The late Billy Graham made the word “decision” central in his evangelistic ministry. His magazine bears the title “Decision”. His focus on calling people to “make a decision” regarding the Gospel invitation, has a biblical basis.
Today’s Bible verses, among many others, make clear the Lord’s call to humanity to make up their minds concerning the free offer of salvation in the Gospel. The message is that we must renounce our gods and choose to serve the Lord only. Any form of idolatry is totally unacceptable to the Lord. He will tolerate no rivals.
This demand for a pure, or singular trust in the Lord reminds us of wedding vows which traditionally say “forsaking all others keep only to” the marriage partner. We recognize how reasonable such an exclusive pledge of loyalty is in special relationships such as marriage and trusting the Lord.
Today I call on you to search your heart for any duplicity in your faith. Be like a child. They have a pure faith as we discussed recently. The following hymn is hundreds of years old so please excuse the quaint language. I offer it for the last verse especially. Take from it what speaks to you. May you find the Holy Spirit purifying your faith today.
Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready waits to save you,
Full of pity, love and pow’r:
He is able, He is able,
He is willing, doubt no more.
Come, ye needy, come and welcome;
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings us nigh,
Without money, without money,
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.
Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him:
This He gives you, this He gives you,
’Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.
Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all:
Not the righteous, not the righteous,
Sinners Jesus came to call.
Agonizing in the garden,
Your Redeemer prostrate lies;
On the bloody tree behold Him!
Hear Him cry, before He dies,
“It is finished!” “It is finished!”
Sinner, will not this suffice?
Lo! th’ incarnate God, ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood;
Venture on Him, venture wholly;
Let no other trust intrude:
None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
Can do helpless sinners good.
- Joseph Hart