Monday, August 11, 2008
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When we were involved in building a new headquarters for our ministry, I have to confess that was new ground for me. I've been involved in building people my whole life, but not buildings. It became very clear that there is a specific order in which you have to do things. Obviously, you don't just start by having the carpenters show up and start putting up the building. There has to be a foundation laid first. But wait - you can't lay the foundation or start building until you have the detailed plans for the building. Yes, it takes contractors, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, pavers, and heating and air conditioning people. But first, the architect! Without his design, it would be just a mass confusion at the construction site. But thankfully, we had a gifted architect lay out a detailed plan, and things are working well because everyone is going by the plan.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Starting With the Architect."
Maybe what you've been trying to build hasn't been going the way you hoped. The love, the happiness that you were planning isn't working out like it was supposed to. Or maybe you've been able to build your life pretty much as you wanted - the building is up but you're not satisfied living in it. There's restlessness, confusion, disappointment, maybe loneliness.
If your plans haven't worked, or if your plans haven't given you what you were looking for, it's time to go back and start with the Architect. In our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 100:3, God says, "Know that the Lord is God. It is He who has made us and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture." Three times God tells us whose we really are - we are His. We are made by our Creator, for our Creator, to live by our Creator's plan - sheep led by an all-powerful, all-loving Shepherd.
And why is our life turning out to be so confusing and unfulfilling? Because we've gone off building our life without the Architect who gave us our life. In Isaiah 53:6, God says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way." We're wandering without our Shepherd; we're building without our Architect.
When USA Today asked Americans the one question they would like to ask God, by far the answer most given was, "What is the purpose of my life?" If you've wondered that yourself, realize the reason we don't know that is that we're away from the One who gave us our life.
But even though we have rejected our Architect and His plans, He loves us so much that He paid an awful, awful price to get us back. The Biblical statement that says we've all gone our own way then says, speaking of Jesus, "And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity (or the wrongdoing) of us all." Jesus Christ, God's only Son, went to a cross where He paid the death penalty for all the sinning you have ever done. So it's possible to actually belong to the One who made you, who loves you most. And to have Him move into your heart and give you His inner guidance system to follow the plan you were designed for.
If you want to belong to Jesus Christ, to come home to your Creator, would you tell Jesus that you're putting your total trust in Him to forgive all your sin and to change your life? Our website really is designed to actually help you begin this relationship with Jesus Christ. And I'd like to invite you to go there and visit us as soon as you can today. It's YoursForLife.net. A lot of people have found spiritual encouragement and a way to belong to Jesus there, and I hope you will too. Or if you'd like this in booklet form, you can get it by calling us toll free at 877-741-1200. It's called Yours For Life.
Haven't you lived enough years building it your way? Let today be the day that you begin living by the plans that you were made for. In the words of the Bible, "Created by Him and for Him." You can begin today living in a love relationship with the Person who made you.