Wednesday, May 2, 2018
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For the most part, Spring is a season we really look forward to. I mean, everything's blooming, colorful. Unfortunately, though, Spring isn't just flowers-it's floods! Some folks who live by rivers and streams, well they hold their breath a little each Spring. Every year we see vivid pictures of whole areas submerged under floodwaters, and we hear interviews with victims who have lost a lot of their possessions. But invariably, you will hear those victims say, "But we're thankful that at least all of us are safe." You know it's true. I mean, things can be replaced...people can't. It was back in the spring of 1997; it was Kentucky's turn to get hit by major flooding. On the news they showed a list on the wall-a list that was pretty moving to see. At the top were these words: "Missing people," then the names of loved ones who were missing in the flood. But some of those names had a beautiful five-letter word scrawled over them: "Found."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Happiest and Saddest Lists Of All."
God may have a list like that-with the names of those who are lost, who are away from Him-who do not have a personal relationship with Him. It could be that your name is on that list. But look closely. God has written that other word over some of the names: "Found." That could be you.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 15:17-20. It's probably the most famous parable Jesus told. It's about a son who asks his dad for his share of the inheritance early. His dad agrees, and the son leaves his father, lives self-indulgently, blows everything he has, ends up broke and feeding pigs to stay alive. Back home, I wonder if his father had his son's name up on the wall with those words: "Missing Person."
The Bible says, "When he came to his senses, he said, 'I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." That would have been the day that the father stamped "found" over the name of his lost son.
For somebody listening right now, that's what God the Father wants to do for you today. This could be your "welcome home" day after being away from your Heavenly Father. You say, "After what I've done?" You're thinking about some of the things you've done or said or thought maybe while you've been away from God. We've all got things that we're not proud of, we're ashamed of, and that make us feel like that wandering son felt, "I'm no longer worthy."
But being forgiven and welcomed by your Heavenly Father is not about your worthiness. None of us is worthy of God's love or God's heaven. No, it's about God's love, God's unconditional love, vividly displayed when Jesus, His Son, took all your sin and all your hell when He died on that cross. If you're ready to "get up and go to your Father", let there be no question what God will do. "He ran to his son and threw his arms around him and kissed him."
You've been one of the Father's "missing persons" long enough, haven't you? He's waiting to welcome you home-home where the love is, where the security is that you've never found away from Him. Tell Him right now that you're pinning all your hopes on Jesus and His death on your behalf-that you're coming home.
If you're tired of being away, if you're tired of being lost, I want to invite you to come to our website. It's called ANewStory.com, and it literally is there and planned and written for you; designed to be there for you at the point where you're ready to come home to Jesus. I think it will help you get the rest of the way there.
It's a joyful thing to see a name that was a "missing person" changed to "found." This very moment, God is ready, God is waiting to put "found" over your name.