How Jack Was Made New!

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 4
It was the last day of the old year. A few of the men on board ship had met weekly for prayer, and lately they had prayed especially for one of the sailors whose reckless life was carrying him beyond all limits. Just before this man's watch on the last night of the year one of these praying sailors said to him, "Jack, we meet tonight to see the old year out. Shall we pray for you?"
Jack turned round in a rage. "Pray for me, if you dare, and I'll knock your brains out" was his answer.
Jack went on to his watch, and the night grew very quiet around him. Overhead shone the stars, and far away gleamed the lights of the city. The parting words of his mate rang in his ears.
As he calmed down he began to wonder, What'll they say? At last he thought to himself, Well, if they mention all my sins they'll have enough to keep them busy!
One after another, many sins of the past came up before him. Rousing himself, he tried to shake off these memories. It could not be done.
"We'll pray for you" rang in his ears. All at once Bible verses learned as a child came into his mind. Vainly he whistled and sang and tried to think of everything else.
The soul that sinneth, it shall die, said memory. The wrath of God abideth on him—shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. He could not shut the thoughts out of his mind. At last he saw himself a sinner before an avenging, slighted God. Despairing and trembling, he realized his hopelessness.
"Oh, what a list of sins I've got scored against me!" he groaned. "I can't ever get them washed out."
He saw himself lost and helpless, fast sinking in the waves of sin and shame. But as Jesus appeared to Peter long ago, walking on the sea, so across the cold waves of doubt, of anguish and despair, came the heavenly Comforter into the heart of this poor sailor. To his memory came the gentle words of the Savior: Be not afraid, only believe.
Alone at his post, Jack fell upon his knees. He believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. He received Him into his heart, and was saved.
The far-off city bells tolled out the dying of the year, and merry chimes announced the advent of the new as Jack, a new creature in Christ, arose from his knees. Grasping the hand of the one who came to relieve him, he exclaimed, "Ned, I'm a new man in Christ Jesus!"
As he thought of the depths from which he had been saved, he could not sufficiently praise God's goodness. He was untiring in his efforts to show his old mates the way of salvation, and more than one had reason to be grateful for Jack's new year and new life.
Will you also believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be made new?