Tag: George Whitten

There’s always a way to return!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

It was a bright Sunday morning in 18th century London, but Robert Robinson’s mood was anything but sunny. All along the street, there were people hurrying to church, but in the midst of the crowd, Robinson was a lonely man. The sound of church bells reminded him of years past when his faith in God was strong and the church was an integral part of his life. It had been years since he set foot in a church — years of wandering, disillusionment, and gradual defection from the God he once loved. That love for God — once fiery and passionate — had slowly burned out within him, leaving him dark and cold inside. Robinson heard the clip-clop, clip-clop of a horse-drawn cab approaching behind him. Turning, he lifted his hand to hail the driver. But then he saw that the cab was occupied by a young woman dressed in finery for the Lord’s Day. He waved the driver on, but the woman in the carriage ordered the carriage to be stopped.

Sir, I’d be happy to share this carriage with you,” she said to Robinson. “Are you going to church?” Robinson was about to decline, then he paused. “Yes,” he said at last. “I am going to church.” He stepped into the carriage and sat down beside the young woman. As the carriage rolled forward Robert Robinson and the woman exchanged introductions. There was a flash of recognition in her eyes when he stated his name. “That’s an interesting coincidence,” she said, reaching into her purse. She withdrew a small book of inspirational verse, opened it to a ribbon bookmark and handed the book to him. “I was just reading a verse by a poet named Robert Robinson. Could it be…?

He took the book, nodding. “Yes, I wrote these words years ago.” “Oh, how wonderful!” she exclaimed. “Imagine! I’m sharing a carriage with the author of these very lines!

But Robinson barely heard her. He was absorbed in the words he was reading. They were words that would one day be set to music and become a great hymn of the faith, familiar to generations of Christians:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace’
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

His eyes slipped to the bottom of the page where he read:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it—
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

He could barely read the last few lines through the tears that brimmed in his eyes. “I wrote these words—and I’ve lived these words. ’Prone to wander…prone to leave the God I love.’

The woman suddenly understood. “You also wrote, ’Here’s my heart, O take and seal it.’ You can offer your heart again to God, Mr. Robinson. It’s not too late.

And it wasn’t too late for Robert Robinson. In that moment he turned his heart back to God and walked with him the rest of his days. [Ron Lee Davis, Courage to Begin Again, (Harvest House, Eugene, OR; 1978), pp. 145-147]

Is this you? A devoted Christian deep in your heart, who has wandered from the faith? Your loving Father will orchestrate your return to Him.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

Who is truly your enemy?

George Whittenby George Whitten

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

A story is told of Peter Miller, a plain Baptist preacher of Pennsylvania, in the days of the Revolutionary War. Near his church, lived a man who maligned the pastor to the last degree. The man became involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to be hanged. The preacher started out on foot and walked the entire way to Philadelphia roughly seventy miles away to plead for the man’s life. George Washington heard his plea, but he said, “No, your plea for your friend cannot be granted.” “My friend!” said the preacher. “He is the worst enemy I have.” “What!” said Washington, “you have walked nearly seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon.

Like this precious pastor, although we don’t go out looking for enemies, we somehow seem to acquire them just by doing the work of the Lord! Many of you know how many times we’ve been attacked by hackers since we moved to Israel. These people probably spend weeks — not hours, not days — but weeks or even more trying to figure out passcodes and configurations in order to destroy our sites and all the work of the Lord going on there! It can be extremely upsetting to see someone steal away years of your hard work like that. You just want to know who?! and why?! and what did I do to deserve this?!

I’m sure many of you are experiencing your share of enemy assaults too and can relate to what I’m saying! But how should we react to these assailants? Should we curse them and hunt them down to get our revenge? This pastor had every earthly right to be satisfied with this man’s sentence. After all, this man probably destroyed his reputation — perhaps even his entire ministry! But this wise pastor saw right through the man. He realized that the offense committed did not originate with the man who slandered him. This man was merely a pawn in the hands of a cruel and crafty adversary, Satan himself. Clearly, it’s our ultimate enemy, Satan, who is out to slander us, to steal from us, hurt us, lie, kill and destroy us and he’ll use any means possible to do it.

In the same way, we must realize who is truly our enemy and come against him the best way we can — determine to press forward for God’s Kingdom even more than before!

When we strive to do the work of the Lord, we will undoubtedly gain some enemies! But we must ambush our archenemy who is manipulating these people and situations! How? By praying more! Learning the word more! Sharing the Gospel more! Forgiving more! Becoming wiser and stronger in the Lord! Becoming more like Yeshua (Jesus)! Press forward toward the Kingdom of God today — your great reward will be with Him!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten