encountered someone who had strings attached to everything they
did? They were willing to accommodate you if they could see some
profit in it for them. They kept a “ledger sheet” on all their
actions to make sure that the outgoing effort had at least an equal
return; the debit and credit columns were always equal or showed
favor on their side.
problem with that attitude is that the “equalizers” are always on
guard to not give more than they receive. Another problem is that
they will most likely take advantage of every situation so that they
will, in fact, come out ahead.
fail to realize it, but we all have someone like that in our lives;
his name is Satan! He is always on the lookout to catch us unaware
as he prepares incidents to take advantage of us. His subtle
efforts try to create a picture that gives the impression that we
will benefit from the scenario he presents to us. It may look
innocent; it may seem advantageous to follow the plan that he has
made us think came from our own good judgment.
delight to have someone who just gives because it is their nature
with no expectations in return! We all have friends and family who
give and give simply because they receive pleasure themselves from
their loving actions toward others.
we feel unloved and unappreciated, we do indeed have such a friend!
At all times! The only strings attached are cords of unconditional
friend loveth at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17). “…and there is a
friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
need proof? We only have to look at the cross on which Jesus died
to convince us that no one has ever loved us that much nor given us
so much of themselves. You see, Jesus held nothing back; He gave
the ultimate—His life, for one reason—Love! “All have sinned…”
(Romans 3:23) and stand guilty, condemned before God. Within
ourselves we have no means by which we can escape the penalty of
death, not just dying as in our breathing stopping; but eternal
separation from the loving God who desires our redemption.
so loved the world, that he gave his only son…” (John 3:16)
It is a
great mystery why anyone would reject and resist such love! If we
were in the path of mortal danger and someone rescued us, we would
be forever grateful to the one who risked their life to save ours,
wouldn’t we? God’s plan sent Jesus to save us from the eternal
pangs of hell from which there is no return. The ledger is grossly
unbalanced: Our side shows we are guilty and deserve to suffer
sin’s penalty. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). We
don’t have the means of settling the debt, nor is there anyone we
can call on to borrow enough to rescue us.
wait! Jesus says, “Stay the execution! I have deposited payment in
full for this poor, wretched soul."
paid the debt in full; the ledger is in balance. There are no
strings attached except the Cords of Love that have bound us to our
loving Heavenly Father who acknowledges that the debt has been paid
by the precious blood that Jesus shed on Calvary and washed us from
every trace of sin; no sin was too horrendous to remain on the debit
side. Our “Balance Due” is $0.00 ! We are debt free!
have the potential to reach out to others, who are bound by the
chains of sin and in danger of hell, with the love implanted in us
by the Author of Love. We can accomplish that freely “with no
strings attached” except Cords of Love.
you have received, freely give…” (Matthew 10:8).
throw out that lifeline without delay. Someone needs a rescue.
Hurry, time is running out!
Origin and Author of
"I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"
1880’s, there was a missionary from the United Kingdom serving
in India who endured severe persecution. After years of
sacrifice, he finally saw his first salvations in a very
and wife, with their two children, professed faith in Jesus
Christ and were baptized. The village leaders decided to make
an example out of the husband. Arresting the family, they
demanded that the father renounce Christ, or see his wife and
refused, his two children were executed by archers. Given
another chance to recant, the man again refused, and his wife
was stuck down in the same way. Still refusing to recant, the
man followed his family into glory.
later told the story to the missionary. The reports said that
when asked to recant or see his children murdered, the man
said: “I have decided to follow Jesus, and there is no turning
seeing his children killed, he reportedly said, “The world can
be behind me, but the cross is still before me.” And after
seeing his wife pierced by the arrows, he said, “Though no one
is here to go with me, still I will follow Jesus.”
missionary returned to the village, a revival had broken out,
and those that had murdered the first converts had come to
faith in Jesus themselves. An Evangelist heard this story, and
took the martyr’s last words, and put them to music.
song, the word “decided” has a once-for-all commitment
attached to it; a commitment that the author knew would lead
to imminent death.
decided to follow Jesus,
decided to follow Jesus,
decided to follow Jesus,
back, no turning back.
Though I may wonder, I still will follow
The world behind me, the cross before me.
Though none go with me, still I will follow.
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
turning back, no burning back..
.........S. Sundar Singh
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There's Good News July 2014