Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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I don't think I've ever "teared up" during a President's State of the Union Address to Congress - until that unforgettable moment during President George W. Bush's State of the Union early in 2005. For me, it had absolutely nothing to do with politics. It was just an intensely human moment that almost transcended politics.
At one point in his speech, he paid tribute to the Iraqi people for their courage in going to the polls in the face of incredible danger. Then, the President introduced a guest that was sitting in the gallery next to the First Lady - a woman who has been an Iraqi freedom activist for eleven years at that time - since Saddam Hussein had her father executed. She stood with her index finger in the air, still tinted with that identifying purple dye of someone who had voted. She was very moved by the standing ovation from everyone in that chamber.
And then a few moments later, the President paid tribute to the soldiers who had died in Iraq and then to their grieving families. At that point, he introduced a couple seated behind the woman from Iraq - their Marine son had died in the Fallujah campaign. They stood as representatives of all those families who had lost a son or daughter in Iraq. And then that mother leaned over to the front row and embraced the martyr's daughter from Iraq. They remained there just crying together, buried in each other's arms as the elected national leadership of the United States stood to their feet in a long and thunderous ovation. That's when I lost it.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Expensive Embrace."
What a picture! The one whose son died embracing one he died for. I think one reason I found that so moving is because I can see myself in that picture - embraced by the God whose Son died, and I'm the one that He died for, and so are you. The question is have you ever acknowledged the sacrifice that was made for you? Have you ever stepped into your Heavenly Father's waiting arms? He's got so much love He's been waiting to give you. He's got the love you may have spent a whole life looking for.
God's welcoming embrace cost Him the most precious thing He had - His one and only Son. Listen to these beautiful words from 1 John 4, beginning with verse 9, our word for today from the Word of God. "This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him." Why don't you put your name in that verse? "He sent His one and only Son that (there's your name) might live through Him. He loved (there's your name) and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." Like that mother at the State of the Union Address, God's the One whose Son died. But God's Son chose to die, because it was the only way your sins could be paid for other than you paying for them forever in hell.
The cross was for you. To ignore that sacrifice will cost you heaven. To depend on the good things you try to do for God instead of the amazing thing God did for you means you will pay the death penalty for your sin that Jesus already died to pay.
And now the One whose Son died waits to embrace the one He died for. In fact, He's been waiting for you a long time. Let today be the day you finally experience His awesome love for yourself. Tell Him you know you've broken His laws and you've run your life your way, and that you want to change. Tell Him you're pinning all your hopes for eternity on the Savior who died for you. What an unforgettable day this could be for you.
I would love to help walk you through beginning that relationship at our website. That's what it's there for. Would you just check it out as soon as you can today? It's ANewStory.com. I want you to know when you go to bed tonight beyond any shadow of a doubt that you belong to Jesus Christ.
God gave His very best for you. Don't walk away from His waiting arms. Not after the price that He paid to love you.