Wednesday, August 5, 2015
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Now, I've had a chance to see gridlock a lot in New York City. Vehicles choking at every intersection and literally nothing can move. I even saw gridlock in a grocery store. The weatherman had forecast a huge snowstorm for our area which was supposed to begin during the night. Well I stopped by the store late that evening (Dumb!) and I ended up trying to find the end of the line for the cash register. They only had two lanes open and there was a line of carts all the way to the Produce section all jammed together so no one could come in, no one could go out, and no one could go through. What brought this sudden urge to shop late at night? Word of an approaching storm.
Well I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Storm Preparations."
See, storms are a fact of everybody's life. If it's calm right now, you can be sure somewhere up ahead there's a storm. That's life. The question is are you ready for that time when things start spinning out of control around you and maybe inside of you? Since we know we're going to head into heavy weather sometimes, we need to know we have what it takes to make it through the crises that sink a lot of other people. Well here's the testimony of a man who lived through imprisonment, disability, injustice, assassination attempts - the Apostle Paul. The man was unsinkable because he was prepared for any storm. We've got a lot to learn from him.
Here's our word today from the Word of God, which he wrote. It's from 2 Timothy 1:12. He says, "I am not ashamed, because I know Whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." Paul is talking about a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the only man in history who was powerful enough to beat death and blow the doors off His grave. Paul says, "I'm convinced He's able to guard what's important to me." The ultimate security in life is knowing that you belong to this Jesus.
I was talking to my friend John recently - 10 cancer operations in 8 years. He's been at death's door three times. When you talk to him, you come away almost disbelieving that he's carrying all this pain. He's positive and generous, he's joyful, he's encouraging. The surgeon is even sending John to some other patients who just aren't handling the storm of cancer. John made a simple but heart-rending statement to me. He said, "Ron, you don't handle it well when you try to handle it without a Savior." That's the difference - the Savior difference; the Jesus difference.
See, all approaches to life work when things are going well. But the test of what's you're living for is the storm. Things like cancer, bankruptcy, getting fired, divorce, terminal illness. Even smaller storms can drive us to the edge and sometimes over the edge unless we've committed ourselves completely to this awesome Savior named Jesus.
See, He loves you unconditionally. You say, "How do I know?" He died on the cross for the very sins you've done against Him. He's willing to put your life in His eternal keeping and then give you eternal life beginning the day you entrust yourself totally to Him. This could be that day. You could do that right where you are. Maybe you could pray to Him like this, "Lord Jesus, I've been trying to do it without a Savior. I've lived my last day without you Jesus. I believe you died to pay the death penalty for the sinning I've done, and today I'm putting my total trust in you to begin my relationship with God, because I need a Savior. I need You."
If you've never done that. If you want this to be that turning point day; your new beginning, then you could go to our website which we've set up right there where I can help you know exactly how to begin this relationship and be sure you have. That website is ANewStory.com. If you want to talk with someone about how to begin this relationship, text us at 442-244-WORD.
See, Jesus - the one who during a life-threatening storm in His lifetime, stepped to the bow of the boat He was in and said, "Peace, be still" and it was. He wants to do that for you in your storm.