Jill Jarrell Newsome
"This Time" Decision
As we sang, “O Come To The Altar,” God spoke to hearts and people went to the altar. “Are you hurting and broken within? Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?...Do you thirst for a drink from the well? Jesus is calling…” Someone shared with me that it was their first time to go to the altar.
We talked about growing up and seeing the lines of people at Billy Graham’s crusades who were making their first time decision to accept Jesus as their Savior. Why are there weekly altar calls? Billy Graham said, Parents do not abandon a baby at birth, but nourish and protect the life of that child. So evangelists are to assume responsibility for those born into the family of God under their ministry.”
As I grow in faith, I always have something to take to the Altar. I need to talk to God, leave things with Him, ask Him to help me with my unbelief and lots to praise Him for! There is always brokenness, the weight of sin, thirst for God, a heavy heart for someone and sometimes because I am overwhelmed with gratefulness! Sometimes I cry; tears of sadness, hurt, grief, fear, anger or just joyful tears for the abundant blessings God has poured over me. Going to the altar helps me acknowledge, before others, that I have made a decision. “An outward expression of an inward commitment.” Matthew 10: 32, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” I go for whatever my response is “this time”.
Pastor Andy Lambert brought us to the decision point and people came to the altar whether it was salvation, rededicating their lives or something else. I love that it does not have to be a first time decision, it can be a “this time” decision!