Thursday, December 21, 2017
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If you made a list of places you might like to be for Christmas, I'm guessing the hospital emergency room wouldn't be on your list. No, mine either. But I was. Yeah, it happened the Christmas that our sons got a new football. It was this extraordinary 60-degree Christmas day. Of course, we had to go out and play with that new ball. I went deep for a pass, and I caught it on the end of my finger! The next thing I knew, I was spending a painful Christmas in the emergency room getting a broken finger repaired. Nice way to spend Christmas, huh?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "An E. R. Christmas."
Take it from me, it's no fun dealing with something broken at Christmas. But, you know, too many folks are doing just that this season...maybe you. It's not a broken limb that's put a cloud over so many Christmases-it's a broken heart, a broken relationship, a broken dream. This season amplifies so many emotions. It amplifies the loves of your life, the joys of your life, and the pain. As we approach this Christmas, maybe you're feeling very deeply some personal loss, some grief, some guilt or regret. Maybe you're feeling hurt, that loneliness. Broken is hard anytime. It's just especially hard at Christmas.
Which brings us to one of the main reasons Jesus came that first Christmas. Our word for today from the Word of God, Isaiah 61:1, the Son of God says, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me...He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners."
God saw our brokenness and He sent His one and only Son to give us hope. But He didn't just bring a band-aid for the symptom. He went right to the central cause of most human pain-this deadly soul-cancer called sin. Most of the broken things in our life are either because we have been sinned against or because we have sinned. In other words, we have done it our way instead of God's way.
We were designed to live for the One who gave us our life, but in the words of the Bible, "everyone has gone his own way." That choice has made us the victims of other people's "me first" living and it's made other people the victims of our sin. And a lot has been broken.
But the promise of Jesus' coming was given to His earthly father before He was born. "He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). The coming of Jesus was a rescue mission that took Him all the way to a brutal death on a cross. In the words of the Bible, Jesus was "crushed for our sins" (Isaiah 53:5). By paying our death penalty, He broke the power of sin to kill us, to enslave us, and He's made it possible for you to reach out to God for the forgiveness that your heart so needs; for the healing no one else can give you. And Christmas is a wonderful time to open your heart to the One who said He came "to bind up the brokenhearted." He was broken so you could be healed.
You don't ever have to be alone again. You don't ever have to carry your burden alone again. You can't buy this gift of life from Jesus no matter how much good you do. You can't earn it. Like any Christmas gift, you can only reach out and take it for yourself. That happens when you come to Jesus and say, "Lord, I'm putting my total trust in You to be my personal Savior from my personal sin."
There's a wonderful place for you to visit right now on line that will help you find for sure the beginning of your personal relationship with Jesus this Christmas season, and it's our website. That's what it's set up for. It's called ANewStory.com, because this could be the beginning of your own new story. Please take a few minutes to go there as soon as you can today.
Why don't you make this your first Christmas with Christ in your heart?