Posted by Craig Borlase on 26 March 2018

TeachingThe Power of Worship

Part 3: I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

Around two hundred years ago, something remarkable happened in Wales. A massive revival swept through the country, and like all genuine revivals, it sent people out.

People packed their traveling trunks and left their homes, their hearts on fire for the gospel. They wanted to take the message of a glorious, all-powerful, grace-soaked God to the four corners of the earth.

Many were drawn to India. It was a dangerous place for a westerner to travel, let alone one who wanted to turn people’s hearts away from traditional religion. In the northeast region of Assam, severed human heads were sometimes used as currency.

As the wide-eyed Welsh missionaries started preaching throughout Assam, they got in trouble. When one particular family came to faith in Christ, the local chief raged against them.

No matter how much the chief ranted and raged, the family held fast to their faith. The husband started telling others about Christ – some of whom decided to follow Jesus for themselves. This only made the chief even more angry, and one day the entire village was called to a meeting. In front of everyone the man and his family were commanded to renounce their faith.

None of them would do it. Instead, the man poured out these simple words:

“I have decided to follow Jesus
Not turning back, not turning back.”

This enraged the chief still further. He ordered archers to kill the man’s two sons that very moment. As the boys died, the chief commanded the man and his family to renounce their faith. Again, the man’s reply spoke of true faith in the midst of great fear:

“Though no one joins me, still I will follow
No turning back, no turning back.”

The chief ordered the murder of the man’s wife. As her blood stained the earth, still the man kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, calling out:

“The cross before me, the world behind me
No turning back, no turning back.”

Eventually, just like his wife and his sons, the man was killed. The other converts watched on, awaiting their own fate. But the chief was troubled. How had this man shown such courage? What was it about this Jesus Christ that was worth laying down your life for? What power was found in this strange new God?

Stunned, the chief fell to his knees. He had seen so much death in his life - but never a death like this. There was only one choice. He, and the rest of the village too, would follow Jesus.

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