"I Was Choking!"
Other seed fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades
Suddenly I was desperately choking! A piece of popcorn had lodged in my throat.
I couldn't breathe, a horrible feeling, and I was at the point of passing out. I just could not get rid of that tiny particle, no bigger than 1/8 the size of a pencil eraser.
Now red-faced, I coughed violently and repeatedly. But thankfully, before I blacked out, it was finally expelled. God's mercy prevailed.
On reflection, I realized two great truths. Of course, God uses life experiences to teach us His truths.
The first great truth I realized is how fragile life is. Every person is only one precarious breath away from eternity. Only one breath! For numerous unpredictable reasons, that last breath could come at any instant to any one of us.
Every second we live in our bodies is a gift of grace. People without Christ are on the very edge, the dangerous precipice, and every second they chance passing into a Christless eternity. It is a terrible gamble, and every day, thousands lose their bet.
Even Christians, who are saved by grace but who are knowingly disobedient and living in sin, are only a breath away from entering eternity with this on their record and having to face their holy Savior, who died for them. John exhorts us, "Continue to live in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame (1 John 2:28, NLT). According to God's Word, some so-called prodigals are not true believers and when they die, have no hope of eternal life.
We do not want to be ashamed either at His return or our going to meet Him.
The second great truth I learned is that there I was, desperate for just one breath of air, but I was surrounded by an ocean of air! It was all around me, yet I could not obtain any. What a paradox.
Many people are like that. Their lives are often choked off from the truth of God's Word by worldly distractions that by comparison they are like tiny kernels of popcorn in importance.
Our Lord spoke of choking. "The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word" (Mark 4:19, NIV).
As I was surrounded by an ocean of air but could not get any, many people are surrounded by God, yet they cannot perceive Him. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28, NIV). He is like the air in which we live. Interestingly, the Greek word for Spirit is "pneuma," which also means air or wind.
Let us not allow the world or our own self-centered desires to get lodged in our throats, choking us spiritually, and cutting off access to our vital spiritual air, or God's Spirit.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.