Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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It really wasn't fair. But some friends of mine in youth ministry used to carry out these dreaded Saturday morning raids on teenagers from the local high school. By the way, those raids got those kids to an event that they eventually ended up enjoying, but they didn't enjoy how it started. A few leaders would show up early on Saturday morning at the house of one of their student leaders. When a parent came to the door, they would tell them what church group they were from and asked the parents' permission to "kidnap" their son or daughter to a "come as you are" breakfast they were having with student leaders. Most of the parents actually went along with it with a bit of amusement. The invaders went to the door of that teenager's room and gave them one minute to throw something on before they came in for them. Sixty seconds later, people of the same sex went in to that room and snapped a picture of the Saturday morning self. This was back in the days with those Polaroid cameras before digital. Those pictures were of course posted at the breakfast to the horror of those kids, especially the girls. No makeup, bad hair, real skin, they didn't seem to be too excited about everyone seeing what they really were like.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Scary Picture Of the Real You."
There's the dressed up, fixed up version of ourselves that everyone sees. And then there's that not-so-beautiful picture of what we really look like. A lot of us struggle with that one. One of the writers of the Bible, actually a man named Paul sure did. But as you hear his description of the gap between the person he wants to be and the person he is, he seems to speak for all of us.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Romans 7:18, "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing." There's the picture of how I want to look and then this candid picture of what we really are. There's this dark side, I guess. Maybe it's anger, or selfishness, or bitterness, or prejudice. The ugly picture may be something sexual, or an addiction, a past that continues to haunt our present. You know, that dark secret. God calls it by that one ultimately ugly word-sin: rebellion against our Creator's ways, and against our Creator himself.
And these sentences from the Bible capture how powerless we are to change the picture. Here the Bible says, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" He's just sick of being this person he hates. One mother I know, who has been agonizing over her teenage daughter, recently confronted her with the ugly things that she knew her daughter had been doing. The daughter said, "Mother, I'm not like that!" Oh, she sure didn't want to be like that, but she was like that! We're all caught in between the person we want to be, we need to be and the person we really are.
But then comes the hope in this same statement in the Bible, "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" There is hope of changing the picture, but only one. We don't need a religion, we don't need some self-improvement program, we need a Savior. We need a rescuer who will do for us what a lifeguard does for a drowning person, deliver us from the thing we can't deliver ourselves from.
That is what the cross of Jesus Christ is all about. God's one and only Son loving you so much He absorbed all the guilt and all the hell of all your sin so you can finally go free if you grab the lifeguard with all the faith you've got.
Maybe you've never made this awesome Savior your Savior and you're ready to be rescued. I hope you are. Would you tell Him that right now? He's alive; He came back from the dead. He's walked out of His grave. He's ready to walk into your life and change it. He's where you are now waiting for you to put all your trust in Him.
I'd love to help you cross over and make this important choice. Our website is all about helping you do that. It's ANewStory.com. I hope you won't waste any time before you get there today.
The Bible promises that, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone; a new life has begun." That miracle for you may be one prayer away.