Tuesday, January 9, 2018
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I know this is going to come as a shock to you, but there were a lot of rumors in college that I was behind some practical jokes and pranks that happened while I was there. That's hard to imagine, huh? I mean, it probably wouldn't come as a total surprise to some of those folks if finally I ended up in the penitentiary. Fortunately, my sentence was only about four hours, because I did end up at Alcatraz. Yep! Now, we had taken some young people out to that famous prison in the middle of San Francisco Bay to do a special radio program. Of course, it's been some years since any prisoners were held there on what they called The Rock, but it is still quite a place to see. While we were there, we experienced this awful claustrophobia of being locked in one of those little cells; the isolation of being in solitary confinement. For the closing segment of the program, we walked out of one of the prison gates and down to the rocks outside that overlook the bay. One of the young people with us was walking out with me, and he made quite an observation, because it was really a tremendously commanding view. He said, "Just think, there was only a wall between them and all this beauty."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Only A Wall."
Our word for today from the Word of God is about just such a wall; one which may be keeping you from the beauty you were made for. Our word for today from the Word of God is Isaiah 59:2. It says, "Your iniquities (That's all the times that we've done things our way instead of God's way.) Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you." Separation-that was the feeling we felt so strongly at Alcatraz. A person there was, in simple words, cut off from love, from freedom, from a beautiful world.
In a sense, God is saying here that we are all prisoners in our own personal Alcatraz-cut off from Him, from His love, from His peace, His heaven, which may account for an incurable loneliness you've experienced over the years. It turns out we're lonely for God, because our sin has built a wall between us and our Creator. In fact, you may very well have not needed me to realize that there's a wall between you and God. You knew that. You can feel it. You've felt it for a long time. Well, if that wall doesn't come down in time, it becomes a death sentence; separation from God that is irreversible and eternal.
The wall that separates you from the beauty that God wants you to have can come down, but not because of anything you or I can do about it. Somehow, our sins have to be removed and forgiven, and the death penalty has to be paid by someone who takes our place. In 1 Peter 3:18, the Bible says "Christ died for our sins,...the righteous (That's Him.) for the unrighteous (That's you and me.), to bring you to God." What Jesus did on the cross was to take your rap. You did the sinning, Jesus did the dying. Which means the wall can come down the moment you put your total trust in Jesus to erase your sins from God's book and give you eternal life in place of eternal death.
When the door opened that day in the prison we were in, we were so anxious to leave behind that darkness and that loneliness and to finally step out to where we could breathe free and enjoy the beauty just beyond the wall. That's exactly what God wants you to experience today. He wants the wall between you and Him to come down, and it can upon your invitation.
This could be the day when you say, "Lord, I believe that some of those sins you were dying for on that cross were mine. I turn from the running of my own life. You were meant to run it, and you will from now on. Jesus, because you died on the cross for me, I am Yours." That's the moment the wall will come down and you will experience all God has for you.
Our website is there. It is prepared for you to go to right now and be sure you belong to Jesus Christ and make sure you understand how to get this settled today. Would you go there? It's ANewStory.com.
Today you're at the door. Jesus is on the other side waiting to lead you out. Follow Him, because it is really beautiful on the other side of the wall.