Tuesday, September 6, 2016
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Our church's youth group had just been out whitewater rafting all day. I had been invited to wrap up the day with an inspirational talk. And when I arrived at the rafting facility they were using, I was expecting to see just the youth group. As it turned out, this recreational company had 1500 people on the river that day. (They must have run out of river.) They were all from all these different groups! So, I wandered around looking lost until someone from our church found me. And that night we had a wonderful get-together under the trees.
Now, I didn't know that one girl at the back was there, and she had not planned to be there at all. She was a Girl Scout who had been there for the day with her troop. And they had somehow gone off and left her all alone. And she saw this group of teenagers meeting, so she wandered over to check it out. And she stayed...and she listened...and at the end, she was one of the young people who indicated they wanted to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's cool!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Getting Left To Get Found."
That was one very happy Girl Scout, even before she found a ride home. In a very real sense, she got left so she could get found...spiritually. Actually, that could be what's happening in your life right now.
You're probably not a Girl Scout, and you're not stuck out in the woods, but it could be that you have been left, or you're feeling lost. A person you were counting on bailed out or maybe even died. Or something that has been one of your life anchors isn't there any more. You've been left out or left behind or left high and dry. And you're not sure which way home is. Because so much in life is temporary, it's only a matter of time before we all experience the pain of being left or being lost.
Which makes our word for today from the Word of God especially important. It's Jesus' personal mission statement in Luke 19:10, "The Son of Man (that's Jesus) came to seek and to save what was lost." Now He's talking about you and me. That Girl Scout at that camp that night was lost, separated from the people who could get her home, wandering on her own.
Well, that's the picture the Bible paints of you and me. Oh, sure, on the outside we look like we've got it all together. But inside, there's a lot of loneliness, a lot of hurt, and a lot of unanswered questions. We are, in Jesus' words, "lost" because we're separated from the one Person who can get us home-who is home for our searching heart...our Creator. In God's own words, "Your sins have separated you from your God" (Isaiah 59:2).
See, we have broken God's laws and we're paying the price. It's a wall between Him and us; a wall that's there forever if we die with it still there. A wall that Jesus died on a cross to remove by paying the death penalty for all the sinning we ever did. But He has a hard time getting us to realize that He's the only one who can finally fill that hole in our heart. Maybe that's why God has allowed you to be left or to be lost-so you'd finally realize no earth-love is going to be enough, no earth-empire, no earth-spirituality. I have to tell you honestly, it isn't until our earth-anchors let us down and leave us stranded, that we finally realize we were made for Jesus and we were paid for by Jesus.
And now this Savior has come looking for you. He said He would "seek and save what was lost." That tug you feel in your heart? That's Jesus Himself, knocking on the door of your heart. Your relationship with Him can begin right where you are if you'll just tell Him that you're trusting Him to be your Savior from your sin. All the disappointments have been so you could finally find the one love that will never let you down, never leave you, and never die on you.
You tell Him, "Jesus, I'm putting all my faith in what You did on the cross, paying for my sin. I believe You walked out of your grave; you're alive. Come into my life today." Tell Him that where you are. And please go to our website, and there I've laid out as simply as I could the things from God's own Word that will help you be sure you belong to Jesus. It's ANewStory.com.
Jesus has allowed you to be left, to be lost...so you could get found. By the One who went all the way to a cross to bring you home.