Monday, January 12, 2004
I don't get sick very often, but I managed to pick up last season's special flu bug. Which, of course, meant my wife soon followed suit. We believe in sharing everything. Our friend Janice got a similar flu - sick for four or five days. Then her husband got it - sick for four or five days. Then their lucky daughter took her turn - sick for four or five days. Their teenage son was the only one who didn't get it. His mom said he was the one walking around the house with a can of Lysol all the time! You can almost count on it - when one person is infected with a germ, it will probably end up infecting the people closest to them.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Family Infections."
Every family has them - those germs that get passed around the family. And they're not all the kind you go to a doctor for. The most virulent, most damaging family infections of all come from moral germs, spiritual germs, some of which have infected generations and are in the process right now of being passed on to yet another generation.
One writer tells about his friend George and the angry explosions he had with his wife - angry words which unfortunately his little son could sometimes hear down the hall in his room. There was one particularly bitter argument where George yelled to his wife, "I don't need you. I don't want you, and I can't stand you!" A few weeks later, George was awakened by sounds down the hall from his bedroom. They were coming from his little boy's room. George tiptoed down there and he stood and listened in horror as his son was angrily telling a stuffed animal of his, "I don't need you. I don't want you. I can't stand you!"
That's how the family diseases are transmitted from one generation to the next. There are those weaknesses that scarred our parents' lives, probably their parents' lives, and who knows how many other generations! Tragically, we tend to carry that baggage into our lives and infect another generation with them. We seem to be unable to stop the things in us that hurt most the people we love the most: the anger, the selfishness, the criticism, abuse, the addictions, the negativity.
But there's wonderful news about our family infections in our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 1:18. God says, "You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ." Translation - there's a connection between my hurtful weakness and what Jesus did when He died on the cross. If I open myself up to the love and power of Jesus Christ, the disease can stop in this generation! I can be "redeemed" from it.
The central disease we all have that poisons our closest relationships is "the disease of me" - a disease the Bible calls sin. Sin is a life you run instead of God running it, and it can only be conquered by the One who died to pay the death penalty for all our sinning - Jesus. When you put your total trust in Him to be your "Savior" from all your sin, He enters your life. He unleashes His power to start changing you from the inside out.
If you're ready to finally be forgiven, if you're ready to finally be free, then you're ready to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you want Him to be your own personal Savior, would you tell Him that right now. And if you'll let me know you want to begin with Jesus, I would love to send you the booklet I wrote about this relationship called "Yours For Life." Just let me know you want it.
The spiritual infections in your family have done enough damage and the Man who died for you is ready to begin His miracle healing of your past, your present, and your future. Think what it could mean to you, to those you love. "It stops here - in this generation! Because Jesus is running things now!"