Monday, January 23, 2017
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It's hard to describe to you how our first grandchild lit up our lives. He had a smile that was really a people-stopper. Yeah, I know I sound like a grandfather. Now, it's a good thing this is radio or you'd have to look at my pictures as well! One day when he was about 8 months old, I came home from the office to a pleasant surprise. My wife and I were babysitting our grandson. There he was, sitting on his Grandma's lap, leaning against her. I knelt down in front of the chair and told him what I tell him often. "I love you." He just looked at me, without changing his expression. I repeated it again – no response. Then two more times. "I love you." Suddenly he smiled, his arms started reaching, and his whole body leaned forward for me to hold him. And I did.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Saying 'Yes' to Love."
I kept telling my grandson I loved him. No response. And then finally, he reached for me. That scene has been repeated over and over again – millions of times – when God comes close to someone and says, "I love you." And we just don't respond. For you, this might be the day when you finally reach for the One who has loved you so long.
Our word for today from the Word of God, from 1 John 4:19, describes in just eight words how people like you and me finally come to experience the awesome love of God. It says, "We love Him because He first loved us." Well, there's the picture: The God who made you trying to tell you how much He loves you over and over. Actually, showing you how much He loves you. Earlier in this same chapter in the Bible, God says, "This is how God showed His love among us...He sent His Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:9, 10).
God gave us our lives. And the One who rules billions of galaxies is the One who was supposed to call the shots in our lives. But according to what God says, "Each of us (and these are the Bible's words) has turned to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). We've made ourselves God, and we've built a wall between us and the divine love that we were made for. That's why our deep loneliness has never gone away. It's cosmic loneliness. You're lonely for God.
And God's love for you is so great that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay for your rebellion and mine. You did the sinning. Jesus did the dying, and it's that kind of love that God has been trying to give you for years. But like my little grandson, maybe you've stayed where you are while your Heavenly Father has been saying, "I love you. I love you."
It's been a long, lonely, turbulent road without that love. And now you are risking an eternity without that love by putting off or ignoring God's forgiveness for your sins. Maybe you've thought God was mad at you, that He's an angry God you could never know or be close to. But if you want to know how God feels about you, look at the cross of Jesus. That was for you!
Haven't you lived long enough without this unloseable, unconditional love that you were made for? This isn't about being religious or some spiritual experience. It's about finally responding to the love of the man who gave His life for you!
One more time, God is leaning in close, calling you by name, and He's whispering, "I love you." But this time is your time to take that love!
You want to do that? You tell Him that right now, "Jesus, you loved me enough to die for me. I will take this life of mine that I've run too long already and I put it into Your hands. I'm pinning all my hopes on You and what you did on the cross for me." Our website is there for you at a moment like this. It's ANewStory.com. Oh, I urge you to go there as soon as you can today.
It's been a one-way love long enough. Reach out your arms for Jesus. His arms have been open for a long, long time, and He will take you in His arms and He will never let you go.