Thursday, October 25, 2001
When I was in Junior High School, we usually bought one copy of the local newspaper each day. Until the day after I won the County Spelling Bee! Aren't you impressed? (Autographs will come later.) Well, that day we got about 20 copies of the local newspaper. What was the difference? My name was in it this time.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "My Name in it."
Actually, that wasn't really a unique phenomenon, getting all those newspapers. You know, we're all like that. When our name is in something we're suddenly a whole lot more interested. It's that way with what may be the most important statement in all the Bible - certainly one of the most quoted. Maybe you've seen the man at the National Football League games in the end zone with that big sign that says John 3:16, maybe the most important statement in the Bible. Here's what it says, "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have Eternal Life." Those words are probably the most dramatic answer in all the world to any questions we have about how God feels about us. God loved the world so much that He gave - He proved it - He acted on it...His one and only Son, the most valuable thing He could give. Why? So we who deserve to die can live forever instead.
You say, "deserve to die?" Yeah, because Romans 6:23 in God's Book says, "The wages of sin is death." That's what we get paid for running our own lives. We've all built a wall between us and our Creator by taking our lives into our own hands--it's called sin. We wonder why there is never enough love. It's because of the sin wall. We can't get to the one who's got it. There's never any real peace. Why? Because of the sin wall. The one who's got it is on the other side. There never seems to be any real assurance of what happens after we die. Why? Because the God we meet when we die is on the other side of the wall. There never seems to be any meaningful reason to live. Why? Because the One who knows why we're here is on the other side of the wall, and if we die with that wall there, we're there forever - and that's Hell - eternal death, conscious separation and loneliness, away from God forever with no earth sedatives to still the pain. But God, the one we have wronged, acted to get our death penalty paid with the life of His Son.
Now, about putting your name in it--John 3:16. When I leave a blank, put your name in it. "God loved ______ so much that He gave His one and only Son so that if ______ would believe in Him then ______ will never die but will have eternal life." It says you have to believe in Him to have that happen. That's total trust - the kind that someone in a fire has in a fireman who comes to rescue him...the kind that a drowning person puts in a lifeguard. This is awesome love, this gift of God's Son, was all for you but you have to reach out and take the gift.
Something happens dramatically when you walk up to the cross of Jesus and say two words, "For me. This is for me, isn't it Jesus? Some of those sins you're dying for are mine." God's waiting right now to erase every sin you've ever done from His book - to add your name to His Book of Life; the one He will check when your heart finally stops and you stand before Him. But, it all begins when you put your name in what Jesus did on the cross for you and you make The Savior--Your Savior.
If you've never done that, and today you sense Jesus knocking on the door of your heart, would you please let me know that. When your name is in something it makes all the difference. Well, today may be your day to realize that what Jesus did was not generic. It was specifically for you.