Daily Devotional for Saturday January 8, 2011
A Few Years Ago on the TV Program I Received a Call from a Young Lady who is a Living Miracle of God
(2 Corinthians 6:2; James 4:14)
A few years ago on the TV program, I received a call from a precious young lady who is a living miracle of God. Felicia originally called the program right after we went on the air in early 2003 from her bed at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. At 17, she was battling with leukemia and called for prayer. The Holy Spirit moved on my heart as I prayed for Felicia that night and the next day I visited her at the hospital. She was in and out of the hospital several times over the next few months, but praise God, she is in remission and just last week her port was removed, which all who have battled thru any disease like cancer know is a great moment. We continue to pray for God's strength and continued good health for Felicia.
Sadly, however, her call was not one of praise but of sorrow. Her 17-year-old cousin had been tragically shot and was laying in a coma in the ICU at a local hospital. I took time a day later to go down to the hospital and be with this young man's family, pray with them, as well as go back into the ICU and pray over this young man's comatose body, asking God to intervene since He was the only hope there was. Sadly, I got the call a few days later that Chris had passed away. God has the final word and it was not His plan to raise this young man up but to take him home. Please be praying for Christopher's family to find the Lord's strength and comfort as they deal with this tragic loss in their lives.
Chris Ford should not be dead today. He is dead because of the foolish actions of his younger brother and his brother's friend. They never intended to hurt Chris, let alone kill him, but when people do things without thinking, accidents, deadly accidents can occur. During these next few months when most young adults and children are out of school, this is the time of the year when we see an increase in these types of senseless accidents. For the young adults and children reading this today, please, THINK before you act.
ACTIONS CARRY CONSEQUENCES.
What you mean simply as a prank or a joke could have horrible consequences so please THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!
A friend of Chris's 15-year-old young brother had come over to their house last Monday. He was riding a bicycle he had stolen and had with him a gun that he had also stolen. He and Chris's younger brother were playing with the gun, putting the bullets in, and taking them out. Chris's younger brother decided to play a joke on his big brother. He emptied all of the bullets from the clip and went inside the house where Chris was sleeping. He crawled into the bed and put the barrel of the gun at the base of Chris's neck and pulled the trigger. Instead of "click," there was the explosion of the gun going off. Not knowing much about guns, these young boys weren't aware that while they had taken all of the bullets out of the clip. There was still one in the chamber.
As the hollow point bullet ripped through Chris's brain, breaking up into thousands of fragments, it is only a miracle of God that he didn't die instantly. He was rushed to the hospital but there was really nothing the doctors could do for him except wait and see if he would survive long enough for them to eventually be able to go inside, clean up the bullet fragments, and try to repair some of the massive damage done. They never got that opportunity as Chris eventually died from his injuries Sunday afternoon.
So you have a 17-year-old young man who had just graduated from high school with his entire life before him who is dead, his 15-year-old brother in juvenile detention, not only facing legal charges for what happened, but on suicide watch as he tries to cope with the fact he killed the big brother he loved and adored, the 15-year-old young man who stole the gun and brought it to the home that fateful morning, that is facing a plethora of legal charges, a family that is not only mourning the loss of one child but not knowing the legal fate of their other child, as well as the family of the young man who brought the gun to the home, as they deal with the role their child played in this tragedy and the uncertainty of what the rest of his life will be because of it.
TO YOU YOUNG ADULTS AND CHILDREN, YOUR ACTIONS CARRY CONSEQUENCES! YOU HAVE TO THINK BEFORE YOU DO THINGS!
Alcohol, drugs, guns, and knives are dangerous and not to be played with or experimented with. They can kill you! Porn and sex may not kill you instantly, but getting involved with sexual things will affect you for the rest of your life in how you view sex, and it can be the beginning of a bondage that could lead to horrible perverted acts later on in life. 100% of pedophiles and rapists admit that their perversion with sex began as a youth and started with porn. Also, with the incredible amounts of sexually-transmitted diseases out there, promiscuous sex outside of marriage really can end up costing you your life.
Parents, this is a warning today to you as well. No doubt you can't monitor your children 24/7 but you better do your best to know not only what they are doing but WHO they are doing it with. Now more than ever, you MUST be aware of those kids your child is friends with and hanging out with. You may be raising your child in the admonition of the Lord, teaching them Biblical truths, laying a solid foundation in their life, but DO NOT ASSUME other parents or guardians are. As a matter of fact, in today's world assume they are NOT!
You have too many children being raised in homes where God is NOT part of their lives, where they are NOT being properly supervised, and where they are NOT getting the love and nurturing a child needs, so these children do NOT share the same values as your children. You simply cannot afford to not know who your child's friends are and who their friend's parents are, not just at school, but even the kids who live in your neighborhood. There are simply some children out there who your children SHOULD NOT be hanging around with!
I love you and care about you so much. It breaks my heart every time I hear about a child tragically losing their life, especially in something as senseless as what happened to Chris Ford. With kids, there will be these types of horrible tragedies, most of which can be avoided. I pray that every child, young adult, and parent reading this today will realize that you simply can't take life for granted. Life is so very fragile. The Book of James calls it a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. With so many things in this life out of our control, we have got to take full responsibility for those things that are in our control.
Parents need to be actively involved in their children's lives, not just in what they are doing but who they are doing it with. Young adults and children need to never forget that your actions carry consequences. Think before you act. Also, stay away from those things that you know deep down inside you have no business being involved with. You don't need an adult to tell you to stay away from guns. You don't need an adult to tell you to not watch porn. You don't need an adult to tell you to don't smoke marijuana. You know deep down inside that those are things you shouldn't be doing so LISTEN to your conscience and STAY AWAY from those things that could hurt or even kill you.
Let me say in closing today that God's Word teaches us that, TODAY, not tomorrow, is the day of salvation. Why? Simple. Tomorrow is promised to none of us. Tomorrow is a gift from God that we hope for but can't count on. That is why we can't put off dealing with where we will spend eternity. The fact is, every person will die one day. At that moment, they will continue to live for all eternity. The only question is, will that eternity be WITH God their Creator or APART from God their Creator. That is a choice each person must make for themselves.
If you are reading these words today, no matter how old you are, and you can't say with 100% assurance that if your life ended this second you would be forever with Jesus, then you need to stop whatever you are doing and make sure once and for all. Being baptized as a baby doesn't save you, the fact your parents may be Christians doesn't save you, going to church doesn't save you, just saying you are a Christian and that you believe in Jesus doesn't save you, only making a real profession of faith in Jesus Christ will save you. Please, take a few minutes right now and ask God to open your heart to receive the following words. Read them carefully and as you feel the Lord speaking to you, pray the prayer at the end. God loves you very much and has made a way for you to spend all eternity with Him. He is speaking to your heart today, answer Him and let Him come inside. I am praying for you. Today is YOUR day!
From: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm . The Bible teaches that God has provided salvation in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was made to assume our flesh, die in our stead, rise again from the dead, ascend to the Father, receive the place of power at God's right hand, and appear before God in the believer's behalf. He is to come again to consummate redemption. This work of God's Son was for the purpose of saving us from the guilt, the penalty, the power, and ultimately the presence of sin. Salvation was provided for those who believe in Christ and walk in his ways. Faith is the only condition to salvation, and it is the gift of God.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life"
Today, can be the day that you make the most important decision you make in this life. Where will you spend eternity? Jesus died so that your sins could be forgiven and you could live forever in heaven when this life is over. All you have to do is pray this simple prayer.
PRAYER God, I am a sinner. I ask you to forgive me of my sins. I believe in my heart, and confess with my lips, that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart Jesus. Take my life, I surrender it to you. From this moment on, I will live my life according to the Bible and serve you. Thank you for taking away my sins and giving me everlasting life. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can send you at no charge some information to help you in your new life with Christ.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller