Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. (Exo 32:26)
It’s appropriate to ask: “Are you on the Lord’s side?” Most people are peaceful and want no conflict, even when the Lord says: “Are you on My side?” Jesus said: … If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. (Luke 9:23-4)
This is one of the first verses I memorized in my teen years. It's easier to quote than to practice. The cross is an instrument of death. Jesus was saying, “Don’t wait until the cross is forced upon you, because it won’t be forced on you”. Take it up…daily…and follow Him. Taking up our cross daily is not about being saved. It’s about living the Christian life after we are saved.
In the 1950’s, Youth for Christ week-end rallies attracted a lot of young people. During the warm-up part of a rally, the microphone was passed around for teens to ask questions. A pretty young lady took the microphone and said: “I’ve just won the vote for being the most popular student at my high school. How can I be a good Christian and continue to be the most popular student at my school?”
The visiting speaker said: “Young lady, if you live for Christ at your school, you may remain the most popular student there. But, you may not win that title again if you live for Christ. Jesus was popular for a while and then the crowd turned against Him and nailed Him to a rough, wooden cross to get rid of Him.” That wasn’t the answer she was looking for. A lot of teens made professions of faith in Christ in those meetings. Some of them were genuine and changed the lives of a lot of young people. But, some of them were simply caught up in the excitement of the meetings and they quickly faded away.
Jesus told one of the smartest and most religious men of His day, Nicodemus, that he must be born again. He was a member of the Jewish Supreme Court and highly respected. But, he must be born again. Jesus… said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:3) Jesus also said No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)
In other words, people cannot be saved just any time they decide they will be saved. It doesn’t work that way. Salvation is of the Lord. People have no desire to be saved until the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin, their sinful condition and of their need to be saved.
It happened to me in October of 1943 when I was nine years old. I had practiced “cussin’” so I could be want of the rough boys I wanted to run with. I had been taught John 3:16 in the 2nd grade. We had to say it every morning in the public-school I attended at Alpine, TN. I didn’t want to go that way. But when ol’ rough Dan Graham preached every night in the bean market, about the 3rd night I was sitting in the middle section toward the front on a lumber bench used in tent meetings.
The Spirit of God came upon me, convicting me of my sin and my need to be saved. I pushed my way through the standing crowd and went to the altar, full of people wanting to be saved. Nobody was there to talk to a boy…except the Lord. That’s all that was needed. I gave my heart to the Lord, got saved, and wondered what it was all about. I wondered if I could quit “cussin” because I had a strong habit by then.
The next day, it was gone. Something was different. I knew I was saved. I had peace in my heart toward the Lord. I was on the Lord’s side. That was 73 years ago, and I’m still on His side. This article is on your computer because of what happened to me in the bean market.
When I talk to people or give them a John 3:16 card, sometimes I ask them if God has said anything to them lately. “Do you need to be saved?” Or, “Do you know how to be saved.” I try to sow a seed, a verse of Scripture and I test them to see if God is dealing with them. I can’t save anyone. I can ask them if they’ve picked out the songs they want sung at their funeral. I’ve conducted so many funerals that I know they are going to die, just like I’m going to die. I can help them be saved if they want to be saved. But, I can’t save them. Who is on the Lord’s side? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 11, 2017 – THURSDAY
A.M. 2Kings 1-3 P.M. John 3:22-36
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)
Song for Today:
‘Neath the Old Olive Trees (2:26) (Chuck Wagon Gang)
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