November 14, 2023
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Many of the world's greatest dramas are not on a stage or a screen. They're played out in that quadrennial spectacle we call the Olympics. Maybe you remember the year, many years ago now really, that Britain's representative in the 400-meter race, Derrick Redman, began to falter and went down in the back stretch with a torn right hamstring. As the medical attendants were approaching, Derrick Redman was fighting his way to his feet. Now, he's limping along in anguish. Hopping, desperately trying to finish the race. He knew he wouldn't win; he was just trying to finish.
If you remember this at all, he reached that final stretch. And as he did, a large man in a tee-shirt forced his way out of the stands, ran up to Derrick and hugged him. That big man was Jim Redman, Derrick's Father. And he said to him, "Son, you don't have to do this." Gritting his teeth, with tears in his eyes, his son said, "Yes, I do." His Father said, "Then we're going to finish this together." And Derrick's head was literally buried in his Father's shoulder, but he stayed in his lane to the end. And when they crossed the finish line, the crowd who had been stunned at first, stood to their feet. They cheered, they wept, and they watched those two men finish that race together.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Father to Run With You."
Our word for today from the Word of God is a simple statement from Deuteronomy 1:30. It says this: "The Lord your God carried you as a Father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." Maybe today finds you very tired, stressed out. And like that 400-meter runner in the Olympics you're staggering right now. You're having a hard time finishing your race.
You started well. You've been running real hard, but you're about to go down. Maybe you've been hit by discouragement, or illness, you've got family trouble, a lack of support. Or maybe there's just obstacles. You're just hurting and there's a lot more race ahead of you.
Well, God wants to give you the good news that someone has left the stands to help you, and He's coming to the track to get you the rest of the way. It is your Father. It's your Heavenly Father. First, God left the stands to come to a cross, and there He rescued us from the sin wound that would have kept us forever from reaching heaven.
There's a rich promise here that when you're in the desert and you can't go on, your resources are dried up, you say, "Daddy, I can't go any farther." Then He says, "Then I will carry you." Right now, let's be honest. You're not going to make it alone. But today there is an all-powerful Father who is offering to carry you. But you've got to let Him. If you're too proud to collapse in His arms, surrender to His control, then your power is limited. You're not going to make it.
But if you will totally release the control and in the words of the Bible, "humble yourself" you will have all of your Father's power. Each of us reaches days when we just don't have any more to give. Maybe you're there right now. It's those moments in the race that can take you deeper into the love and the power of Jesus than you've ever been before. Your Father is not a spectator in the stands today. His arm is around you right now where you are.
And it could be you have never established your own personal relationship with God as your Father made possible by the death of His Son, Jesus, on that cross for the sin that has separated you from God for a lifetime, and will separate you forever unless that wall comes down. He's come down. He's come down to a cross; all the way down to die and to pay for you. That's how much He loves you. You don't have to do life alone any more - never again.
You've spent your last day alone if this day you will invite this Jesus to be your Savior from your sin. Listen, we've set up our website to help you begin to belong to Him today. I hope you'll go there. It's ANewStory.com. I'm telling you, the voice of God is saying to you today, "You're not doing this alone. From now on we'll finish this race together."