Monday, July 20, 2015
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I had a busy schedule of speaking in the Chicago area that week. But I had one night free. It happened to be during what they call Founder's Week. That's the annual conference that commemorates the birthday of the founder of Moody Bible Institute, D.L. Moody. When I heard that one of my favorite speakers was there that night, I told my wife I wanted to attend. And we did, along with some of our ministry team members.
Since we would be arriving a little late, I called and asked that some seats be reserved and they were kind enough to accommodate us. But something very unexpected happened that night at Founders Week. The president of the Moody Alumni Association began reading a brief biography of the person who was to be honored as that year's Alumnus of the Year. The more he read, the more familiar this life story sounded. To my total shock, he was describing me! My wife says I slowly sank in my chair and I fought a losing battle with the tears in my eyes over God's amazing grace in my life.
Afterwards, I had a thousand questions about how I actually ended up at that session that night. My family and my team members had been involved in an 8-month conspiracy to maneuver me to Chicago for that week and to a schedule that led me right to the right place at the right time. I was pretty sure it had been my choice. Well, I had been skillfully directed to that choice through the imperceptible workings of someone else.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Amazing Plan That Gets You To Jesus."
After that surprising night, I saw one of the most amazing, most debated mysteries of God's Word in a brighter light; our Word for today from the Word of God Ephesians 1:4-5. It's an incredible behind-the-scenes look at what it took to give you a place in God's family. God says, "The Father chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ." In other words, God has had His eye on you since before there was a you, since before there was a world!
In verses like these, God takes us behind the scenes of that day when you put your trust in Jesus to be your Savior, that simple choice. And there was, in fact, an eternal rescue plan at work that finally brought you to Christ that day. See what I mean about understanding this through my surprise the night of that award? I thought I was there as a result of my decision, which in a way was true.
No one ever mentioned that meeting to me, and I did make a choice to go there. But behind that, there was a master plan at work that began long before I made "my choice"; a choice to which I had been skillfully and carefully guided. In a way, I did make the choice. But then in another way, it was predestined.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting I have resolved the centuries-old struggle to understand the tension between predestination and free will and between us choosing Christ and God choosing us. But these verses and the illustration that I lived do make some very encouraging facts very clear.
1. You really matter to God! Maybe you've been mistreated by folks here on earth, passed over, unappreciated, undervalued. But the God of the universe values you so much He's been working on you being in His family from creation to Calvary to your conversion.
2. You're safe with God. After all He's done for all these millennia to bring you into His family, He's not about to let you go now.
3. He is working on an awesome master plan to rescue the people you're concerned about. And you are part of His eternal plan to reach them.
It is really amazing, isn't it? And it answers so many of our self-doubts, our fears, and our feeling of inadequacy. And it should drive us to our knees in amazed praise. The night I received that award, there was a lot more to it than I could ever understand at the time. And for you to come to Jesus that day you did, there was a lot more to it than you may ever be able to understand.
For someone who is listening right now, you are in the middle of that plan, and the whole plan of God for your life has brought you to this moment when you could reach out and make the man who died to be your Savior your own personal Savior. If you want to begin a relationship with Him, you're at that point of choosing.
Would you go to our website and let us help you cross that line into His arms? ANewStory.com. If you want to talk about it, text us at 442-244-WORD. The plan of God has brought you to this very moment to bring you into His family and to take you to His heaven.