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 to just bulldoze it. The contractor said the rafters and foundation were 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 the rebuilding that the barn would also become our temporary Headquarters while our new building was being completed. Today, when people see this nice, vinyl-sided building, when they see how useful a facility it has become, and especially when they see the pictures of the dilapidated old thing it was a few weeks earlier - well, it's nothing less than amazing!
Well, 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 and 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 may 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 says, "You were dead in your...sins...we were by nature objects of wrath." See, God says all the things we have done in our life that He calls "sins" - every time we have done it our way instead of God's way - 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 may be what you're feeling right now - the despair, the hopelessness. Inside, you're kind of like our old barn - there are holes everywhere - you've just about giving 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, 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 says, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do."
The wreckage of the 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. If you want to begin a relationship with Jesus, commit yourself to Him right where you are. And I'd love to send you the booklet I wrote about beginning this relationship called Yours For Life. Just let me know you want it.
I watched carpenters transform a structure that was ready for the bulldozer into something incredibly strong and useful. 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.