Friday, November 9, 2007
All eyes are on the mountain - the volcano nearby, that is. Our friends' daughter is a missionary, living in a city that sits in the middle of several volcanoes. And one of them is showing some of those Mt. St. Helen's-type symptoms - the bulging and the boiling that suggests a possible eruption in the near future. Scientists are predicting that could very well happen. So living anywhere near that boiling mountain is, to say the least, pretty nerve-wracking.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Human Volcanoes."
It's tough living with a volcano that could go off any minute. Maybe that's how the people around you feel. When the stress and pressure and aggravation build up, too many of us become a human volcano - blowing up and doing some serious damage, especially to people we love. Like a volcano, the eruption is over fairly quickly, but the damage it does can last a lifetime.
For someone listening today, your temper is - to put it in "Star Wars" vocabulary - part of your "dark side." And our dark side, frankly, is out of control all too often. It may be the devastating things that we say and do when we're angry, or our selfishness that continually wounds and crushes people, or our sexual desires that take us where we really don't want to go, or a sour negativity and bitterness that poisons our life and the lives of people around us. It's all deadly molten lava that keeps spewing out of our life - often hurting most the people we love most.
The battle we fight with our explosive dark side is not a new battle. It's at least 2,000 years old, as evidenced by what one Bible writer said in Romans 7, beginning with verse 15, our word for today from the Word of God. He says: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do." That's a struggle we all understand too well, isn't it? The way we treat our mate, our children, our co-workers, our friends - we don't want to be that way, but we just can't seem to stop being that way. He goes on to say, "I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." How many times have we resolved to do better - and failed? "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this is what I keep on doing."
But there's good news here, because the Bible now shows us how to move from despair to deliverance. The writer says, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me...?" That's what we need - we need a rescue! Someone who can lift us out of this sin-mess we're trapped in. "Thanks be to God," the writer continues, "through Jesus Christ our Lord!" That's where the hope is! Jesus Christ came here to deal once and for all with this sin monster that's so powerful inside us. That sin cuts us off from God, now and forever. But Jesus went to a cross where He died to absorb all the power and all the death penalty of your sin and mine. Then He declared total victory three days later when He walked out of His grave under His own power!
And He wants to bring that victory into your life - to forgive every sinful, hurtful things you've ever done and give you a new beginning. He stands ready to actually move into your heart and to control what you have never been able to control; to beat what has always beaten you. He's the Rescuer, reaching for you. Now it's up to you to reach back and grab His hand and tell Him, "Jesus, You are my only hope. I don't want to be like this anymore. I'm placing all my trust in you to be my Savior from my sin." With Him in your life, you don't have to be what you've always been. You can be what the Bible calls "a new creation" ( 2 Corinthians 5:17).
If you're ready for Jesus, God's Rescuer, to come in and rescue you, then I'd like to send you a little booklet I wrote called Yours For Life. I think it will help clarify and confirm how this new beginning really works. I'll send it to you if you want it. Just ask for it by going to our website at yoursforlife.net or by calling 877-741-1200. It's toll free.
When Jesus was on earth, He was with His disciples in a violent storm that threatened to destroy them - until He stepped to the helm and He said three words: "Peace, be still!" And the storm was gone. Today, He wants to do that for the storm that's been raging inside you.