Friday, March 25, 2016
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Thirty-three years. That's how long my wife and I had been married when a friend asked her how she had put up with me for 33 years and she said, "I've only seen him for four of them!" Maybe that's a secret of a happy marriage. Actually, I know another secret for every husband: remember your anniversary.
For me, there's a certain day in the summer that might be just any old day for other people, but it's forever got a glow around it for two people – my wife and me. It's the day I walked into a church not married and I walked out married. It's the day I made a lifetime commitment to a wonderful girl. Now, if you had just met me, you might ask, "Are you married?" What if I said, "Well, I'm not sure." We've got a problem here! Or, what if I said, "I hope so" or "You know, we've spent a lot of time together over the years. We must have gotten married somewhere!" Come on, if you're married, you know you're married! Or you're not!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Good Friday...YOUR Friday."
Now, you know if you got married or not because it's a conscious, deliberate commitment. I mean, I remember. I said those vows. Now, I call that life's second most important relationship. But it's also true of life's most important relationship - your relationship with the God who created you, with the God that you'll stand before right after your last heartbeat. If you've begun a personal relationship with Him, you know you did. If you don't know you did, you probably didn't.
Our word for today from the Word of God: 2 Corinthians 13:5. "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test?" Since where you spend all eternity depends on whether or not you have this relationship with Jesus, you want to be sure you do.
So how do you "check up on yourself' to see if you really belong to Him? Well, how can a person be sure they're married? By answering one simple question. "Was there a time when I consciously and sincerely committed my life to this person?" How can you be sure you have this life-saving relationship with Jesus? Was there a time when you consciously and sincerely committed your life to Jesus Christ? If you did it, you know you did. If you don't know you did, you didn't.
The Bible describes this moment of commitment in these words in John 1:12. "To all who received Christ, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God." Someone might say, "Well, aren't we all God's children?" No, we're all God's creation, but we're only His child if there has been a definite moment of being born into His family; a birth that takes place when you believe it says. Now, believe in the Bible in the original language means putting your total trust in Jesus to be your Savior from the death penalty for your sins. He died on the cross for those sins. Have you ever definitely told Him you were totally committing yourself to Him?
You may not remember an exact day, but you do need to know there was one! Like marriage, this is a conscious commitment. If you don't know that, and you want to begin that love relationship with Jesus Christ, let this be your day of beginning, the day you can always point to as your Jesus-day. Good Friday, your Friday. You can tell Him you want to belong to Him with a prayer like this right where you are, "Jesus, I have run my own life. I resign. I believe You paid the death penalty for my sin when You died on that cross. And today I am putting all my trust in You to be my Savior like a drowning person would grab a lifeguard. Beginning today, I'm Yours."
If that's what you want. If you want to be sure of it, I would invite you as soon as you can to get over to our website and read what I've put there for you to help you actually know that today you've got it done. The website - ANewStory.com.
Courtship doesn't make you married, engagement doesn't make you married. Only that lifetime commitment. It's the same with the Savior who died for you. And I pray that if you've never had that moment of commitment to Him, you'd make it today. For all eternity, you'll be able to celebrate this as your personal anniversary of receiving eternal life.