Tuesday, June 30, 2015
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I was sitting in the van we drove back then, idling at a red light, when suddenly this cloud of dark, acrid smoke starts belching out of my exhaust pipe. It was disgusting! Apparently, the motorists behind me felt the same way because they started honking at me! That helped a lot! I just wish honking would have solved the problem. It didn't. One mechanic told me, "I wouldn't leave town with that van if I were you." And he was right. Guess what? The smoke wasn't the problem. The problem was the engine, and it didn't need to be fixed. It was too far gone for that. It had to be replaced!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why We Keep Hurting People We Love."
The van I drove away from that garage looked like the same van I drove into that garage. But that was not true! It was new on the inside, and as a result it was no longer leaving an ugly trail. Actually, a lot of us have some emissions coming out of our lives that aren't too pleasant either. Maybe you know some of those feelings, and too often there's anger spewing out. There's self-pity because you feel like a victim, or just critical attitudes, negative attitudes. You later regret what you said. You do something that you regret later. Maybe you're hooked on what you wish you could stop and wish you'd never started. We leave a trail behind us of people who have choked on the smoke and the pollution we put out.
And it's not that we haven't tried to fix it; New Years resolutions, religion, self-improvement. We've tried to stop polluting our own lives and the lives of those around us, but there's a problem inside. And God diagnoses that problem in His Book in Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" The engine is shot and it can't be fixed. It has to be replaced.
Which leads us to God's tremendous offer; our word for today from the Word of God. This is great! Ezekiel 36:26, "I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you. I will remove from you a heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit in you." God says our heart is too darkened and hardened by sin to ever quit putting out pollution.
We can certainly never get into His totally unpolluted heaven with this polluted heart. We all have it. Our only hope for this life and for eternal life is a new heart. And we can't perform heart surgery on ourselves. Only the Divine Surgeon can do that, and He stands ready to take that heart of yours that's been hardened by all the hurt, the anger, the sin, and He will replace it with a heart that is clean, and sensitive and new. He'll put His Holy Spirit in you to make you the person you've wanted to be but never could be.
But the operation had to be paid for; just as the engine replacement on my van had to be paid for. And, you know, I didn't have the money to pay. But to my amazement, some of God's people quietly got together and actually paid that bill. That's what Jesus was doing for you when He was agonizing on the cross. He was paying the bill for your sins that you could never pay so you could be forgiven.
You ready for a new heart? Well, then, it's time to open your heart to Jesus Christ. I would love to help you be sure that you have been forgiven, that you are free, and that you have begun this transforming, personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. That's why our website is there. It's ANewStory.com. I hope as soon as you can you will get there, meet me there and let me walk you through, using God's Word, how to be sure you belong to Him.
All our lives we try to stop the ugly stuff that comes out of us, but it just doesn't come until we get a new engine - a new heart. Jesus is waiting for you right now to tell Him that you want it.