Week 32: Friday – Life is an Adventure!

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”– Matthew 11:28-30

The very foundation of a Christian’s sense of adventure is the truth of an almighty and loving God that has found him, brought him out of darkness, and made him an heir of His kingdom with his son Jesus Christ. We call Him “Abba, Father” and He has been referred to over the ages as a Mighty FortressHealerDeliverera Refuge in times of trouble, among many other names and descriptions that speak of His almighty power and His infinite love. To be found by Him is truly the beginning of the greatest adventure of anyone’s life.

Gordon Fee tells us about the beauty of being loved, found, redeemed, and restored by our loving Father in Heaven:

The genius of the biblical story is what it tells us about God himself: a God who sacrifices himself in death out of love for his enemies; a God who would rather experience the death we deserved than to be apart from the people he created for his pleasure; a God who himself bore our likeness, experienced our creatureliness, and carried our sins so that he might provide pardon and reconciliation; a God who would not let us go, but who would pursue us—all of us, even the worst of us—so that he might restore us into joyful fellowship with himself; a God who in Christ Jesus has so forever identified with his beloved creatures that he came to be known and praised as “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:3).

One of the most moving songs of worship is the song I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. It is a song about our personal commitment to Jesus Christ. It is a song that speaks of a forwarding faith journey that does not fear being left all alone, being persecuted by the worst of our enemies, or being sent to the farthest corners of the earth. It is a song that tells of a commitment not only to Jesus but also to his call for us to carry our cross and follow Him.

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The lyrics of the song is about a man from Assam in northeast India. Through the life and ministry of a Welsh missionary, he was converted to Christianity along with his family in the middle of the 19th century. He was called by the village chief to renounce his faith and he declared, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” As a response to his decision to remain faithful to Jesus Christ, his wife and children were threatened to be killed. He continued with the words, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.” His steadfastness led the village chief to have his children and his wife killed and when it was his turn to be executed, he was singing, “The cross before me, the world behind.” There truly no turning back. Christ was his sufficiency, his reward, his all. His testimony led to the conversion of the village chief and others in the village.

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus;

I have decided to follow Jesus;

I have decided to follow Jesus;

No turning back, no turning back.

Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow,

Tho’ none go with me I still will follow,

Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow;

No turning back, no turning back.

My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;

My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus,

My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus;

No turning back, No turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me,

The world behind me, the cross before me;

The world behind me, the cross before me;

No turning back, no turning back.

Persecution, suffering and death are rendered meaningless once we have discovered the boundless love of Jesus. The man from Assam, by his steadfastness to Emmanuel, had given us one of the most beautiful songs in the history of Christianity. The greatest adventure of his life is an adventure that looked backwards to the finished work of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago in Calvary. He looked at a promise that has been already fulfilled that is why he did not fear death and the momentary sufferings of this world.

Another Indian man experienced the loving embrace of Jesus after he had reached the end of himself. He came from a rich culture with thousands of years of wisdom but when he was forced to face himself and ask himself questions about the meaning and the reason for his life, he was not able to find an answer from within himself. He was searching for significance, he was searching for life but could not find it on his own terms. He decided to commit suicide before he even reached his 18th birthday. He survived his attempt to take his own life and was subsequently led to Jesus Christ at a time when he has lost every reason to live.

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He is Ravi Zacharias, one of the most important apologists of the 21st century and this is what he wrote about his loving relationship with Jesus:

I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I have remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny.” – Ravi Zacharias

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:3-9

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