December 20, 2019
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That Christmas is going to be a tough Christmas for my friend Rob - his first Christmas without the love of His life. Yeah, I know about that feeling. She actually had died just a few weeks before - Rob's wife had. Like a lot of people whose Christmas joy is bittersweet. I've lost the love of my life. Well, I know where she is; I didn't lose her. She's in heaven. And you know what? There are other times it was a very close call; three times I almost lost her. And God gave her back to me those times. But Christmas makes us think about the loves that we've lost doesn't it? Which, by the way, could lead us to the greatest love of all.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Empty Chair at Christmas."
The loves we've lost are a powerful reminder of the one love we need most; the love the Bible speaks about in Romans 8:38-39, our welcomed word for today from the Word of God. It says, "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, or anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Oh, man, that's powerful! There's a love that can't be taken away by death, by anything in heaven, by anything in hell, by anything happening right now, by anything that will happen, by your highs or by your lows. And just in case anything got missed, "anything else in all creation." This would sound too good to be true except its God who's promising it. A love you cannot lose - God's love.
We were made for God's love, but we've all missed God's love because we've lived our way instead of His way. And no other love has been able to fill His place in our life. It's not God's fault that we're living outside a deep, daily experience of His love. He didn't leave us. We've walked away with Him. We wanted to do our life the way we wanted, and we're lost. We're out of the orbit we were created for.
We are away from the One whose love we were made for. That's why life has been an endless search for what would fill the hole in our hearts. How could anyone or anything that earth has ever fill the place in our soul that was made for God alone? And how can rebels like you and me - people who have over and over chosen our way instead of His way - ever get back to the God we were made for?
Those Bible verses said the love of God is "in Christ Jesus our Lord." Enter Christmas. Enter the Son of God on a mission to bring us back. A mission for which He will give His life - held by three nails to a bloody cross. There Jesus absorbed everything you and I deserve for our sin. And that sacrifice for you has cleared the way for you to have God's love for yourself from the moment you put your life in Jesus' hands. My friend Rob, who I talked about at the beginning, has lost the second greatest love of his life, but not the greatest. He, like me, held safely in the strong hands - the unloseable love of his Savior, Jesus Christ. And that anchor holds!
You don't have to live one more day without this love if you'll put your life where it's belonged all along - in Jesus' hands. Tell Him, "Jesus, I've looked for a long time for a love that only You can give - the love that took you to a cross for my sins, and I'm done running my life, Jesus. I'm Yours now."
His hand is reaching out for your hand. He won't grab your hand. He won't force you to come. You need to reach out and grab the nail-scarred hand of Jesus. If you want more information about how to belong to Him and be sure you do, I hope you'll get to our website right away today. It's ANewStory.com. That's why it's there.
The love that Jesus is offering you is the only love on earth that is terror-proof, divorce-proof, death-proof, and that love can be yours this very day.