Monday, July 23, 2012
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I heard not long ago about a little boy who was trying to move this huge rock. He pulled, and he pushed, and grunted and strained, trying to move it with leverage from a board, but it was all to no avail. Finally his Dad said, "Son, have you used all your resources?" "Oh, yeah, Dad. I can't make it move! I've tried everything." And his Dad replied, "No, you haven't. You haven't asked me to help you yet."
Maybe you're at a point right now. Oh, you're not a little boy, but you've got a big rock that needs to move and you desperately need your father's help. But you're going it alone doing everything you can to move it. Well actually, there's something that keeps your Father right now from lifting that load of yours.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "What Keeps Your Father From Helping?"
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in Hebrews 12:15. It starts out talking about a very sobering possibility. "See to it," the writer says, "that no one misses the grace of God." Man, there's a lot of things in your life that you could do without, but you cannot go without the grace of God. This says, "See that you don't miss God's grace."
Now, he's writing to believers here. This doesn't mean you don't become a Christian. It means that as a believer, you need God's grace but for some reason you don't have it. And maybe you're in a situation now like that little boy where you've got a big rock to move and the pressure is really heavy. And, well, maybe there's a family problem, or there's this financial boulder to move, you've got medical responsibilities, whatever is crushing you right now. But God's grace is supposed to be sufficient, right? What happened? Why is this so hard? Well, maybe you're missing the grace of God. How do you do that?
Well, listen to the second half of the verse, "...and see to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Wow! Think about what this verse is saying.
Bitterness blocks the grace of God. Your Father cannot help you lift that rock if there is bitterness in your heart. Now, you may not realize it; you may not call it that, but bitterness has taken root. You've been under all this pressure, and maybe you're angry and you're resentful toward a family member because of their part in your frustration. Maybe you've got bad feelings that have grown toward a teacher, an employer, a coworker who is making your life miserable. Maybe you're even bitter toward God because you don't understand what He's doing or why He's waiting. There's somebody in your past, and they're just running your life basically because you can't stop thinking about what they did to you and how you feel toward them.
Somewhere, maybe, there's this boiling anger inside, and like a great cloud that suddenly blocks out the sun, your bitterness is blocking the grace of God just when you need it most. Ironically, you've never needed God's strength, and His closeness, and His peace more than you do now. This rock is too heavy for you, but your prayer seems hollow and you feel so alone, even at the breaking point. Maybe it's because you've got some forgiving to do, some letting go of a hurt, trusting God to meet out justice to make things right.
Your Father is standing there ready to help as only He can, but you've got to release that bitterness that's making your burden so much heavier. Why carry that load too? Your Father wants to trade your bitterness for His energizing grace.