Monday, September 4, 2017
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When you're a five-year-old girl, going dark places can be pretty scary. When my wife was that age, she lived in the country and she had this long, often dark road that she walked to get to the school bus. Part of the way, there was a grandma, and then there was a neighbor who watched and waved at her as long as she was in sight. See, it was that last stretch that was the problem. Trees covering that road, making it dark on the sunniest day, and sounds in the woods that reminded her of those wild critters that lived in their area. She told me how she made it down that stretch. She said, "There was one thing that got me through every day. I sang this little song, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know.'"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Dark and Lonely Stretches."
It was years later and my honey's beloved grandfather was 94 years old. Little did we know that one particular call to him would be her last. It was brief, but it was memorable. Granddad was at the point where he often didn't recognize even the people closest to him even though they had a pretty small family. When my wife called, she identified herself, and he responded, "I don't know who this is." She again gave her name and reminded him that she was his granddaughter, the daughter of his only son. Just a chuckle on the other end, and Granddad said, "I don't know who this is." Then, when she told him she loved him, he seemed a little embarrassed. "Who is this strange woman saying she loves me?"
That's when my wife said, "Well, Granddad, that's OK. Because all that matters is that you know that Jesus loves you." We will never forget his suddenly animated response: "Now Him I know!" Think about it: a scared little girl, walking a stretch she had to walk alone; a grandfather, walking the final stretch of life so many have to walk alone. Each of them, at opposite ends of life, finding their anchor in the very same place-in the same person-in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
He wants to be your anchor for every dark, every lonely stretch you're going to ever walk-including that final stretch. The one the Bible calls "the valley of the shadow of death." The writer of that 23rd Psalm put it this way, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me." One "unloseable" relationship that not even death can interrupt. The one that you were made for that you were never meant to lose.
The Bible says of Jesus that we were all "created by Him and created for Him" (Colossians 1:16). Problem: we haven't lived for Him. We've chosen to usurp the throne of our life, to do what we want, not what God wants. So life is lonely and meaningless because we're away from the One we were made for. And only the death of the Son of God could pay the penalty for that sin.
And how do you know you can count on Jesus for every stretch of the road? Well, our word for today from the Word of God in Romans 8:39, "Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." That's your ironclad promise from the one who's never broken a promise.
He's coming where you are today, offering you this relationship that He actually died to give you. If He wouldn't turn His back on you when loving you meant dying for you, He will never turn His back on you. But you have to open your life to Him. Trust Him totally. Would you do that today? Why go another day without this love? Tell Him, "Jesus, You're my only hope. I'm Yours." When you do that, that's how your anchor relationship with Jesus begins.
I want you to be sure beyond any shadow of a doubt that you have got this settled with God once and for all. That's why our website's there. That's why I'm going to urge you to go there as soon as you can today - ANewStory.com. Will you go there? You'll see the information there that will help you be sure you belong to Jesus.
This is the only love that will not desert you, never divorce you, never disappoint you, and never die on you. From the moment you give yourself to Jesus, He's going to walk with you every step of the way-all the way to heaven.