Monday, December 5, 2016
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"I don't wanna go." When our boys were little, that was sometimes what they'd tell me when we were out in the woods where it was like totally dark and a little scary. Well, not for me. I mean for them, of course. But I would reach for their hand and their little hand would instinctively reach up my way when we hit a dark stretch, and they'd grab on tight. Now the strangest thing happened. Once they had their father's hand, their feet started moving. They could go where they otherwise would never think about going as long as they had my hand.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Hand That Keeps You Safe."
At the other end of life's spectrum from little boys was where my wife's grandfather was. He was 94. He was unable to remember very much, including my wife – his granddaughter. She called him one day and she said, "Hi, Granddad." She, of course, told him her name, and she said, "I love you." He wasn't very happy about it. He said, "I don't know who this is." Some strange woman was calling and saying she loved him! What is this? Well, she reminded her Granddad of his only son and that she was his daughter. "I don't know you." Finally she just said, "Well, Granddad, remember this. Jesus loves you." To which he replied, "Now Him I know!" Isn't that interesting? After 94 years, not much that he could remember, but there was one person whose love and whose presence he was still aware of – Jesus.
Listen, that's not a religion. That's a relationship so real that it's there for you through every conceivable stage of life. For my wife, it was real when she used to walk that dark stretch of road from her house to the school bus as a little girl. They lived way back in the woods, and that last stretch was beyond where she could see Mommy, or the neighbor, or anyone. Knowing those trees could be hiding the bears and the mountain lions that she knew were in their area, she would just start to sing, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me."
This Jesus – this Savior – is literally the hand you never outgrow. The hand that is there for you as my hand was there for my boys in those dark and uncertain places. Here's our word for today from the Word of God. It's the familiar words of the 23rd Psalm. They're a description of a personal relationship with God that I hope you have, or if you don't, that you'll begin it.
These are the words my own father wanted me to read to him the day he was going into that heart surgery from which he would never recover. Here are the words, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want...Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Which, by the way, sounds like a 94-year-old grandfather I knew, and my father facing life-or-death surgery, and a frightened little five-year-old girl on the dark stretch.). Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me."
This deep, personal, unloseable relationship with Jesus Christ is what I pray you will begin. It's the relationship your heart has always hungry for. This is the Savior who'll be with you through the turbulence of being a teenager, the pressures of parenting, the lonely moments of being single, the darkness of depression, the struggle of disease, or divorce, or disaster, or facing death.
The hand of Jesus I think maybe is reaching to you right now. If you'll look closely you'll see nail prints in that hand. They're there because of the price He paid to tear down the wall between you and God. His brutal death on the cross was to pay the death penalty for your sins and mine. Now He waits to forgive you; to be the one constant in your life and in your eternity no matter what changes.
Don't you want to grab that hand of Jesus to be your own personal Savior, your lifetime friend? Tell Him today, "Jesus, I give my life to the One who gave His life for me. I've been running it. You run it from now on. Jesus, I'm Yours."
Experience that love for yourself today. Let me invite you to go to our website. It's there to help you be sure you have begun your relationship with Jesus and to show you how. It's ANewStory.com. I hope you'll go there right away today.
You know, for an elderly grandfather, for a very sick father, for a frightened little girl, for you, the same never-leave-you person is Jesus. His hand is reaching. Won't you grab it? I'll tell you, He'll never, never let go.