David Brandt Berg
All over the world, there are people who can’t understand why you insist that they have to be a sinner before they can get saved. Americans, of course, have a Christian background and culture, so they know what a sinner is. They know when they’re a sinner. They know what they’re supposed to be like and they know they’re not like that, so they know they’re sinners. Of course they’ve committed sins; of course they’re wicked old sinners.
Some of the good and righteous Easterners, they’re good people, law abiding, not criminals, they do good. We have to have a new approach for those people. “God? Which God?” They think they have everything they need. “Who needs you? Who needs your God?” But they know there’s something wrong because they’re not happy, they’re not satisfied. They’ve got everything, and yet they can’t keep peace with their wife, they’re not happy with their girlfriend, things go wrong with their children, they have troubles, problems, business failures.
You need to ask them a question, something like Mary Pickford did, the most famous actress of the days of the silent movies. She’d won all the laurels and was world-famous and had a big mansion in Beverly Hills, yet she wasn’t satisfied. She said she was totally unsatisfied, like Lord Byron: “I have quaffed every cup of pleasure and I have drunk every cup of fame, and yet I die of thirst.” But then she got saved and she wrote a book: Why Not Try God? You’ve tried everything else, why not try God? She wrote it for the acting population of Hollywood. She was on the top of the heap. So when she gave a testimony, she could tell them; she knew what they needed. “You’ve tried everything else, why not try God?”
Some people have tried everything, they’ve got everything, or they’re trying to get it, and they think when they get it that it will make them happy. You just need to ask them, “You know what’s wrong with you? Maybe you think everything’s all right, but you need Jesus. You’ve got everything else, but still you can’t understand why everything goes wrong. You know you’re not perfect, you know you’ve made mistakes, and it troubles you—you missed the mark, and that’s wrong—that’s a sin. Why not try Jesus?”
Like that drug addict, the prostitute who drifted into a mission one night where my mother was preaching. She came to the altar when Mother said, “All you need to do is just receive Him; just take Jesus.” And she gripped my mother’s arm so tight that when my mother got home, she said she still had the imprints of that girl’s fingernails in her arm.
She said, “You mean to tell me all I have to do is take Jesus? That’s all I have to do, is take Jesus?” Mother said, “Yes, that’s all you have to do.” So the girl said, “I take Him!” And just then the Salvation Army band started striking up a tune and playing a hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and she got up and staggered out the door, followed the Salvation Army band, went to the Salvation Army for a place to stay, and didn’t even want to go back to her old room where her things were. She said she didn’t want anything of that old life anymore; she didn’t ever want to go back there. She said, “I’ve taken Jesus, and all I want is Jesus!” She only lived about a year, but she became known as the angel of some street; I’ve forgotten now. It’s a true story. She just took Jesus.
Lord, You so loved the world You gave Yourself for us, so we won’t perish but have everlasting life in heaven. And You are giving Yourself even now, to any soul that needs You and is willing to admit and confess that they need You, and that they want You enough to be willing to pray and ask You to come into their hearts. Help them, Lord, to have that little bit of faith. Like the man who said, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). He had his doubts, he had his questions, he had his problems, but he still believed in You, Jesus.
Help them to believe in You! Give them the faith! You’re the only one who can give them the faith, Lord. Faith comes through You, Lord, by Thy Spirit, by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Help them to just take You, Lord! In desperation or in true sincere crying out for help, help them to be willing to try You, Jesus, and we believe You’ll honor what little faith they have. You’ll come into their hearts and show them, in Jesus’ name.
I think my favorite Christmas carol is that one that talks about taking Jesus into our hearts.
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend on us, we pray,
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.
—Phillips Brooks, 1867
All we need to do is receive Jesus. You can put faith into their hearts. If they hope it’s true, Lord, that’s a form of faith. If they want to believe it’s true, You’ll certainly help them believe it. In Jesus’ name we ask it for Your glory.
Let others see You in us, Lord. If they haven’t seen You anyplace else, if they don’t understand Christianity, Lord, help them to see Jesus in us.
Let others see Jesus in you.
Let others see Jesus in me.
Keep telling the Story,
Be faithful, be true.
Let others see Jesus in you!
—B. B. McKinney, 1924
Even if they don’t know anything about Jesus, Christmas, or God, they can see Jesus in you. That’s a good chorus to remember this Christmas night.
Even if you may not feel like it or see that you’re having any effect, keep telling the story of Jesus; be faithful and true to Jesus. Let others see Jesus in you. Let’s praise the Lord and thank Him for this night.
We thank You for the night we’re commemorating when You were born, Lord. Let others see You in us, Jesus. That they may know You, whom to know is life eternal. In Jesus’ name.
Let others see Jesus in you!
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