son of God, repented of your former way of life, your sin, and surrendered to Him in Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of His Holy Spirit living inside of you?) Be honest and decide how you are going to respond to the truth. The choice is yours.
The Spiritually dead at some point become alert to the opportunity to discover Jesus. The Lord has come unexpectedly in your life. You need to know that You were born for this moment to discover Jesus Christ and His great love and grace and desire for you. Don’t let it pass you by. Respond. Here’s how:
Declare my need for a Savior. God wants us to come to him in humble surrender admitting our sin, our need for the mercy of a savior. Proverbs 28:13 says "He who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces his sin finds mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)(NIV)
Be aware that There are individuals and forces that will try to keep me from coming to Jesus. Remember 2 Corinthians 4:4 "The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel.....” When you feel this resistance, double your efforts and remember:
I have the undivided attention of Jesus. Now, knowing this truth, If Jesus asked you today, which He is, “how can I help you?”, what would you say? "Lord, I want a stronger faith, remove the darkness of my doubts." "Lord, I want to be sober, take away my dark addictions." "Lord I want to love my family, my wife. Will you take away my blinders and help me to see all that is good and positive in them."
This is where life truly begins – when I surrender to his transforming power through baptism.
Three questions I challenge you to begin answering before we are together this weekend: 1) Is it possible that you have placed your hope in yourself, maybe a religious experience, instead of a relationship with Jesus Christ? It is possible that you have been blinded to this reality until now? 2) Do you recognize the opportunity before you this very moment? Have you heard the foot traffic, have you had some things happening in and around your life that are letting you know that Jesus is close by? 3) Will you talk with Him now about the status of your soul and relationship with Him and His Church. Are you willing to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sin and receive his Spirit that transform you?
I want nothing more than the privilege of helping you answer these three questions and other’s about God’s transforming power .I look forward to sharing this with you Saturday at 5:30 and Sunday at 10:30. Don’t let anything keep you from Him.