Thursday, November 20, 2014

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You can feel it coming maybe five minutes before the TV program ends. They don't have enough time to get the hero out of this predicament, and you know those dreaded three words are about to appear on your screen; To Be Continued. You have a whole week to worry about how they're possibly going to rescue Dudley Do-right, or whatever his name is. If it's the end of the season you might have to wait until the whole beginning of the next season to see what happens. Of course, you can be sure, usually, that he will get out of it because, well, usually the hero always does.

When I was a kid I was a sucker for serials-not the kind you eat, the kind you see on a screen. It's the kind that's an adventure continued each week. Every episode left the hero in the clutches of disaster and what got you back was finding out how he got out of it. Of course, not all cliffhangers are on the screen. In fact, you have several every week don't you? And the tension is the same as in those continued stories. How are you going to get out of this predicament?

Well I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Always A Way Out."

Which brings us to our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Peter 1 and I'm reading verse 4, "God has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you might participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." Now it's talking about escape-well we were talking about how the hero gets out of his predicament. In this case you're the hero; what's the predicament?

Well, it talks about corruption in the world and escaping the trap of the corruption in the world. In that case you and I have several close calls a week. I mean, we live in a morally rotting world. That's what that word corruption means. Sin is normal, it's expected, it's common, it's even celebrated. It is so tempting to lie when lying is the way people around here are getting things done. It is so tempting to compromise. You know, you still look better than most of the people around you, more righteous. It's so tempting to fit in; to succumb to that old habit. So, the sign freezes over your tempting moment-To Be Continued. Now what's going to happen? Well, now the escape is spelled out. Listen, "His very great and precious promises." The answer to the pressure to sin is a promise of Almighty God.

That means you've got to know some of those promises in order to escape being taken over by this rotting world. Do you know some promises? It's time to learn some. They are what get you through. Like 1 Corinthians 10:13, that wonderful verse that says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man and God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted-beyond what you can bear. When you are tempted He will provide a way out so you can stand up under it." Now, that's a promise you ought to have in your heart so that when sins comes to the door, you send God's Word to answer it.

You need to be able to commit to memory a verse like 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds;" How about James 4:7, "Resist the devil and he will fight with you." No, it doesn't say that! "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you;" James 1:12 promises, "If you will endure temptation, you will receive a crown of life." When somebody asks me to sign their Bible - which is for me, an awkward moment – but, I use it to put something in there that might encourage them. There's a quote from D. L. Moody I love to put in there, "Either this Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book."

The promises are the life preserver of God. When a wave of temptation hits you, you repeat one of those promises of God. So you need to go to work building a memory bank of escape promises. Make them part of who you are, part of your personality. Next time you're cornered by the villain of a wrong desire reach for the rescue; the supernatural promise of a mighty God. Because just like on TV, there is always a way out.