Summary: A sermon about returning to God after a time of drifting.
In the late 1940s, there was an emerging evangelist who was preaching the Gospel to large crowds in major arenas, and many folks were coming to Christ at his crusades.
But he abandoned his faith, resigned from the ministry and became a writer and news commentator.
Journalist Lee Strobel interviewed him for his book, The Case for Faith.
The former evangelist was now 83 and beginning to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Strobel asked him about Jesus and was surprised at his response.
“He was the greatest human being who has ever lived,” the former evangelist began.
“He was a moral genius. His ethical sense was unique.
He was the intrinsically wisest person I’ve ever encountered in my life or in my readings.
He’s the most important thing in my life.
I know it might sound strange, but I have to say I adore him!”
The man continued, “Everything good I know, everything decent I know, everything pure I know, I learned from Jesus.
He is the most important human being who has ever existed.
And if I may put it this way, I miss him.”
Strobel writes that the old former evangelist’s “eyes filled with tears and he wept freely.
[and then] He refused to say more.”
When I first gave my life to Jesus Christ, I remember feeling absolutely overwhelmed by love.
I was filled with love for God and for other people.
And I knew and experienced the reality that because of God’s love for me I could endure anything that came at me.
When I was walking in God’s love I was able to get “outside myself,” and was given a confidence and a “zest for life” that I had never even imagined existed.
I was in love.
I was in love with the One Who created me and the rest of humanity.
I was head over heels in love with other people because I could relate to their plight and I knew that God loved them with the same intensity that God loved me.
I was in love with God because God had rescued me from my misery, from my chains.
I was in love with God because God had first loved me.
I truly hadn’t even known what real love was until I experienced and yielded to the love of God.
It absolutely and completely changed my life.
But there have been many times over the past twenty-some-odd years since then, that I had forgotten that love.
Perhaps I had taken it for granted.
Maybe I had given in, little by little to the temptations of the world, and before I knew it I was like a ship which has drifted out to sea without an anchor…
…feeling lost, sad, and lonely.
It’s easy to drift away from God.
And there can be no doubt that the most unhappy person in the world is a Christian who is no longer walking with God.
And the reason is because this person has tasted how good it is to be with God.
This person has experienced that radical difference between being locked in the darkness and walking freely in the Light.
This person knows how it feels to love so deeply that it is beyond measure, and to know that they are loved much more unfathomably by God.
This person knows what it is like to feel such love for other persons that they would be willing to do just about anything in order to help enable another to experience the love of Christ.
Yes, the “fallen Christian” knows what it is to live with a peace which transcends all understanding.
The “fallen Christian” knows the truth that sets people free…
…but has found him or herself locked up once again in sin and misery.
There is nothing worse than to let go of our First Love.
Therefore, to make sure this doesn’t happen, we must make it our first priority to stay connected to Jesus.
A woman named Alice wrote in the Upper Room devotional, “Once a week or so, my husband and I go on a date.
Though we’ve been married over 30 years, we still find that a quiet meal or a walk along the river gives us the time we need to reconnect.
Something similar is true in my relationship with God.
If I don’t spend regular time with God, our relationship could grow cold.”
Do you spend regular time with God?
God called us into relationship with Him, and God is continually calling us back to our First Love, to God’s unfailing love.
And it is only by making time with God the focus of our every day that we stay connected and share God’s love with others.
Otherwise we will find ourselves focusing more and more inward…into ourselves until things become dark once again.