Made New

By , September 7, 2012

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

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His name was Robert Marshall. He lived in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, from the late 1800’s to the time of his death in about 1958. He married and had 9 children. His wife was a lovely Christian lady who raised her children in the fear of the Lord.

The sad thing about Robert was that he was also married to the bottle. Saturday nights he attended the pub in New Glasgow and drank himself drunk. Then he would stagger home and beat up on anyone who happened to get in his line of vision. Different times the children hid under their beds to escape the wrath of their father.

Late one Saturday night Robert left the bar at the same time as the Salvation Army was outside at the curb having an “open air meeting” as they called it. He decided that he would go over and break the meeting up with a few well chosen words.

What Robert had not counted on was the fact the Lord was with those brave young men and women. When he got to the meeting he stopped and started to listen instead of shout.

The Spirit of God opened his heart (see Acts 16:14) and he then paid close attention to the person speaking. The gospel hymns they sang also reached his heart.

Soon a spirit of conviction for his sins swept over him and he knelt down and poured out his heart to the Lord in a prayer of repentance. According to those present he knelt down a drunkard and rose up a sober man.

From that day forward Robert Marshall became a beloved person in his neighborhood. Everyone loved “Robbie” Marshall. I first learned to love this man when his daughter, my mother, took me down to Nova Scotia to meet him in 1954. I had heard about him but now I knew this man who was so closely related to me.

He seemed so gentle and kind that I could not imagine my mother told me the truth when she described how she and her family hid from him Saturday nights when he came home from the bar. I soon learned to call him “Poppa” like the rest of my cousins.

What happened to Robert Marshall long before I was born was that the overpowering grace of God turned him from the path to eternal death to the way of righteousness. Such is the wonderful grace of God that He can and does reach the spiritually “dead” and resurrects them (Ephesians 2:1-6).

Perhaps you have such a person in your family who has substance abuse. Your family life may be a living hell. Possibly no one outside your family circle knows of the pain you suffer.

Remember my maternal grandfather. It was never a case of how far gone he was in his addiction, the whole matter rested in the power of God.

Get back to prayer and ask God to rescue your loved one for His glory. Do not ask first to have the person delivered for your own comfort, although that will come if God acts. Seek first to populate the kingdom of God through your relative being delivered.

Remind God of how He is glorified in saving sinners.

Go back to prayer and do not stop until God gives you the desire of your heart.

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