Thursday, December 31, 2015
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A Pope has only visited the communist nation of Cuba three times. The most recent visit, of course, was Pope Francis. When Pope John Paul II made the very first visit in 1998, he saw a very different Cuba than Pope Francis just saw.
All visits captured the attention of the entire world. The 1998 visit was unprecedented. Here was one of the world's last totally Communist countries – an officially atheist state – welcoming the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. I hate to use the word in this context, but the visit appeared to be revolutionary. In a front page story, USA Today told about a man bicycling into Revolution Square in Havana the week before the Pope's arrival. He was quoted as saying, "I'm amazed! Look at Jesus!" The reason? There was a giant picture of Jesus that had suddenly appeared on a wall in Revolution Square, the heart of Cuban Communism. And over the picture of Jesus were inscribed these incredible words, "Jesus Christ, I trust You."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Revolutionary Trust."
"I trust you." Those might be hard words for you to say to anybody because your trust has been betrayed too many times. The list of people you can really trust may be a very short one. Maybe there's not even a list. I mean, trust takes a beating when someone who's supposed to love you betrays you or hurts you or lets you down. Maybe that's happened to you.
But your heart needs an anchor, a relationship where you really are safe. Well, our word for today from the Word of God, Romans 8:31-32 gives you that hope. "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"
God is simply saying here, "I gave the most precious thing I have for you – my own Son. Jesus died on that brutal cross to pay for all the sinning you have ever done. If I have given my Son for you, is there anything I wouldn't do for you?" See, the issue is not trusting Christians or trusting Christianity. It's trusting Christ. It's all about Jesus.
Your search for someone that you can totally trust ends at the foot of Jesus' cross. Stand there, look at Him hanging there for you and then answer the question, "Can I trust Jesus?" Years ago there was a day when I made my choice. I put Jesus in the center of activity in my heart and I said, "After loving me this much, Jesus Christ, I trust You."
And trust is the key to beginning a personal love relationship with Jesus. It's taking down whatever other things have dominated your heart and putting Jesus there, as they did that day in Revolution Square in Havana. They may not have put that Jesus there to stay. But opening your heart to Him means you are now under new management. You've trusted your life, your pain and your eternity into the hands of Jesus; hands that, by the way, still carry the marks of the nails; scars that remove all doubt of whether He will ever let you down. He can't. He paid too much for you.
Jesus had been missing in the heart of an island nation for too long. He's been missing in your heart for too long. But that could change today. Right now, if you will finally commit yourself to the One who loves you most. Tell Him you want to belong to Him. Tell Him you are trusting Him and what He did on the cross for you.
Right now you could pray, "Jesus, I am Yours because You died for me." I want to invite you to our website to anchor your relationship with Jesus there; to know you now belong to Him. I think it will help you. It's ANewStory.com. If you want to talk with someone about what it means to belong to Him, text us as soon as you can 442-244-WORD.
See, the real revolution in your life begins the day you make Jesus #1 in your heart. You are on the edge of having a peace and a calm inside, and a deep sense of being really, really loved and really, really safe; something you've never known before. Jesus is there. Say it to Him, "Jesus Christ, I trust You."