Dr. George Sweeting (pastor, author and former president of Moody Bible Institute) shared the following true story in his book, “Special Sermons for Special Days” (1977).
Several years ago our family visited Niagara Falls. It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river. As I viewed the large blocks of ice flowing toward the falls, I could see that there were carcasses of dead fish embedded in the ice. Gulls by the score were riding down the river feeding on the fish. As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls.
I watched one gull which seemed to delay and wondered when it would leave. It was engrossed in the carcass of a fish, and when it finally came to the brink of the falls, out went its powerful wings. The bird flapped and flapped and even lifted the ice out of the water, and I thought it would escape. But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice. The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss.”
The finest attractions of this world become deadly when we become overly attached to them. They may take us to our destruction if we cannot give them up. As Sweeting observed, “Oh, the danger of delay!”
What are you holding onto that is also holding on to you? Are you holding onto the attractions of this world that will eventually pull you into the abyss? There are pleasures in sin – it is attractive, just as the fish were to the gulls – but sin’s pleasures are only temporary (Hebrews 11:25) and will ultimately bring you to destruction. The Apostle John warns us (1 John 2:15-17): “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” It is not worth it to trade away eternal life for temporary satisfactions.
When you instead hold onto Jesus, you will find that He is also holding onto you. Jesus promised us (John 10:28-30): “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” What great security there is in Jesus! Will you surrender everything you have and are to Him? You won’t regret it. You will regret the temporary pleasures of sin and you will certainly trade away eternal life, but you will never regret giving your life in complete surrender to Jesus. You will know abundant life now, and eternal life with Him for evermore!
Choose Jesus! Run to Jesus! Embrace Jesus! Hold onto Jesus! But remember that your strength alone is not sufficient to hold onto Him, especially during the hard times. Thankfully, Jesus is holding onto you and His strength will always be more than enough. The Apostle Paul is very emphatic: Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39)!
This Sunday, July 18, we will continue our new series entitled “Choices” in the 10:35am worship service with a teaching from Deuteronomy 30:19-20 entitled “Choose Life!” (Last week’s study was powerful. If you missed it, please check it out at our Facebook page, website or YouTube channel.) We will also have a special guest that morning to share about the ministry of the Gideons who place Bibles in hotels, nursing homes and more.
If you are not able to join us in-person in the building at 10:35am for the worship service, please join us Online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Search: Honolulu AG). The recording will also be uploaded later that day to our website (honoluluag.org) and YouTube channel (Search: Honolulu Assembly of God).
Update: Replacement of the roof is scheduled for the middle of September. Mahalo for your faithful giving of tithes and offerings that makes it possible for us to pay for this much needed work.
Aloha and Aloha ke Akua!