Tuesday, June 28, 2016
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Lori Piestewa was the first woman killed in the Iraq war. She was a Native American and a single mom with two children. She died in an Iraqi ambush, and her good friend Jessica Lynch was wounded, captured and rescued. You might remember that. She was determined to help fulfill Lori Piestewa's dream – to have a house for her parents and her children. Jessica Lynch contacted the TV program, "Extreme Makeover," to see if they could make it happen. Their popular program showed them doing amazing makeovers of people's homes in a very short time; re-creating them into houses that were far beyond anything the owner's ever dreamed. They did it again for a war hero's family, moving them from their deteriorating trailer home into a wonderful new home. Given the good TV ratings of the show, apparently a lot of people loved to watch those amazing transformations.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Personal Extreme Makeover."
Bill Carroll was a hopeless alcoholic – since someone got him hooked at the age of 10. He moved from lost job to lost job, from jail to jail, from one desperate measure after another to meet his need for alcohol. One day a fellow prisoner recommended a remedy for the shakes that Bill had developed – cocaine. Bill Carroll actually ended up digging the gold fillings out of his teeth to pay for that cocaine.
Ultimately, he decided this life wasn't even worth living anymore. He was headed to Lake Michigan in Chicago to end his life. But as he walked by a rescue mission, he heard a song about Jesus that his mother had sung to him. He wandered into the meeting and he heard the liberating news about how Jesus Christ can forgive your sin and change a life. He went into that mission hopelessly addicted. He came out with an extreme makeover from the inside out. From that day, he never again had the slightest desire to touch the alcohol or the drugs that had ruled most of his life. And oh, how grateful I am because Bill Carroll was my wife's grandfather, who is here today because of the makeover miracle by Jesus Christ.
For 2000 years, the Carpenter of Nazareth has been transforming lives. Not reforming – transforming. In the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17, our word for today from the Word of God, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" It's a spiritual makeover from the inside out that only one man can accomplish – Jesus Christ, the man who died to cancel your sin and who came back from the dead with the power to give you a new life. It's not something a religion can do – any religion. Because religion tries to make us over from the outside in as we comply with its rules. It's superficial change, not internal transformation. What Jesus offers is a personal relationship with Him where He comes into your soul with life-changing power.
Without Him, I'd be the selfish only child who cares only about me. But He's changing me. He's given me the great joy of living for others instead of myself. He turns greedy people into generous people. He tames a temper that has inflicted so much hurt. He breaks the power of those dark things that have controlled you. He wires you with a capacity to love you never had before; a capacity to forgive, to believe you're really worth something, to control your passions, to live a life with lasting meaning.
But you have to want Him in your life...driving your life...changing your life. While you've probably known about Jesus for a long time, maybe you've never given yourself to this man who gave His life for you. The good news is that you don't have to spend one more day without Him, without this life-transforming miracle. It can be today. Tell Him, "Jesus, I believe Your death was for my sin. I need the new beginning only You can give me. Come on in, Jesus. I'm Yours!" What He brings in upon your invitation, is then yours for life.
Would you go to our website today – ANewStory.com? Find out there how, with Jesus, your new story can begin.
There's power in that cross of Jesus to transform you into the person you want to be, that you need to be, that the people you love need for you to be. He's been doing extreme makeovers for a long time. He wants to do it for you. Actually, He died to do it for you.