Romans 5:1-8 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Dr. G. Campbell Morgan (1907) authored The Crises of the Christ, a powerful study concerning the person and work of our Savior, Jesus, the Christ of God. The lost condition of Adam’s race was so described in his quote from Horace Bushnell’s ‘The New Life”:
“This, we say, is now man, the fallen principality. In these tragic desolations of intelligence, and genius, of passion, pride and sorrow, behold the import of his eternity. Be no mere spectator, turn the glass we give you round upon yourself, look into the ruin of your own conscious spirit, and see how much it signifies, both that you are a sinner and a man. Here, within the soul’s gloomy chamber, the loosened passions rage and chafe, impatient of their law; here, huddle on the wild and desultory thoughts; here the imagination crowds in shapes of glory and disgust, tokens both and mockeries of its own creative power, no longer in the keeping of reason; here sits remorse scowling and biting her chain; here creep out the fears, a meager and pale multitude; here drives on the will in his chariot of war; here lie trampled the great aspirations, groaning in immortal thirst; here the blasted affections weeping out their life in silent injury; all that you see without, in the wars, revenges, and the crazed religions of the world, is faithfully represented in the appalling disorders of your own spirit.”
Dr. Morgan went on to state in his own words
“Man’s ruin was so terrible, and so profound, as witness the darkened intelligence, the deadened emotion, and the degraded will, that there was but one alternative open to the Eternal God. Either he must sweep out and destroy utterly the race, or else in infinite patience, and through long processes, lead it back to Himself. He chose the pathway of reconciliation in His infinite grace, at what cost the story of the Christ alone perfectly reveals.”
The noted scripture and the sobering quotes combine to address the urgency before each of us as the ‘redeemed’ to “waft it on the rolling tide…Tell to sinners far and wide: JESUS SAVES!” No matter what is yet discovered about the tragic massacre of lives in Las Vegas, the imprisoned soul of man is in peril; and so too, is this Republic, in this present darkness! When Adam first sinned, so too, fell death’s curse upon every man and the human spirit lays bound in the darkest prison of sin!
I pray that God continues to reveal more and more to me both the awfulness of this spiritual condition and the hope that is found only in so great a Savior! Whether the imminent holocaust of an international war or the present depths of sorrow revealed in the Opioid Crisis, we must proclaim and evidence that there is a Savior! Oh, how needful the somber prayer: “In times like these, we need a Savior!”
And Can It Be?
How many of us reading this letter can say with full assurance the proclamation so powerfully noted in the hymn “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?”
“Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light:
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died he for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my Lord, shouldst die for me?”
You may think I’ve lost my mind, but I can truly say that I live in the reality of what might seem a paradox. While on one hand I awake every day to ‘a day of darkness and a broken heart;’ I also awaken to ‘a day of glory and unbroken hope!’
I’m writing to you from a brief hiatus, but, my life is consumed with this great longing to finish my course with joy and this is only possible if the glorious Gospel increasingly be spoken from my lips and my life! The way forward seems more costly than any season of my lifetime! The ‘Republic’ I’ve so loved seems urgently fragile and but for the mercy and grace of God is facing a firestorm both from within and without.
My own observation of the human condition has been profoundly informed and awakened by the sacred scriptures and the illuminating counsel of the Spirit of God. The impact of the ‘prison house’ has cut my heart like a merciless spear. We all know that the most dangerous and darkest prison is the prison of a man’s own soul!
1 John 5:18-20 “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
The worth of one soul continues to amaze me! My own personal stewardship of the Gospel must cost me! “Help me, O, LORD!”
So Needful of His Mercy and Your Prayers!
Jack Crans, Executive Director
Broken Heart – Unbroken Hope
This study of the prophet Habakkuk was written to express a long-held desire to open this Old Testament book to those who are burdened in places of police and prison command.
I am thoroughly convinced of one thing: God’s counsel through the sacred scriptures needs re-opened and brought to the forefront of leadership. I believe that those touching the cries of heart reflected in the Justice System of all nations are very near to the attentive and profound judgments of God.
Nations are in crisis, including my own! No more concise message than what is found in Habakkuk could rival the posture of heart needed in leadership, today! Whether from a prison, police department, a courtroom or the highest command of justice in any nation there has never been a more urgent hour than now for leaders who weep and wait before God! If you read the following exhortations for leadership, know that I am praying that God will call you forth in His most perfect time. Weigh carefully the place He has permitted you to serve! Thank Him for placing you in your role ‘ for a time such as this’. Never underestimate what He might be calling you to do! See Psalm 107: 2
This study is by no means exhaustive but I pray that that these quickly written thoughts will somehow encourage those who take the time to understand…
Download a pdf version of Broken Heart – Unbroken Hope by Jack Crans here.
Concerns & Opportunities
In these final words, please embrace the following concerns and opportunities:
(1) The Jarvis Family needs a car, urgently.
(2) We host ‘Pointman Leadership Institute’s: Train the Trainer, preparing new instructors for police and youth seminars the week of November 12th.
(3) I invite your participation with me in the ‘prayer room’ of the National Prayer Breakfast: February 7th and 8th.
(4) The Botes Family is under-supported, yet, faithfully serving.
(5) Lastly, Please come to pray and encourage Joshua and Jordan Crans on Sunday Nights at 6:00 pm for the “Providence/Coatesville” church plant (corner of Virginia Avenue and Olive Street in Coatesville
(6) Engage in strategic initiatives ‘serving’ both Chester County Prison’s officers and residents.
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