Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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It seemed harmless enough when I entered. I was just a kid at an amusement park in Chicago, and the ride was just a big cylinder that made you feel like you were walking into a washing machine. They called it The Rotor. I stood against the edge and I waited for it to do its thing. Then it started to do what something called The Rotor might be expected to do - rotate. As it began to spin faster and faster, the floor started to disappear in front of my feet. I was plastered against the side of the cylinder, looking down into this yawning black hole. I hated it. I wanted off. Too bad!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Trapped Where You Don't Want To Be."
It's one thing to be stuck on a ride you really don't want to be on. It's something else to be stuck in a life you really don't want to be in. And a lot of people are; sometimes, people that might surprise you.
There was a national magazine awhile back that published a candid interview with the man they called "TV's hottest action hero." He stars in one of the most successful, most talked about shows on American television, but he seems to be on a ride he really doesn't want to be on. Too often, his feelings of being as he said "trapped" and "caged," cause him to revert to alcohol for some relief. Here's how he feels about it in his own words. "I should be able to wake up in the morning without going, 'Oh, no! Where's my boot?' Or, 'Where am I?' Or 'One of my friends didn't happen to bring my car home, did they?' It's not a very clever way to live, and I don't want to live like that." This admirably successful star goes on to say: "I have a few drinks and I'm not so worried about tomorrow and I'm not thinking about yesterday. Then the next day, I go, 'Oh God, don't let me do that again.' So why do I do it again, and again, and again?"
His battle echoes the battle raging in many hearts; the feeling of being trapped in a cycle that's going nowhere and leaving us disappointed or disgusted. It's not a new struggle. Paul, one of the writers of the Bible, wrote these words in Romans 7, beginning in verse 15. It's our word for today from the Word of God. "I do not understand what I do...I have the desire to do 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...Who will rescue me?"
There's a me I want to be, and then there's the me I am. In between is this darkness that I can't overcome. It's got a name. The Bible calls it sin. We're trapped in a cycle of doing things we know we shouldn't do, of treating people in ways that we later regret - especially people we love, of handling life in ways that hurt us and hurt other people.
And, as the Bible writer suggests, our only hope is spiritual rescue. We can't get ourselves out of our sin. We can't get ourselves out of the hell that is the eternal death penalty for our sin. We need a rescuer. Paul goes on to answer his "who will rescue me?" question, with these words, "Thanks be to God," he says, "through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
Sin's power could only be broken by a sacrifice that was even more powerful - the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. He gave His life there to pay for my sin and to break its hold on me...and on you. Three days later, He demonstrated His supreme power by walking out of His grave. Death could not hold Him, and now He stands ready to walk into your life with all that love and all that power. So you can be forgiven for every sin. So you can be rescued from sin's cycle of defeat and despair.
But you do have to grab the Rescuer and let Him rescue you. He's waiting to do just that this very day. It's a matter of you talking to Him and saying, "Jesus, I'm tired of my sin. I'm ready to turn from my sin and turn to You as my only hope. You died to rescue me. And here I am." That's how your new beginning happens. If you're ready to begin this incredibly life-changing relationship with Jesus, then we're ready to help and support you in doing it. Our website's there to help you begin your relationship with Him, and I really want to encourage you to visit us there today. It's yoursforlife.net.
Things don't have to be the way they've always been. Jesus died so you could be free. He's waiting to do for you what only He can do.