1 John 1:7
Making Decisions in the Dark
Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Let me illustrate. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. “Why,” he exclaimed, “when I went a-courtin I never carried one of them things. I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” the hired man said wryly, “and look what you got!” - D.J.D.
When evangelist John Wesley (1703-1791) was returning home from a service one night, he was robbed. The thief, however, found his victim to have only a little money and some Christian literature.
As the bandit was leaving, Wesley called out, “Stop! I have something more to give you.” The surprised robber paused. “My friend,” said Wesley, “you may live to regret this sort of life. If you ever do, heres something to remember: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin!“ The thief hurried away, and Wesley prayed that his words might bear fruit.
Years later, Wesley was greeting people after a Sunday service when he was approached by a stranger. What a surprise to learn that this visitor, now a believer in Christ as a successful businessman, was the one who had robbed him years before! “I owe it all to you,” said the transformed man. “Oh no, my friend,” Wesley exclaimed, “not to me, but to the precious blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin!”
Havergal, Hymn Writer
The hymns of Frances Ridley Havergal have greatly blessed the church. She wrote such songs as “Who is on the Lords Side?” “Like a River Glorious,” “I Gave My Life for Thee,” and “Take My Life and Let It Be.” She was not always a happy Christian, however. As F. J. Huegel pointed out in his book Forever Triumphant, she was plagued by depression. Perhaps overly sensitive to faults in her life, she was a defeated believer who lacked the joy that should characterize every forgiven child of God. Huegel says, “She walked with bowed head. Romans 7 seemed to be her lot.”
One day she had a life-transforming experience, however. Huegel says that the Lord led her into the joy and blessing described in Romans 8. A great crisis marked her entrance into “the promised land of a life of fullness and victory.” She was reading her New Testament in the Greek, as she often did. When she came to 1 John 1:7, she discovered from the tense of the verb that the blood of Christ keeps on cleansing the believer who walks in the light.
Says Huegel, “The result for Frances Havergal was a mighty revolution. A new day dawned. She would no longer be sad because of her faults and blemishes. She would rejoice because of the infinite efficacy of the Saviors atoning death.”