|Identifying the Killer - #6982|
|A Word With You - Your Most Important Relationship|
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
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My wife and I had some of the most special weeks of our lives on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. But there was a cloud over one visit during a summer ministry we had there. See, there had been this mystery illness; it was all over the news. It had already taken some 20 lives. People suddenly were developing severe breathing problems, and in a short time they were gone. Well, since then, that same disease has surfaced in places all over the country. That demonstrated that the killer was not a reservation disease. But in the early stages, there was panic on the reservation.
Health experts and researchers from all over descended on the area to find the cause. Finally, they isolated this rodent-born cause that they called the Hantavirus, and then victims had some hope of recovery. Before that, the medical personnel were just trying to treat the symptoms, but everyone knew that the killer would continue to claim victims until the culprit was identified.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Identifying the Killer."
The Bible-God's book-identifies the greatest killer of all time; the greatest problem you and I have. Strangely, many of us wouldn't even put this disease on our list of problems that need a solution. We'd put its deadly symptoms on our list. We see the damage from this disease in our family, our working relationships, some of the dark feelings inside of us, in the brokenness between people.
Okay, here's the diagnosis. Isaiah 59:1-2 , our word for today from the Word of God. "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor His ear too dull to hear. But our iniquities (That's our sins; our wrong doings.) have separated you from your God. Your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear." There is a killer on the loose in your world and mine called sin. And because of it the Bible says here we are away from God, and that single missing relationship is responsible for so much of our misery.
First of all, sin needs a definition. What is it? Well, I think the middle letter says it pretty well - s-I-n. "I will run my life, not you, God." No matter how religious we are, the Bible says we have all made that defiant choice about the central control of our life. Romans 3:23 , "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glorious ideal." And out of that hijacking of our life has come thousands of little life choices that disregard what God wants and just plow ahead with what we want.
This sin virus puts a wall between us and the God that we can't live without. The symptoms? They read like a list of the greatest struggles and needs of our life: chronic loneliness. Why? We're lonely for God. We're away from Him. A low view of our own worth. Why? Because we're away from the One who gave us our worth. Disappointing relationships. Why? Because we haven't got the central relationship right and all the others aren't working, a lot of times because of selfishness.
Those dark feelings that frighten us sometimes, depression and anger. They're there because there's no God to help us control them and change them. We're nervous about death and we're nervous about eternity because we're not ready to meet God; we are away from Him. We've got struggles in our marriages, in our parenting, in finding peace and trying to find some closeness. It's all so hard because we're doing it without the love of God; without the power of God.
Maybe you have battled the symptoms all your life without knowing what caused them - the sin virus. If you're ready for a cure, listen to Isaiah 53:5-6 . "The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him (that's Christ). We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity (the sin) of us all." Jesus took the punishment for your sin when He died on the cross, and the wall between you and God comes down the moment you make the Savior your Savior by saying, "Jesus, I'm pinning all my hopes on You. Come into my life. Forgive my sin and bring me into a relationship with my God."
If you're not sure you've begun that relationship and you want to, I would love to help you by just visiting our website ANewStory.com. Join me there and let me explain to you how to be sure you belong to Him.
Right now, right where you are, you can open your life up to the One, not who has the cure. No, He is the cure.