Home > Articles > Special Features > "  
 

/_-large.jpg" width=146 height=200 alt="" border=0 align=left hspace=14 vspace=10>
by Michael Harbour

_.html" onmouseover="window.status='View a simpler page format that works well with printers.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" title="Printer-friendly Version">Print This Article   _.html" target="note" onmouseover="window.status='Send this article to a friend.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" onclick="OpenNoteWindow('');" title="Send this article to a friend.">Send it to a Friend  

 
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    Temptations come. Every temptation looks good to us. If it did not look good, if we did not think that it would be a very good thing for us, we would not indulge. What is it that tempts you?

    Ken (not his real name) grew up in Atlanta in a Christian household. He went to church with his mother, but never knew his father. His dad was never interested in being a father to his son. Ken is charming, intelligent, and handsome. He was tempted to make use of these gifts. He knew that his easy smile and smooth style was powerful. He liked to go to parties and live outside of the boundaries that he had heard about from his mom and from the church. He was not too interested in work. Fun was his ambition.

    Sixteen months ago, Ken came to Galveston from Atlanta for a party on the beach. He found his fun in dangerous living. He found a beautiful young woman to use. There would be consequences for both of them. About a month ago, Ken came to Houston for another round of parties. He had stayed with some rowdy friends and they had gone out to a club. He charmed an exotic dancer, or perhaps it was she who found a vulnerable man with a little bit of spendable cash. She took him to a motel. He woke up the next morning with no money, no wallet, no ride. He began to walk back toward the apartment where his “friends” had let him stay. He wondered how he would get home to Atlanta. It could take him all day to get across Houston to his personal belongings. Atlanta might as well be a million miles away. That is when he saw the church, and decided to ask for help.

    Ken thought he would give me a “song and dance” routine. He did not want to tell me the truth about what he had been doing. He just wanted a ride across town and bus ticket to Atlanta. I decided to preach to him for a bit. I told him that I thought that God had brought him to my office, and that I did not want to dishonor God’s intent. I asked him to tell me the truth, and if he did not want to do that he could resume his walk. He was ashamed, but he decided that he would tell me. I told him that God thought that he was a person of great worth. I told him that the women that he had been using for his pleasure were beloved daughters of God, people of great worth, too, and that if he disrespected the daughters of God, he could expect to be in trouble. He was hopeful to get some help, so he smiled, and was charming, and said, “You are right.” Inside, he was angry. I told him that I thought that God had a plan for his life, and that he was not living up to the gifts that God had provided. I took him to get a hamburger, to get his clothing and personal belongings, and to the bus station with a ticket to Atlanta.

“Didn’t we put you on a bus to Atlanta about a month ago?”
    Last Sunday, after early service, a man walks up to me and I look at him and say, “I know you. Didn’t we put you on a bus to Atlanta about a month ago?” He said, with a smile, “I am mad at you. I am mad at you for what you said to me a month ago, and I am mad after listening to you preach. Can I talk to you?” Ken told me that after he got back to Atlanta, he was contacted by Texas Child Protective Services. The woman that Ken had been with in Galveston had had his baby and had given the child up. Ken was the father of a six-month-old son. He had always told himself that he would not do what his dad had done. He could not let this boy grow up without a father. Ken was now back in Houston to meet his son, and to go before the family court to gain custody. Ken came to church, to mark a change in his ambition. He told me, “I don’t want to go and see my son as a lost man. I want to go in there as God’s man. I want to be baptized.”

    Do you mean it? Do you mean that you would die? Do you mean that you would trust God with your future? Would you declare your faith in God and your determination to live by the power of the Spirit of God living in you? Would you die to sin? He said yes. He stayed for bible class and for second service. At the end of the service, I invited him up to the platform. His heart was pounding. There were so many people! I leaned over and asked him, “What can I tell them?”

    “Nothing!,” he said with eyes wide. “Well, tell them that I am a father. Tell them something that I heard my mother say. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. Today I want to be a man. God’s man.” When we baptized him, it was a powerful moment. God had set Ken on a new path. I am praying for Ken as the next chapter unfolds. He is no longer a million miles from home.

    He will still be tempted. He needs to be in a community of people that want to be faithful. He needs help. Maybe this lyric from Avalon could help him, as it helps me. “I don’t want to go somewhere, if I know that You’re not there because I know that me without You is a lie. And I don’t want to walk that road, be a million miles from home. My heart needs to be where You are. So I don’t want to go.”

 
Share Related
_.html" onmouseover="window.status='View a simpler page format that works well with printers.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" title="Printer-friendly Version">Print This ArticlePrint this Article

_.html" target="note" onmouseover="window.status='Send this article to a friend.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" onclick="OpenNoteWindow('');" title="Send this article to a friend.">Send it to a FriendSend it to a Friend



Heartlight encourages you to share this material with others in church bulletins, personal emails and other non-commercial uses. Please see our Usage Guidelines for more information.
Search

      © 2002, Michael Harbour. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Michael Harbour
      Publication Date: July 16, 2002


 

 
 
Hundreds more articles
like this are in the

ARTICLE ARCHIVE
...or search to find an article by keywords:



  Visit our Sponsors

Heartlight only exists because of your support! Click above to visit a sponsor, or donate to join us in our ministry.