Wednesday, October 7, 2015
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That night our car was totaled in an accident, and thank God, we weren't. We were hit by a drunk driver, and I had no car to get around in for the month of December, which was a very busy month for the youth ministry that I worked for at that time. I received a call from a friend one day. Much to my surprise, he said, "Ron, could we lend you a car for the next few weeks while we're in Florida." This was like a huge answer to prayer. I said, "Well, bring me the oldest one you have."
Well, he drove over his brand new Cadillac Coupe Deville. Now, that's good news and bad news. The good news is, "I'm going to be driving my friend's brand new Coupe Deville. The bad news is, "I'm going to be driving my friend's brand new Coupe Deville." This car was capable of things I didn't even know cars did, and here I am for the next six weeks driving around in my good friends' brand new Cadillac. To be honest, I drove like a different person when I drove that car! I was more careful, I took it and had it washed every other day. I made sure the kids didn't eat any potato chips in there. You know, you treat something like extra special when you know it belongs to somebody else.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Someone Else's Treasure."
Our word for today from the Word of God is about being trusted with somebody else's treasure. And it comes as a quiet, almost hidden lesson out of what we normally think of as the Christmas Story. It's in Matthew 1, where our word for today from the Word of God is in verses 20 and 21. We're in that part of the story where Joseph gets the news about what has happened to his fiancé Mary, and that in fact she is going to be a virgin mother of the Son of God.
Verse 20, "After he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'"
You might think of this as good news/bad news for Joseph. Because isn't it great news for a father to be told, "You're going to have a son!"? That's like music to every dad's ears.
The down side is that he will be playing a supporting role in the life of this son that's going to be born. First of all, he's not even going to get to pick the name. God's going to do that. And then he's going to be the supporting cast. This child, basically God is saying here, is "not really yours Joseph." But then, in a sense, isn't every parent Joseph. You have, if you are a parent, in your care a child invented by God, for whom God has His own plans – a Cadillac He has entrusted to you. As Joseph was, so you are in a sense, a supporting actor to God's fathering in that child's life. Your mission is to support God's program for the children He trusted to you; not to live your life through them or to carry out your wonderful plan for their life.
So, how are you doing? Are you carrying out His plans for them and not yours? Are you accepting the gifts that God has given them and the limitations He's given them? Are you teaching God's boundaries to them? Are you bathing them in His values? Do you pray every day, "Dear Jesus, help me see this child through your eyes. Help me see what you're doing in my son or daughter's life and I want to follow you there, and I want to be a part of it."
He's given you this child to raise; He's trusted you. It is perhaps the greatest trust God can ever give a human being. You have someone else's treasure.
I think about the prayer of that grandmother that was up on the wall in her room, "Lord, I pray that on that Resurrection Day I may be able to say, 'Here am I, Lord, and the children you gave me.'" Yes, you've got somebody else's treasure.