Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The sign said, "Antique Auto Show." So, my wife and I decided that we'd take a few minutes and stop at this car dealership and look at the antique autos. Really, we were interested in seeing the ones that went back to the 50s and the 60s when we were young. There was this one sleek, black '66 Mustang and it had a flawless exterior, a really rich interior, and the hood was open so you could look at the horsepower underneath. And there sitting on the engine block was a thick book of photos. It wasn't the guy's children or grandchildren. It was his car, and at the beginning of this photo album there were "before" pictures of this car. Well, let me tell you, it was garbage when he started. The first pictures were of this rusted out wreck, this banged-up Mustang. That must have been what he bought. And as you look through the book step-by-step you could see the car was being slowly transformed. It took months and maybe years of the owner's patient attention to get this beautiful classic. When the owner saw that wreck, he saw more than a wreck. He saw something that others didn't see.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Rebuilder's Dream."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Judges 6. God is looking for a general for his troops; someone who will be a mighty commander who will beat the awful Midianites who have intimidated and terrorized the Israelites for years. And he speaks to Gideon in verse 11, "The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak where Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The Lord is with you mighty warrior.'" Verse 14 says, "The Lord turned to him and said, 'Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?' 'But Lord,' Gideon asked, 'How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh. I am the least in my family.' The Lord answered, 'I will be with you and you will strike down all the Midianites together.'"
Here is Gideon hiding in a pit. He doesn't look like a mighty warrior at all, and God comes along and says, "Mighty Warrior." This is no mighty warrior. But God didn't see what Gideon was. He saw what he could be and what He intended to make him. Same thing happened with Peter. You know Jesus said, "Peter you're going to be a rock when I'm done with you." I can imagine when people heard this they said, "Peter? Peter's a flake, man!" When it came to Jesus, He was a rock. Peter was always up and down - inconsistent. But see, God looks at what He is going to make you.
He looks at you the way that Mustang owner saw that banged-up car. He sees value more than you do. He knows the person He created you to be. "His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works He prepared in advance for you to do." That's Ephesians 2:10. And His photo album shows where you were and his step-by-step rebuilding.
If you believe how God sees you, then there's some important changes in how life should look to you. First, when you're down about who you are, you look back at the old pictures. You look at what you used to be. You are becoming something. Second, when you're down on yourself, you realize you're not finished yet. The rebuilder is in the process. And third, when you're dealing with other people, encourage the person God is building in them. Be part of the rebuilding project. Tell people what they could be. Tell them the good you see in them - the potential. And fourth, if you're a parent, don't get hung up on what your child is now. Look at what he or she could be and tell them that.
You, your friends, your mate, your children are all in the rebuilding program of Jesus Christ. Life looks different when we see ourselves and we see others through Jesus' eyes. We see what we can be. The Master is building you into a classic.