Friday, May 12, 2017
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At first I thought some apocalyptic event had hit our town. Schools were all empty, wasn't a school bus in sight, lots of people suddenly disappeared. Not to worry. It was just Spring Break.
Of course, for many of America's young people, Spring Break is code for "party like there's no tomorrow, baby." Well, after downing lots of booze and sometimes drugs, your internal censors just go off duty. So a lot of folks come back from break with little memory of some big mistakes. Partying that lasts for a night; regrets and scars that can last a lifetime. Going for "break" and coming back broken.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Spring Break Mistake."
There's this lie that sets people up for expensive choices, hurtful choices. What you do when you're away, or when you're alone, or when you're anonymous doesn't count. It's not just a lie students fall for. Businessmen on trips, women home alone, guys on the Internet, girls texting, people on vacation or at a party. I'm almost sure there's someone listening right now who would do anything to erase what they did when they believed that lie "it won't matter".
It does doesn't it? Because while you can turn off your internal controls, you can't turn off your conscience. It picks up every wrong thing we do - or, in God's vocabulary, every sin. As observed by the wife of a governor who was disgraced by the discovery of his long-distance affair, she said, "You can pick your sin; you can't pick your consequences." It's so true.
So your conscience is always running and so is your calculator. It's adding up the consequences, because as the Bible says, "whatever a man sows, he reaps." That's an inescapable law of the universe. Worst of all, the camera's always running, too. In our word for today from the Word of God, God's camera is described this way, "A man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths." You know that "Sin City" commercial that says, "What you do here stays here"? No, forget about it! If God knows, you're caught. Oh, believe me, God knows.
It doesn't matter how drunk you are, how depressed you are, how devious you are, how deserving you think you are. The Bible says, "be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). So, first the thrill, then the bill. The fear of discovery, the trail of cover-up deceit, the guilt, the shame, the loss of self-respect, the stinging regrets, the bleeding relationships, the ugly consequences, and the judgment of Almighty God. "For (as the Bible says) God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
See, nothing good happens when we blow past God's stop signs. That's why we've got to run from the rocks that we've been drifting toward and saying "no!" to that seductive, but devilish voice that says "Forget about tomorrow; now is all that matters." Oh, tomorrow really does matter.
But what about the memories? What about the shame of the mistakes that it's too late to change? Well, there's hope in a word called "forgiven." The very God whose plans for us we trash has made this stunning promise: "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Hebrews 8:12). Like the wonderful feeling of a shower when you're disgustingly dirty, God says He'll make us clean inside; every sin erased from His book, with our eternal sin-bill paid in full because of a cross. Where Jesus, God's one and only Son, in the Bible's words, "...carried our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24) and He absorbed the judgment I deserve: The nights that haunt us, that darkness that pursues us, the secrets that torment us, the choices that accuse us. Gone! Forgiven!
That's what happens when a sinner grabs the Savior. It's nothing less than a new beginning. The promise of God is that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
And that's why our website is called ANewStory.com. It's where you can find the information that will help you begin your new story with Jesus Christ. And that rebirthing miracle is within your reach right now if you'll just tell Jesus, "I'm Yours."