A beautiful baby girl came into this world 4 decades ago. Rocked to sleep by her mother. Nursed. Changed. Cared for. Then, somewhere along the line this girl, Alexis Palmer, made some bad decisions. Somewhere along the line started taking drugs.One bad decision became two, then twenty. Jail time. Community service. Recovery programs. Eventually, she was estranged from those who loved her and brought her into this world. Unfortunately, going the wrong way usually means moving away from all the people that love you and want to be there to help you.
A few days ago, they found her body floating in a Boise canal. Was it murder? Was it suicide? At present we do not know.
What we do know is that she visited the First Baptist Recovery ministry called Celebrate Recovery. She attended our church services. She interacted with people who cared about her and begged her to stay connected. Advice she did not heed. We also know that she was exposed to Christians and the message of hope in Jesus Christ.
People ask me, what will heaven be like? Answer: I don’t know exactly. But, I do know this. It’s a place where we will enjoy the very presence of Jesus and a place free from our struggle with SIN! Imagine what that would be like to be free of all your temptations, all your vices. For Alexis, if she surrendered her heart to Jesus somewhere along the line (a likely scenario, yet none of us can see into someone’s heart), then her struggle is over. DONE. FINISHED! Freedom, release, and victory is what she is now enjoying because of God’s amazing grace and her acceptance of it.
I don’t know about you, but I for one look forward to this perhaps as much as anything in heaven. In this regard I am envious of Alexis. Some folks simply cannot escape the shackles of their past decisions. They seem unable to fight through the destructive patterns developed earlier in their lives. But thank God, in one vital decision—to surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord and Master—there is an inescapable positive consequence. Alexis, your struggle is over. You are free.
John 1:11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
John 3:6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don't be surprised when I say, 'You must be born again.' NLT
Bruce Young - Senior Pastor