Friday, December 16, 2011
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There's just no better time to have a baby boy than Christmastime. My parents did, we did. Not my wife and me! That would really be a Christmas miracle! No, it was our son and daughter-in-law.
And our family was able to say, with the ancient prophecy of Jesus' coming, "to us a child is born; to us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6). And what a baby boy he was, charging into the world at ten pounds, ten ounces!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Our Own Little Bethlehem."
The parents decided to hold off on announcing Christmas-boy's name until he was born, so we didn't know. And they gave him a strong Bible name for a first name. But it was his middle name that melted me into a puddle. It's my brother's name; the one who died suddenly when I was only four years old; the baby who brought Jesus to our family.
I was a baby boy born at Christmastime, too, but into a family who knew little or nothing about Jesus. I never heard about Him. In our little second-floor apartment on the south side of Chicago, there was as in the Christmas story, "no room" for Jesus. There was room for gambling and arguing and drinking, but we were spiritually nowhere.
Then came the night my only sibling, my baby brother, was rushed to the hospital, and he never came home. My dad's heart broke. And in his grief, he decided he should take his four-year-old son to church. Oh, he didn't go in; he just stayed in the car and read his Sunday paper and smoked his cigarette. One Sunday I came bounding out of that church, and I said, "Daddy, today I accepted Jesus into my heart." I don't think he had any idea what I was talking about, but the following Christmas Eve he got it. That night my father went to church there and he came out with Jesus in his heart, too. My mom soon followed. And Jesus became the center of our life in that little apartment, and I got a brand new mommy and daddy all because of a baby who died.
As I understand the Bible, my little brother's in heaven. But his mom and dad and brother were headed for a different destination. He was the only one in our family who was ready to die. My whole family believed then, and believes now, that my baby brother was sent by God to lead us to Jesus. And over the years, it has been my privilege to be there as many thousands of folks have found the same Jesus that changed my family and changed our eternities forever.
Because of that baby, because of the mission he accomplished, all my children belong to Jesus. And so do all their children who are old enough to welcome Jesus into their heart as I did. One of my children was right then, the father of a brand new, hours-old baby boy. The baby I looked at across the hospital room. The baby who bears the name of the baby God used to give me Jesus.
I can't answer all those hard questions about why God allows suffering and pain in the world. But I can tell you how God used the seemingly "senseless" death of a baby to help me, my family and ultimately countless others be in heaven someday.
We experienced the truth of that wonderful word from God's Word, our word for today from John 1:12 - "He came unto His own. His own did not receive Him, but to as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name." Born into His family because of the baby who was born in Bethlehem, and in our case, the baby who was born that led us to Him.
I wonder if you've ever had that birthday? I wonder if you've ever come to know this Jesus? He's brought you down a journey; brought you down a road that has brought you to listen to the radio and come to this point this day because this is the day He is ready to come into your heart. If you hear Him knocking, open the door.
Go to our website. How I would love to be a part of helping you begin your relationship with Him. The website is YoursForLife.net.
You know, Christmas really is all about a Baby who came to die so we could live. And I will never stop thanking Him that He saw that lost little family in a second floor apartment on the south side of Chicago and sent a missionary - my brother - who never spoke a word to gave us Jesus.