Friday, March 16, 2018
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For years, the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien's "Middle-Earth" were contained in his "Lord of the Rings" book trilogy and enjoyed by a relatively small number of people who loved those stories passionately. But since the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy exploded from books to blockbuster Hollywood movies, millions became enthusiastic fans. The engaging fantasy world of Tolkien's "Middle-Earth," the unique characters, the epic battles, and the spiritual themes that run through the stories; there are many layers that have blended into an experience that has magnetized millions of people. It's a great story, but for many, this is a story that seems to say something - something important. Tolkien, the author of the "Lord of the Rings," was a man with a deep Christian faith, and that faith helped to shape the provocative spiritual themes that many find in "Return of the King," the finale of the trilogy. There is this ring. There is this king. And there, somewhere tied to both, are many of us.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Ring and the King."
At the center of "The Return of the King," is the ring; the gold ring that many want to possess, no matter what the cost. The dark secret of owning that ring and its power is that the power ultimately comes to own you. It's called by one of its owners, "The Precious" - demonstrating its perverse value to the one who has it. You can't let go of it, even when it begins to destroy you...as it always does.
That image suggests a disturbing reality about our lives here on Real-Earth. There are life-pursuits that we believe will fulfill us, answer our questions and give us the love we're looking for, or the spiritual power that the human soul is hungry for. We want the power of whatever "ring" we feel compelled to pursue; someone who will love us, something we define as success, something that will relieve our pain, something that will make us feel significant. We all have our "Precious." Sadly, our "Precious" ends up being less than we had hoped, but often something we can't let go of.
Two words ultimately define the essence of all our "Precious" pursuits - my way or "sin," as the Bible calls it. Time after time, the road marked "My Way" has turned out to be a dead-end street hasn't it? And all too often, the ring that we have selfishly fought for has ended up hurting us and hurting those we love. That's the point at which "The Return of the King" intersects the life of a real king; the one described in the Bible as the "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16). The one in whose honor we stand when we hear the "Hallelujah Chorus."
The battles of Tolkien's "Middle-Earth" culminate with the return and the victory of a liberating king named Aragorn. The battles of Real-Earth culminate with the coming, and the victory, of the King of all kings - King Jesus.
The same book of the Bible that shows Jesus as this King of kings says of Him in Revelation 1:5, our word for today from the Word of God, "He loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood." The King died for you because you have grabbed the "ring" of a self-run life; not realizing the ring will ultimately cost you everything including heaven. But heaven's King loves you so much He paid that price himself for you on the cross. And then His ultimate victory came three days later when He walked right out of His grave.
The life-or-death choice before you is whether you will continue to grasp that life-sapping ring or release the ring so you can follow your King. The day you say, "Jesus, You died for me. I'm Yours" is the day the King of billions of galaxies moves into your life and does with it what you could never do. The rightful King of your life is coming to you today, because for Jesus, you are "The Precious."
Are you ready to have that love; to experience that love for yourself? Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm yours." Go to our website. That's where you could find the information that will help you be sure you finally belong to Him. It's ANewStory.com.
Jesus is the King who has never lost a battle, and you need Him.