Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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Everyone in our family knows if Dad gets in a checkout line at a store, be sure you pick another line. My line always seems to be the wrong one, the long one, no matter how good a choice it seemed at the time I pick it. The cash register blows up or the one lady who was in line in front of me goes into labor or something. But there's one blissfully happy moment for me when I'm in a slow checkout line - when they open a new checkout line near me. You can be sure I will do my best to start that line.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why It Doesn't Have To Be the Way It's Always Been."
When you're in a long line that seems to be going nowhere fast, it's a great feeling to be able to be the first person in a new line. That's God's dream for you, that you be the first one in a new line for your family. By making a choice today that can literally change the future, not only for you, not only for those you love, but for people who will come after you that you will never see.
All of us are carrying some negative baggage from the way we were raised even if we had great parents. Every family has some hurtful ways of doing things. And our natural tendency is to reproduce those weaknesses in our generation, even though we've seen the damage they do. And as surely as physical family resemblances get passed on from one generation to another, so do family flaws, family sins, family baggage. Except for the miracle that makes it possible for one person to say, "It stops here. I'm not going to be another one in that same old line. I'm going to be the first one in a brand new line in our family!"
The only One who can make that kind of transformation possible is Jesus Christ because He died to pay for all our wrong ways of living; because He died and rose again to break that power over us. The Bible can make this awesome promise because of all of that. In our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 1:18-19: "You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers...with the precious blood of Christ." Because of what Jesus did, things don't always have to be the way they've always been. When you open your life to Jesus, God's Rescuer from our sin, you receive His supernatural power to beat the darkness inside you.
My friend, Craig Smith, with whom we've worked in a lot of outreach to the Native people of North America, has a powerful story to tell from his own family. His Ojibwe grandfather was, like generations before him, an alcoholic and a very angry and violent man. Craig's grandmother was one of the first of her tribe to give her heart to Christ. Her husband was so amazed by the change in his wife that he wanted her Jesus, and from that day on, he never touched alcohol again. He was what the Bible calls a "new creation in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Craig's children, all Christ-loving college graduates, are the fourth generation who have lived totally different lives because one man chose Christ. And the farther each generation gets from the garbage of the past, the more it loses its hold. We have seen that miracle happen over and over again in the lives of countless Native American young people who were on the same road to destruction so many around them had taken, until they met the Liberator, and that is Jesus Christ.
He's waiting to do that miracle for you. If you want that new beginning that only Jesus can give, would you tell Him that today? Many people have gone to our website and found a lot of help there in beginning their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's actually why it's there. And I've tried to explain the best way I can the information you need to know that you belong to Him. I want to invite you to check it out today. It's YoursForLife.net. I hope you'll go there as soon as you can today.
There have been enough people in that line that ends up going nowhere, haven't there, and hurting the people who follow? This very day, Jesus can begin to make you the first person in a whole new line that will change the future for generations to come!