Tuesday, January 10, 2012
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Whether you're in your car, or in your home, or almost anywhere you are right now, I think you probably have available to you what you're going to need for our next few minutes together. Yeah, because you're either near one or you might even carry one. Now, some people use this object too much; other people could afford to use it a little more. Maybe you've guessed what it is by now. Yep, it's a mirror, and you'll need it today, because that's where we're going to end up.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Answer in the Mirror."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God will take us ultimately to the mirror. In fact, it's found in Luke 15:17. If you're real conversant with your New Testament, you might recognize Luke 15 as being the home of that familiar story we call the Prodigal Son. And you know in that story he had gone to his apparently well-to-do father and said, "Dad, I'm restless. I don't know if I want to stay home anymore. I wonder if you could give me my share of the inheritance, and then I'm going to get this out of my system. I want to get out of here. I know you didn't die yet, but could I have my inheritance?"
Now, I don't really know what was on his mind, and we don't know why he wanted to leave. Maybe he was tired of the rules his dad had, and then he had an older brother. Maybe he didn't get along with him. But he went away, and the Bible says, "He went to a far country." So he wanted to get far away. It didn't take him long to blow all his money. He had a lot of friends as long as he had that money.
Then he lost his friends when he lost his "bucks." And he ended up working for a pig farmer - the worst possible thing a Jewish boy could end up doing would be feeding the pigs. But he was so desperate; he had to do an un-kosher job. And here he said, "Boy, I wonder if my dad would even take me back as one of his servants?" And there he is sorting it out; trying to figure out, "How did I ever get in this mess? How did I end up in a pig pen?"
Maybe for you, you're looking at your life and you're not in the pig pen right now, but things aren't going right. You're restless, you're feeling disoriented, confused, disappointed, there's a lot of frustration that's built up over the last few months, maybe some anger. You're really looking for some answers, and you're saying, "Whose fault is it I'm in this mess?"
Luke 15:17 tells us the end of the Prodigal Son's search for the answer. And in these simple words recorded in the King James Version of the New Testament it says this: "And he came to himself." Now, I know that means he came to his senses. But I think it also implies to us that after he went down the list and he said, "Okay, it's not my Father's fault. Okay, well let's see, if I didn't have that brother. No, no, it's not my brother's fault. If my friends weren't so fickle. No, I guess I can't blame my friends. If only I hadn't run out of money; if I hadn't invested in the wrong thing, or if it weren't for this boss who is giving me this crummy job."
Finally, after scratching off all the other causes, he ends up looking in the mirror. I told you we'd come back there. It says, "He came finally to himself." Maybe that's the first place you're going to begin to find deliverance from your restlessness, your frustration. You've got to look in the mirror and say, "Lord, I think I'm the one who needs to be changed. I'm not going to blame it on my circumstances, or the problem people in my life, or my wife, or my husband, or my kids, or my parents, or the economy, a lack of resources. It's not my brother, not my sister, but it's me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer."
Every counselor's first job is to get a person to take the responsibility for their own situation. Whether you're a parent, or a son, or a daughter, or a worker, or a boss, I trust that you will begin to say, "Lord, begin with me."
Look in the mirror. Offer what you see to the Father, and just like the father of the Prodigal Son, He's going to clean you up and make you look like royalty.