Friday, January 13, 2017
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When we secured land to build our Ministry Headquarters, we barely noticed the barn that was standing on that land, until God blessed us with some truckloads of donated materials which needed a place to be stored. Suddenly, we were taking a second look at this old pole barn filled with hay. The center was the only part that had walls – walls with rotting wood. The east and west sides of the barn had no walls, just some rotting old poles holding up a makeshift roof. We asked a contractor friend if there was any hope for the barn – especially since some folks had said just to bulldoze it. The contractor said the rafters and the foundation were actually good enough that something might be able to be done.
Well, what followed was hundreds of hours of volunteer labor, a cement floor, the old wood and poles being removed, walls built to enclose the entire area-including the east and west ends, a second story and stairs were built, and we put on the truckload of shingles and vinyl siding that had been donated. Now, little did we know when we first started rebuilding that barn, that would also become our temporary Headquarters while our new building was being completed. Today, when people see this nice, vinyl-sided building which is fundamental to our ministry and the things that are produced there going around the world, when they see how useful that facility has become, and especially when they see the pictures of the dilapidated old thing it was a few weeks before, it's nothing less than amazing!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Carpenter's Miracle."
I know a Carpenter who does that with people! He takes lives that seem pretty wrecked, hopeless and too far gone, and He miraculously redeems them and rebuilds them into something no one ever dreamed they could be. Jesus is the Master Carpenter, and it might be that your life is ready for His miraculous renovating power.
In our word for today from the Word of God He describes our spiritual condition before the Carpenter comes. Ephesians 2:1, 3 say, "You were dead in your...sins...we were by nature objects of wrath." See, God says all the things we've done in our life that He calls "sins" – every time we have done it our way instead of God's way – they have us under an eternal death penalty. God has to punish our sin, and the punishment is spiritual death forever.
But we're dead in our sins even before we die physically. That might be what you're feeling right now – this despair and hopelessness. Inside, you're kind of like our old barn. There are holes everywhere. You're about to give up hope of ever changing. You feel like it's all falling down. In your heart – maybe even in the eyes of others – your life seems ready for the bulldozer.
Hang on. Here comes the Carpenter. These verses from the Bible say, "But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead...By grace you have been saved, through faith." God loves you too much to lose you, so He sent His only Son, Jesus, to do the dying for all the sinning you've ever done. So you can be saved, like rescued if you commit yourself to Jesus Christ.
The result is not just that you get rescued from hell. Jesus builds you into someone more useful than you could have ever imagined. Listen. It goes on to say, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." Think of it, the wreckage of your past forgiven; a new you built by the Master Carpenter. It all begins the day you turn it all over to Jesus, which for you, could be today.
You can tell Him right now, "Jesus, I resign the running of my own life. I was made by You and for You. You died for every wrong thing I've ever done. Beginning this day, Jesus, I'm yours." Our website is about helping you begin that relationship with Jesus Christ. And I really want to urge you to go there as soon as you can today. It's ANewStory.com.
I've watched carpenters transform a structure that was ready for the bulldozer into something incredibly strong and useful. And I've watched Jesus transform lives that seemed so far gone into walking miracles of His grace. You can't imagine what you could be if you'll open yourself up to the touch of the Master's hand.