Friday, August 10, 2018
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It was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and then a major motion picture. It was the story of one of the most famous race horses of all time, Seabiscuit. While many of us may not be excited about horse racing, the story, set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, illustrates some things that are pretty inspiring. Seabiscuit was the son of a champion but he was definitely not like his father. He had been forced to run with better horses so they would gain confidence by beating him. When he raced, he did what he was trained to do – lose. Because of the poor treatment Seabiscuit received, he became an angry, almost uncontrollable horse. Until he was given a chance by a trainer many considered to be too old and a young man most thought was too big to be a jockey – a man blind in one eye and bitter from his parents' abandonment.
But Seabiscuit thrived in the care of people who believed in him and became one of the greatest horses of all time – along with his jockey. The trainer sees in the horse something others have missed. He says when Seabiscuit's eventual owner is deciding whether to buy this apparent loser, "You don't throw a life away just because it's been banged up a little." And when the trainer wants to fire his jockey, the owner reminds him, "You don't throw a life away just because it's been banged up a little." I like that.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hope For Banged Up Lives."
Maybe you're one of those lives. You've been treated poorly, you've been made to feel that you never measure up, that you're a loser, people have undervalued you, they've passed you by, and maybe you've ended up pretty hard and angry. But, you know, there is someone who has never thrown away a banged up life, who sees beyond what's on the outside to the wounds on the inside and the potential He built into you when He made you. Jesus is your hope of a new beginning where the future doesn't have to be just an extension of a broken past.
In Isaiah 61:1, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible says of Jesus, "The Lord...has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners...to provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes - a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."
Jesus has done that for millions of hurt people, devalued people, banged up people for two thousand years. He can do it for you because He died for every sin ever done by you or against you. The Bible says of His death on the cross: "He carried our sorrows...He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities...and by His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4, 5).
With someone who loves you so unconditionally, so completely, you don't ever again have to trash yourself, trash other people, or trash your future. You can tear up that name tag that identifies you as "victim" and replace it with the new identity Jesus gives you – "child of the King" if you'll surrender the steering wheel of your life and put the rest of your life in the hands of the man who died for you.
He is ready to take all the mess, all the sin, all the hurt, all the scars, and make this a day of forgiving, healing, and new beginning. You just tell Him, "Jesus, I'm done. I'm yours." Our website is called ANewStory.com, because that's what it's about; how today can be chapter one of the new story of your life in Jesus. I encourage you to go there and get some hope and some help.
Jesus, God's one and only Son, sacrificed Himself to become the ultimate banged up life for you. However much you have been betrayed, you can trust Him. However much you have been hurt and rejected, you can count on His "never leave you" love. And your new beginning? Well, how about today?