Monday, July 2, 2018
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When my granddaughter was three years old she had big eyes, a big smile, and a backpack to match. She'd loaded her little red backpack with every book that she could jam in there. And being a firstborn, she must of course, carry it all by herself-which she was trying to do one day when it became clear to Daddy that she was really straining with that load. He saw again how determined she can be. (Determined actually is a grandparent's word. Parents call it stubborn.) He suggested she remove a few books and lighten the load, and that idea was a total non-starter. Then she tried taking another step. That's when she started to take off her backpack, and she said with a sigh, "Here, Daddy. I can't carry it anymore." Her Daddy gladly took it and he asked, "How's that, honey?" Her answer melted her father's heart, "All better, Daddy. All better."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Get Rid of Your Heavy Burden."
A lot of us are carrying a heavy pack on our back everywhere we go, and it's seriously weighing us down. There's a tribe in Alaska who believes that we all carry an invisible backpack with us wherever we go. Whenever we sin, we put another rock in that backpack. The longer we live, the more regrets we seem to accumulate-those things that we should have done that we didn't do; the things we thought we'd never do that we have done. Our backpack contains the pain of our past, the guilt over our mistakes, the shame of our sins. Sometimes, for a short time, you can forget about the burdens you carry. But eventually the weight of it all is there again, crushing our spirit and holding us back.
And then comes the invitation that has liberated countless millions of people, including the guy talking right now. The invitation comes from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and it's recorded in our word for today from the Word of God in Matthew 11:28. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Jesus loves you and He offers to take your burden on Himself so you can live the rest of your life free from the weight.
That's what He was doing when He hung on that cross, suspended by three nails. He was taking on Himself all the sin, the shame, the guilt, and all the punishment for every wrong thing you and I have ever done. In God's own words in the Bible, "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). The Bible puts it in even more graphic terms when it tells us that "He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him" (Isaiah 53:5).
When you bring a lifetime of selfishness and sin and hurt to the cross of Jesus, you can leave it there forever. You walk up to that cross dirty, and you walk away clean! And the feeling of being clean inside may be something you've needed for a long time, and it can start today. At the moment that you take all your sin and say, "Jesus, I realize that you love me so much that you took all the burdens of all my sins on yourself when you died on that cross. And because you rose from the dead, you're alive right now and you're able to take my sin and forgive it because you died for it. So, Jesus, I'm done running my own life. Beginning today, I'm yours!" That is life's most liberating moment.
God is saying to you this very day, "Let Daddy carry that." He paid a very high price so He could. Why would you walk around one more day with that heavy backpack that you've carried so long?
There’s wonderful information I’d love to give you at our website so you can be sure you have begun your relationship with the only One who can save you from your sin. Go to ANewStory.com.
Tonight you can go to sleep saying, "I'm forgiven. I'm going to heaven. I'm right with God" because you gave your backpack of sin to your Daddy in heaven. And it's finally "All better, Daddy."