Thursday, March 29, 2012
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There's bad plaque and there's good plaque. The bad kind is that substance that builds up on your teeth that you see in all the toothpaste commercials. They're going to help you get rid of that. Oh, and then there's good plaque; that's the kind we have hanging on walls all over our house.
They're good plaques because they have different promises on them from God's Word. Right as you come in our house there's been a plaque on the wall that says, "All your children will be taught of the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children." That's Isaiah 54:13. And most homes have God's promises on plaques on the wall, or churches do. But plaques like that are meant to do more than hang on walls; they're actually meant to float.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Plaques Turn to Life Preservers."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 119:50. David says, "My comfort in my suffering is this: 'Your promise preserves my life.'" I love that. "Your promise preserves my life."
Not long ago I was talking to some friends of ours who had lost a relative in a tragic auto accident. I said to them, "Was His grace enough?" You know, one of the great promises of God in 2 Corinthians 12:9 is, "His grace is sufficient." There'll always be enough grace.
And they said, "Oh yeah, it sure was." And then together we began to remember some of those promises that make good wall plaques, like "Underneath are the everlasting arms." And then it dawned on me, those promises of God are nice words, but when a storm hits and you're sinking - like when a loved one dies for example - the promise of God becomes a lot more than a plaque. It becomes your life preserver, like someone drowning in the ocean, hanging on for dear life, and the promise is all you've got to hang onto.
David said, "My comfort in suffering is this, 'Your promise preserves my life.'" All you've got to hang onto, and the more you hold onto that promise, the more you live as if the promise is true, then the more you can handle. We've got to have those promises in our heart so we can rip them off the wall and hang onto them when that sudden storm hits.
I talked not long ago to a burned out Christian leader. He's hanging on to a promise from the 23rd Psalm, "He restores my soul." I talked to a family who was recently hit by five medical blows within as many weeks. They're hanging on to Deuteronomy 33:25, "Your strength will equal your days." When my wife got ill and was sick with hepatitis, in bed for nine months, I wondered, "How in the world am I going to do it without my partner?" I hung on to that verse. Every day I said, "Your strength will equal your days, Ron. Your strength will equal your days." It did! It got me through.
So, learn those promises. They're your source of strength. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." That means you'll have everything you need. Maybe you need Philippians 4:19, "My God will supply all your needs." Or maybe that plaque that becomes a life preserver is 1 Corinthians 10:13, "God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted more than you are able." Or are you hanging onto Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." How many times have I hung onto Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to Me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know."
Learn those promises, and then learn to lean on those promises. When your feelings are lying to you, when your world is upside down, grab a promise off the wall of your heart and rest all your weight on it. The promises of God are life preservers.