Friday, September 28, 2012
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Funny things happen when church youth groups go on summer missions trips. Suddenly these comfortable American kids are facing a totally unfamiliar situation, maybe for the first time in their lives!
There's money they don't quite understand. There's language that's different from theirs. Surroundings that are really different from their comfy little room back home. Unusual places to sleep, food they're not used to eating.
And suddenly, teenagers who seldom have quiet time in the Bible, are up early every morning for devotions. Amazing! In fact if you look, there's a teenager with a Bible on every rock. It's not quite like that back home is it? What is happening? And kids who find prayer back home kind of boring? Well, now they want prayer meetings. Some who have never prayed aloud before, suddenly find the words. What's going on here? Maybe the same thing that's happening where you are.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Bankruptcy Makes You Rich."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 1, and I'm beginning to read at verse 8. Paul is struggling. He says, "We are under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure." Maybe that's something you can relate to. He goes on to say, "...so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts, we felt the sentence of death. But this happened so that..."
Okay, time out. He's finding the reason for this heavy pressure, getting to the end of his rope, this despairing even of life, why has God allowed this to happen; what's the reason? He says, "It happened so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God." And then he adds, "...who raises the dead." Wow!
Paul says, "I'm bankrupt, man! I have no resources left. Why? How did I get to this point? I had run out of me to depend on. I totally abandoned me and the situation to God." What happened? The next verse says, "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us."
I told you about the mission trip scenario. Kids are stripped of everything they usually can depend on, and so they're forced to grab Jesus as if their lives depended on Him. Well, it isn't that you suddenly started needing the Lord when you're bankrupt. You just don't realize it until you're bankrupt. Then something very intimate happens in your love relationship with Jesus. You experience His unlimited power at the point of your total powerlessness. In a sense, you don't really know the Lord until you really need the Lord.
Our safe, predictable, well resourced Christianity insulates us from really living by faith. And then God allows the bottom to drop out, just so He can hold you up. And you find out what He can do when there's none of you and it's all God. And then you can learn that He's enough. He fills up your empty account and in a paradox that only God could reveal to us.
You ready? Here it is: in your bankruptcy, you can finally be rich.