Thursday, March 12, 2015
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Sister is a dog. No, I didn't say my sister was a dog. My friend, Curtis, has a dog he named Sister, which leads to some very amusing sentences. When Curtis' Sister first arrived in our area, Sister lived in this big, fenced-in area around the house. But Curtis got a nice dog house for Sister, the dog that is, and went to work making it a nice winter home for her. He installed two inches of insulation, put in a new floor, and even put a waterbed heater under the floor and some zip lock bags of water for the heater to heat. Sister basically had her own home with her own waterbed.
But for the first couple of weeks after her home was completed, she wouldn't go in it. Curtis was away for the weekend. He asked a friend to check on Sister. It was one of those days was when a powerful Nor'easter storm hit our area with drenching rain. And when Curtis' friend visited Sister, there was that dog running around outside the dog house in the wind and the pouring rain, still refusing to go in that home that had been provided for her.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Peace Within Your Reach."
Curtis said he was frustrated. He said, "Here I lovingly prepared a warm, safe place, and she insists on staying outside in the cold and the rain." That frustration is one that Jesus knows very well.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 19:41. "As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it. He said, 'If you only would have known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes. You did not recognize the time of God's coming to you.'" This kind of grieving in the heart of Jesus isn't limited to that one time and that one place. It happens every time another person keeps running in the rain when they could be living in the safety and warmth that He has prepared for them.
Jesus makes very clear what He wants to give us; what the result will be if we respond to Him. He talks about what would "bring you peace." And peace is what's at stake in what you do with Jesus; personal peace, peace with God, peace for all eternity. Jesus may actually have shed some tears for you. So many times He's given you the opportunity to come into that wonderful peace of a personal relationship with Him, but you have refused to enter.
The results: You're alone out in the storm, feeling unnecessary loneliness because you're living outside His never-leaving love. Unnecessary stress because you're trying to handle life without His peace. You're feeling unnecessary pain because you're trying to carry the load without His great strength, and maybe unnecessary emptiness because you're trying to make life make sense without the One who gave you your life. And Jesus is saying, "If you only knew what I can do for you if you'll just come inside."
The spiritual shelter Jesus invites you to has been very lovingly prepared for you, very expensively prepared for you. There was no way into a God relationship as long as the death penalty for our sins stood between us and God. We're spiritual orphans in this world. We're separated from our Father because of our sins. But the Bible says, speaking of the suffering and crucifixion of God's Son, "He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities." All that because of how much Jesus loves you.
And the result of this incredible love? Here's what it says, "The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him." The peace that has eluded you for your whole life can finally be yours today if you'll give yourself to the One who gave His life for you on a cross. He said of the people who had missed Him, "You did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." That time for you might be today.
He's come to you. He's knocking on the door of your heart. Would you open up? Let Him in and let Him take the wheel of your life from this day on. If you're tired of being in the storm without the peace that He wants to give you, that He died to give you, would you say to Him today, "Jesus, I'm Yours."
I'd love to help you with that. Go to our website. We'll take it from there - AnewStory.com. You don't need to run alone in the rain any more. You know which way is home and Jesus is there.