Friday, June 8, 2018
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"Daddy, will you play with me?" I can still hear those echoes from when our kids were little. And I can still remember how preoccupied I was a lot of times when they asked that. So I can relate to the man who was reading his Sunday newspaper - you know, one of the big ones that comes in volumes. His little guy kept tapping on the newspaper and asking his Daddy to play with him. Dad kept giving him little things to do to keep him occupied. Finally, he tried another way to be able to finish his paper. He actually tore out a page that had a map of the world on it and he ripped it into pieces. He said, "Scotty, why don't you put this puzzle together. As soon as you've got it finished, I promise I'll come and play." Two minutes later, Scotty was tapping on Dad's newspaper again. "I'm finished," he said. And there it was, the whole map of the world together on the floor. Dad said, "Son, how did you ever put that together so fast?" His little guy replied: "It was easy, Daddy. There was a picture of a man on the other side. If you put the man together right, the world goes together just fine!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When It's Hard to Put Your Life Together."
And that might be a title for this particular season of your life: "Putting My Life Together." Right now, maybe there's just a lot of pieces: financially, spiritually, maritally, parentally. Maybe there are problems at work or in your relationships. Or some inner struggles with who you are, why you're here and where you're going. It's a time of confusion, frustration, maybe even some despair.
You've been pretty focused on your battles; you've been pretty focused on your problems. But you might be missing what the baseline issue really is. What the little boy said to his dad might be a key to getting things together, "If you put the man together right, the world goes together just fine." You know, that's what Jesus has been doing for people for 2,000 years. He puts the man or woman together. And if you will allow Him to put you together, it could be that your home, your relationships, your work, your future...well, maybe they would go together just fine.
There's a helpful picture of many of us in a story that Jesus told, recorded in Luke 15, beginning with verse 13. It's our word for today from the Word of God. It's the story of the Prodigal Son; a guy who couldn't figure out why things were such a mess. He had asked his dad for his inheritance early and the Bible says, "he set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living ... He spent everything." There's a picture of us. We've taken the life that God gave us and we've gone off and squandered it, living the way we want instead of the way He made us to live. We don't wake up until we've spent everything. This guy ended up feeding pigs and sharing their meals just to stay alive.
Then it says, "When he came to his senses" or one translation says, "when he came to himself, he said ... 'I will go back to my father and say to him: 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.'" Well, he did, and his father welcomed him like royalty. That young man probably thought of every possible reason for his predicament except the real one - himself. That's where your answer will begin. Let's get past what your spouse or your kids or your parents or other people have done. Could it be that you're the puzzle that needs to be put together? The real issue is a you that's lost, and we can't put ourselves together. Our only hope is to go to the Father in heaven who can.
The Father sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to make it possible for us to go home. It took His dying on the cross, though, to remove that awful death penalty for our sin and then His coming back from His grave. And because He has the power to fix the central issue that messes up our lives (it's called sin), He is your hope of finally putting the pieces together. But you have to admit, "Lord, I'm the problem, and You're the answer." He's been waiting for you to finally reach out to Him so He can do for your life what only He can do. You say, "Jesus, I'm not in charge anymore. I'm all yours."
Our website is there to really lay out for you the steps to beginning this relationship. I hope you'll go there today - ANewStory.com.
Jesus in your life will make all the difference. You have to put the man or the woman together before you can put your world together right, and Jesus has done that for so many people for so long. He's done it for me, and He's waiting to do it for you.