September 6, 2021
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Okay I'm pretty much a dummy when it comes to taking care of growing things, I admit that. I have to be careful laughing at what a cousin of ours did therefore. Oh, it was a nice thing. His wife was gone for a couple of weeks; he volunteered to take care of some of the household jobs she was leaving behind. Including watering her plants. Yeah, he did. Including this good-sized ficus plant. Now, I don't know what that is, but I can still tell the story. Right? He watered it faithfully every day. He proudly reported that to his wife when she got home. That's when he learned a revealing fact about that ficus plant - it wasn't real. He had been faithfully watering a lifeless plant.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Amount of Watering."
You know, no amount of watering is going to make something lifeless real. No matter how sincere the efforts. One of the disturbing revelations in the Bible is the fact that many people are sincerely nurturing something that has no life, in hopes that it will win them points with God and help them go to heaven some day.
In Proverbs 14:12, it's our word for today from the Word of God, it says: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Wow! If you ask most folks if they're going to heaven, they'll say "yeah," or "I hope so." And those hopes, in most cases, are based on the good things I do, the nice person I'm trying to be, the religion I'm faithfully following.
Unfortunately, God explicitly tells us that is not how to get to heaven. Listen to God's own words, "He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy" (Titus 3:5). In another place, God says, "No one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law" (Romans 3:20). And it couldn't be much clearer than this statement: "It is by grace," that's God's undeserved favor, "It is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works..." (Ephesians 2:8-9). Well, that couldn't be any plainer. Not by works - no amount of religion, no amount of human goodness.
So a person may be faithfully pursuing some spiritual system or lifestyle and still miss heaven. They're watering something that can't produce life. It may be beautiful...it may look like something that has life. They may really be sincere, but the Bible says human goodness can't produce eternal life.
Because our sin carries an eternal death penalty that the Bible describes as the "wages of sin" (Romans 6:23). And doing good can't pay a death penalty - someone has to die to pay a death penalty. I deserve that penalty for hijacking my life from the God who gave it to me. But Someone who loved me - and you - so much that He said, "I will die in your place." That was God's only Son, Jesus. And He is our only hope of heaven.
We're drowning. We can't save ourselves. Our only hope is grabbing the Rescuer, Jesus, holding onto Him like He's our only hope. Grabbing Him. That's the difference between eternal life and eternal death. Now, if you're not sure there's ever been a time when you've put all your trust in Jesus, I urge you; make this day your Jesus-day. Just tell Him, "Jesus, I believe that some of those sins You died for on that cross were mine. I'm turning over the wheel of my life to you. I'm not driving anymore, I've done that enough. And because you walked out of your grave under your own power, I know you are alive. I'm putting all my trust in you to take me to heaven someday and to forgive every sin. Today, I'm yours."
Listen, if you prayed that prayer, or if you'd really like to check out a simple explanation of how to be sure you belong to Jesus, go to our website, would you? It's ANewStory.com.
Look, you've known about Jesus. You've tried to do things that please Jesus. But maybe you've never really given yourself to Jesus. You are so close. Don't miss Him.