Monday, September 24, 2012
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It all started with an S.O.S. from a counselor at a conference where I was speaking. I just extended an invitation for young men and women who wanted to make a commitment to following Christ. There were many young people in the counseling room after that, and a counselor came back and said, "You've got to talk to Kelly. She's really hard."
Well, I went back and sat down with her, and she seemed to really shut down. After some small talk to try to break the ice, I said, "Kelly, why are you here in the counseling room?" She said, "I want to know Christ." I said, "Well, that's great. Why?" She said, "Because part of me is missing."
I showed her some Scripture where Christ was who was missing from her life. And I said, "It sounds to me like you're ready to open your life to Jesus." And then her face turned very, very unexpressive and she said, "If you only knew how many times I've come and prayed and accepted Christ and nothing has ever happened." I was stuck for a moment. What do I do, just have her go through it again? It was always meaningless; it didn't work. I said, "Lord, if there's something You know and I don't, would you tell me what it is?" And then He gave me one question for Kelly, and it made all the difference. It might change everything for you.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The One Step We Miss."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 7:10. It identifies for us that step we so often miss. "Godly sorrow," it says, "brings repentance that leads to salvation." Now, in that conversation with Kelly, the question I asked her that broke the log jam was this: I said, "Kelly, all those times you've made a commitment to follow Christ, did you ever tell the Lord you're really sorry for your sins, you're sad about your sins, and you're ready to change?" She said, "No." Oh, Kelly had said yes to Christ a number of times, but she missed the other step of salvation - saying "no" to sin.
I explained to her, "You can't hold Jesus in one hand and junk in the other - the junk that He died for; that's the junk that killed Him." When you start to name the sins of your life and you start to confess them to the Lord, you finally realize what it is you need a Savior for. And then you go to that cross to be saved from that sin; from your sin. Repentance is so often the missing page in our Gospel. In God's Word it says you have to have Godly sorrow that leads to repentance that leads to salvation. Sometimes we skip over sin lightly in our rush to get people to Jesus. It's like going right to the cure before a person has even faced their disease. There's no real conversion until you repent. There's no real power in your life if you keep sinning; until you let your heart be broken over your sin because of what it did to Jesus; what it took for Him to pay for it on that cross.
When I told her the step she had missed, tears came to her eyes. She said, "I'm so sick of the junk! I want to get away from it." Then confession began, and then saving faith. She was ready to be reborn.
Could it be that the reality you've been looking for begins with you being sorry for the sins that have broken God's heart and that drove His Son to the cross? Maybe this could be the day that it really comes together for you. If you say to Jesus, "You know, Lord, you were supposed to run my life. I hijacked it. I've been running it, and I know now that I have broken your heart. It has cost you your life to pay for that rebellion against you. And I turn from the running of my own life; I resign as the driver of my own life, and Jesus, I am now pinning all my hopes on what you did on the cross. When you died on that cross it was my sin you were dying for. Jesus, right here, right now I'm Yours."
Listen, if you want to make sure you belong to Him, our website is there for that purpose. I hope you'll check it out...YoursForLife.net.
Repentance...maybe that's the one step you've missed.