May 17, 2023
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Are you sure you want to turn on the news tonight? Yeah, it will cheer you up. Right. We need a few laughs. That's unlikely. It has been pretty ugly. Things are happening environmentally that are difficult, the weather is kinda going crazy. You've got headlines about growing crime and financial turmoil, and gun violence. Boy, you know all those headlines.
Yeah, there's a lot of grim stuff. But for us who belong to Jesus, you know what we should be hearing? We should be hearing our spiritual phone ringing. It's a wakeup call from God. And this is no time to let it go into voicemail, because God's calling us. And He's saying "If you're ever going to do something about the people who don't know Jesus, do it now!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Disturbing Headlines, A Message from God."
Number one, it's time to live for what others are dying for. You can go online and you will graphically see the price that our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are paying for their allegiance to Jesus. Torture. Rape. Even crucifixion.
We have a faith that is paid for in blood. First by Jesus. Then by countless Jesus-followers, from the first-century Coliseum to crosses today. So I should be intimidated into silence because of what talking about Jesus might cost me? "I might be called a name, marginalized, rejected, disrespected." If I won't pay that puny price, I should be ashamed.
The old hymn asks - "Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb? And shall I fear to own His cause, or blush to speak His name? Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease? While others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?" Yeah, spiritual silence. Not an option any longer, because it can cost someone Jesus. It can cost someone heaven.
The second message in the headlines: hearts are open because the world is crazy. Yeah. God calls us to make "the most of every opportunity because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16). This is opportunity time. Hearts that are usually looking inward are suddenly open to looking upward. So many things they have looked to are letting them down. With storm clouds coming in from every direction, people feel vulnerable, they feel unsafe. In the Bible's words, "like the tossing sea, which cannot rest... there is no peace" (Isaiah 57:20-21).
These are Jesus-times. Not to be missed. He's the One who speaks to the storm in the human heart and says, "Peace, be still!" And "do not let your hearts be troubled."
There's one other lesson in those headlines: We have the hope people are starving for. Peter calls it, "The reason for the hope you have" (1 Peter 3:15). That's what God says will interest people in my Jesus. Especially now. But only if I tell them about His unloseable love that He proved on a cross.
And there's never been a better time to tell your "hope story" than now. Our word for today from the Word of God: Hebrews 6:19. What a verse for unraveling times like ours! Speaking of Jesus it says, "we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."
My friend Dave used to keep his sailboat in Stamford Harbor in Connecticut. They've got a hurricane gate that they close in the face of this approaching storm. To protect every craft that makes it into the harbor. Actually my friend rode out a hurricane on his boat! He was blown around but he was safe. Well, Jesus is the harbor where I'm safe in a Category 5 world.
How can I know where the peace is, where the anchor is, and not tell the people in my personal world? No more silence. No more letting fear win. No more wimping out on sharing my Jesus.
My brother, my sister, it's too late for that.