Friday, June 10, 2016
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Maybe you've seen those old world maps that were created when a lot of the world was still unexplored. When they reached the edge of what had been explored, they drew a line and then they showed dragons and monsters beyond it - which didn't exactly encourage exploration. The story is told of this first century Roman commander who had to lead his troops beyond the line on the map and into "dragon" territory. He sent a courier back to Rome with a straightforward message – "We have just marched off the map! Please send new orders!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When You're Marching Off the Map".
That describes how a whole lot of us are feeling since things changed so dramatically back on September 11, 2001 and all of the cataclysmic, unpredictable, unimaginable events that have come since then. We have marched off the map! Things are up for grabs with the economy; a lot of people feel their jobs are insecure. Our personal sense of safety and security has turned to a sense of vulnerability. There are prospects of bioterrorism and cyber terrorism. USA Today talked about DEFCON 1, the military's phrase for their highest state of alert-and they said suddenly a lot of us feel like we're living at DEFCON 1.
We need some certainty; we need some leadership. We want to hear from our national leaders, from our military leaders, from our financial leaders, but none of them can give us that sense of peace and security that we're needing in this "new world" that's off the map. What we're looking for can ultimately only be found in the leader. That would be the One who created us. The issues of our day and the questions of our heart are just too big to be answered by anyone other than God Himself.
In times like these, I am so glad Jesus described His relationship with those who belong to Him as one of a shepherd. Because with no clear direction these days, we're feeling a little like sheep. Here's what Jesus offered to people like us in times like these - it's in our word for today from the Word of God in John 10, beginning in verse 3, "He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out - He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him." Later, Jesus said, "My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand."
There is someone who knows the way to go when there is no map and He's the Lord of this universe! And Jesus leads those who belong to Him, giving them daily direction and daily provision, no matter what's happening in the headlines. And He never loses anyone that's His - because, in the words of John 10, He "laid down His life for the sheep". Jesus died for every wrong thing you've ever done so you could belong to Him forever. He's not about to lose you after paying that price for you!
The Bible tells us that Jesus weeps for those who are, as He says, "sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). That might be you today. But it doesn't have to be you for one more day. He's reaching out to you right now. He's ready to be your Shepherd in these confusing times; your anchor in the stormy times we live in and the storms of our own personal lives.
Your relationship with Him begins when you tell Him you're done trying to be your own shepherd, running your own life and that you want to put your total trust in Him to forgive every sin you've ever committed, to direct your life from this day on, and to get you to heaven when you die.
That's what He's waiting to give you. He's waiting for you to say, "Jesus, I'm Yours. You are my only hope. Your death on the cross, your resurrection from the dead...I want to belong to you, beginning today." Our website is all about helping you get that relationship started. I would invite you to go there. It is ANewStory.com.
We have marched off the map. But Jesus knows exactly where we are-and what the future holds. And He can take you there safely...but, you have to grab His hand.