January 9, 2019
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On some of my trips I can travel pretty light, but there have been some where I felt like a mule carrying the things I had to take. One trip I had to pack for three different seasons; professional settings, youth settings. Well, you get the idea. I was going to be gone for quite a while, of course, I had to basically take my office with me too. I had a lot of baggage! When I arrived, someone from the area met me at the gate and they said those magic words, "Let me help you with your bags." I did.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Help With Your Baggage."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 11:28. It's a wonderful invitation from the lips of Jesus Christ. It's the first Bible verse I ever remember a Sunday School teacher having me memorize. Here's what Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." That invitation is echoed in another place in the Bible; it's in 1 Peter 5:7. "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."
Now, we all have baggage, the emotional kind. In fact, maybe you're carrying a lot of pain right now. Maybe you've got some crippling issues from your past. Or some bad news you got recently or just an overload of stress. It could be you carry baggage from a divorce - it could be your own or maybe your parents' divorce, or some form of abuse or a bad relationship. Some of us are trying to carry the weight of a serious medical condition, a financial crisis, maybe a family issue.
My friend John had some very heavy baggage. One day in a doctor's office, he heard one of those words we dread - cancer - a deadly cancer. After the diagnosis, well, he was supposed to have been gone three or four times. He had ten operations in eight years, but when you would talk to John you just can't believe what he'd gone through. He was like joyful. He was positive. He was interested in how you're doing.
It's just hard to believe he could be carrying such heavy weight, yet seem so light. He was an encouragement to other patients. That's what they told him. So his doctor called him in one day and said "Can you visit some of my other patients? They need what you have." What did he have? He made that clear. He told me about others that he knows who are falling under the weight of cancer.
Then he just made this simple observation. He said, "They're trying to handle it without a Savior." Woah! That's the difference for John - the Savior difference - the Jesus difference. He could be the difference for you. Let's look at the baggage you're carrying. I wonder if John's words describe you, trying to handle it without a Savior.
See you were never meant to carry that pain or that burden alone. Jesus says, "Come to me. I want to carry it." He's a burden bearer. He knows your pain. He understands it because He's been here. He's experienced everything from loneliness, to betrayal, to torture, to dying; and Jesus has dealt with the deadliest baggage of all that we carry; the sin in our lives. Because that will one day keep us out of heaven.
But the Bible says, "He carried our sins in His own body on the tree." That tree was His cross. And the day you tell Him that you're trusting Him to be your own Savior from your own sin, that's the last day you will ever carry your burden alone. The strong arms of Jesus are reaching out to you right now, and He says, "Let me help you with your baggage. I can handle it. I already bore the weight of all your sins on my cross. The rest is easy." The promise of Jesus: "I will give you rest." You ready for that?
You begin your relationship with Him when you say, "Jesus, I'm yours." I hope you'll do that today. Our website is there to help you have the information that will help you get this settled today, so you will never do another day face another challenge without a Savior.
If your soul's really tired today, would you let Jesus give you what only He can - rest and peace at last.