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To The Uttermost

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Article by Josh Vestal of Crossroads Church and

Dear friends this week, together in the name of the Lord Jesus, let us go to the throne of grace in prayer for the salvation of our lost friends and loved ones. We have our own peculiar situations, I know. We don’t have to share every intricate detail of our personal lives—the Spirit of God knows it all too well. Perhaps there is strain between yourself and those you hold dear. Tension and strife between loved ones are so disheartening. To be frank, it is just downright painful. Perhaps there isn’t necessarily visible strife, but your loved one is happily skipping down the broad road entirely oblivious to the road’s end. Do not lose heart, beloved. Remember our gracious God’s character. He has long been in the business of saving souls. He has for millennia saved even the most despicable kinds of people. He truly saves to the uttermost.

Look to the Scripture for encouragement. From Genesis to Revelation we read of God’s redemptive plan and purposes. Remember those beautiful words that Hannah prayed, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory” (1 Sam. 2:8). I am mindful this morning of the story of Mel Trotter’s conversion. His ministry has won thousands of alcoholics, drug addicts and homeless to Christ. I would like to share his testimony with you:

One day it found me in Chicago living in a rat-infested cellar apartment in the worst section of the city. Why my wife and little child stayed with me only God knows, for the pain and suffering I caused them cannot be described. One day our little child was taken seriously ill. A faithful doctor came even though he knew that there would be no payment for his call. After diagnosing the case he reached into his own pocket, took out some money and thrust it into my hands shouting, “Mel, run, don’t walk, to the

drugstore which is two blocks from here, here’s the prescription, come right back, it may even now be too late, so hurry!” I climbed the stairs and was out onto the pavement. I looked to my left and sure enough I saw the drugstore about two blocks away, but then I looked to my right and saw that the saloon was only one-half block away. A sudden desire came over me, one that drove all thought of my little sick child out of my head. Even the fact that the money in my hand did not belong to me was erased as I blindly rushed to the saloon, threw the money on the bar, and shouted, “Let’s all drink, it’s on me”. Soon the doctor’s money was gone and then some other fool threw his money on the bar and we continued on and on through the day and into the night. When it was time to close I was so far gone that the saloon keeper just threw me in a back room to sleep it off. When he came back the next day, I was still there, and it wasn’t until the night began to approach that I came enough to my senses to decide to go home. When I arrived back, I slowly descended the rickety stairs. I saw that someone was talking very quietly to my wife and they were crying. I still did not know why and was still too far gone to have understood. I then looked into another room. There had been no furniture before, but now there was a little box on a stand. I wondered what it could be. As I went over and looked into the box I saw that it was the body of my little child, but looking very different. Someone had put on her clean, new clothes, and somehow there was even a pair of brand new little shoes. Still I didn’t get the message. As I stood there that urge came over me. I craved another drink. What I wouldn’t do for another drink! My dear friends, as I think back on this next part my heart feels as if it were ripped out, for I’m so ashamed. As the urge overwhelmed me, I hurriedly slipped the new shoes from the cold feet of my precious little child, rammed them into my pocket as yet I had not attracted the attention of my wife and woman with her. I stole out of the apartment and I sold those little shoes for a few pennies and bought another drink. I had gone so low that I have often said I had to reach up to touch bottom. With all of this, I was not awakened to reality, until one day, after some more debauchery and drinking, I decided to end it all. With me out of the way, I reasoned the

world would be a lot better off, particularly my wife. With this in mind, I headed for Lake Michigan to drown myself. It had gotten dark and cold and, as I wove my way down Clark Street heading for one of the streets which would take me east to the lake, I was suddenly given a push by someone who said, “why don’t you go in there, Bud, it’s nice and warm.” And as I went through an open door, someone sat me in a chair. It had all happened so quickly that it took my muddled brain a little while to realize that I was in a room filled with men, and a man was speaking. He was talking as if he knew all about me as he said, “Perhaps you’ve come in here tonight and you haven’t even planned it, in fact you had decided that you’re going to end it all, you feel no one understands you, no one cares, and there is no hope.” “My friend, I’m here to tell you that you are wrong, for there is someone who understands you, there is someone who cares for you and I assure you that there is hope for you. You will find all of your answers when you come to Jesus Christ and receive Him as your personal Saviour. He not only wants to save you from your mess, but wants to go with you for the rest of your life, to keep you from getting into any more trouble.” On that cold January 18th night in 1897, Mel Trotter was graciously saved by the Lord. Three years after his conversion, city leaders from Grand Rapids called the Pacific Garden Rescue Mission for help. Trotter had been working at the Mission as a leader and was sent to start a new mission in Grand Rapids. Over the next 40 years Trotter would lead City Rescue Mission, one of the great missions in all of America, helping people from similar backgrounds as himself and pointing countless individuals to saving faith in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Praise God for Amazing grace! It is such that Jesus Christ came to save. Look up. Always up! In the Lord Jesus,

Josh Vestal

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