Our daughter's all grown up and a mother herself now. But she still remembers the day she got lost at the grocery store - and all the feelings that went with it. She was four - her baby brother was in the grocery cart - she was walking ahead of us as we browsed the aisles for our next meals. Somehow, she got way out ahead of us and into another aisle. She kept walking until suddenly she realized that her parents were nowhere around. She remembers it as one of the traumatic moments of her young life - she said, "The aisle was so long, the shelves were so high, and I felt so alone."
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Missing Person On Your Journey."
Our daughter didn't realize she was going on without us - and she ended up lost. That might be happening to you - except it's Jesus you're missing.
There's an unsettling picture of how this happens in our word for today from the Word of God in Luke 2:42-45. Speaking of Jesus' parents, the Bible says, "When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while His parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking He was in their company, they traveled on for a day...They began looking for Him...when they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to find Him." Then the happy ending. They do find Jesus and "He went down to Nazareth with them."
Mary and Joseph thought Jesus was with them when, in fact, they were continuing on their journey without Him. The Bible indicates that many people - especially those who've been around Christian things a lot - are in danger of making this same deadly mistake. Like our daughter in that grocery store, they are going on without the Person they need to lead them - and they're ending up lost.
Jesus, for example, tells in Matthew 7 about people who will come before Him on Judgment Day, announcing very impressive Christian credentials - including some great work they've done in His name. But Jesus will utter those awful four words - "I never knew you." Somehow, they thought Jesus was with them when, in fact, they were lost.
Now if there has been a time when you have consciously and sincerely told Jesus you were giving your life to Him, then His promise to you is, "Him that comes to me I will never cast out" (John 6:37). But it could be that you have mistaken knowing so much about Jesus for knowing Jesus - that because you've been around Jesus so much you think you have a relationship with Jesus. But like Mary and Joseph, you've been making your journey without Jesus.
And that's why God has led me to bring this up today - because He wants you to know Him for real. Jesus died on that cross to pay the death penalty for every wrong thing you have ever done - but the eternal life He paid for doesn't become yours until you fully commit yourself to Him. I'm praying this might be your day to do that. It's hard to face the fact that somehow you've left Jesus out - it was for Mary and Joseph. But they went looking for Him as soon as they realized it - I hope you'll do that today.
If you want to finally begin your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please tell Him that right now. Don't go any farther without Jesus. It would be awful to miss this wakeup call from God - and wake up some day lost - forever.