Monday, August 16, 2010
Download MP3 (right click to save)
They were nearly 300 feet below ground. Nine coal miners, drilling into an abandoned mine shaft. Suddenly, the area they were in began to flood with millions of gallons of water. There was no way out. They managed to find an air pocket where they huddled together in a space that was only three feet high and twelve feet wide. Oxygen was running out; hypothermia couldn't be far away. Even if they were able to stay alive, there was no way for them to get back to the surface. Meanwhile, overhead, the authorities devised a daring rescue plan; to drill a 36-inch wide hole through the earth and through the bedrock that separated the miners from the surface. It took four days of around-the-clock effort and some frustrating setbacks, but ultimately the breakthrough came. They made it to the trapped men, who were all still alive. One by one, they were lifted up that narrow shaft in a metal cage. It was one of those miracle moments when they reached the surface to the hugs and cheers of loved ones who feared that they would never come out alive.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hope Within Your Reach."
Nine miners: their only hope - a rescue from above. In a way, their story is my story and your story. They were trapped in a deadly situation with no way they could get out. So was I, and so are you. So is every person on this planet. I only know that because the God who made everyone on this planet has told us.
In Romans 3:25, our word for today from the Word of God, our rescue is explained: "For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins...we are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us."
To put it bluntly, we've all taken our life a different direction than God created it to go, and we are in big trouble with the God who was there when we started and who'll be there when we die. We may not be in a mine, but the Bible pictures us as being in a pretty deep spiritual hole. Away from the God we were made by, facing the penalty God has placed on sin since the Garden of Eden. From the beginning of time, God has said if we do life our way instead of His way, in His words "You will surely die" (Genesis 2:17). He wasn't just talking about our heart stopping. He was talking about sin separating us from Him forever - spiritual death.
That's the deadly situation we're in. And like those nine miners, we're in too deep to get ourselves out. We hope that religion might offer us a ladder to climb out, but no ladder of human goodness can get anywhere near a perfect God. No, our only hope of meaning now and heaven later was a daring rescue plan from above. That plan has a name. His name is Jesus.
Church folks refer to Jesus as the Savior. That means rescuer. He's come down the shaft personally to bring you to God. But he had to give His life for you to ever have life. But He didn't stay dead. He walked out of His grave and conquered death forever. And now He's come for you. When that metal cage came down the shaft, every miner had a choice. Get on and live or stay where you are and die. That's exactly the choice that faces every one of us when it comes to God's Rescuer, Jesus. This very day, He's come to where you are to bring you out. You can grab His hand and live forever, or you can stay where you are and reject your only hope of heaven.
This could be nothing short of a miracle day for you; the day you experience the spiritual rescue made possible by Jesus Christ if you'll put your total trust in Him to bring you out. Only the Man who died for you can save you. And He's offering His hand to you, will you grab it?
I know a number of folks have found help and support when they were getting started with Jesus when they went to our website. It's really designed to help you get your relationship with God settled once and for all. I want to invite you to check it out today. Just go to yoursforlife.net. Your only hope is within your reach right now.