Friday, May 5, 2017
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If you don’t know how to swim, it’s not cool to let your friends know that, right? Well, let me tell you, it’s just not smart not to tell them, especially if you’re going into the lake with them to swim. The scene was Lake Michigan. This 10-year-old boy was me. I couldn’t swim and I was too proud to tell my friends. Suddenly, as I waded deeper and deeper, I lost my footing and I began drinking the lake. I can remember the terror of it to this day. My friends thought it was funny. They were just laughing and going, "Oh, look at Ronnie. He’s such a clown!" I was dying. I'd gone under for the second time, and man, how I remember! I was helpless. I could not contribute a thing to getting back to shore. Thankfully, someone saw me, jumped in and that rescuer did it all!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Hand That Is Your Hope."
That day in the lake I had one hope-a rescuer. Only one person jumped in to save me, and I’m alive because of him.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Timothy 2:3-6. "God our Savior...wants all men to be saved...There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men." Now the saving that God is talking about here is from the effects and the punishment for the way we’ve run our lives. Actually, because we’ve run our lives when they were supposed to be God’s to run. The Bible makes it clear that we are drowning in the guilt of our sin and in the death penalty that God attaches to sin.
And God says that when you and I were drowning spiritually, His own Son, Jesus, jumped in to rescue us. He loved you so much He couldn’t stand to lose you. In God’s words, "He gave Himself a ransom." A ransom...that's paying the price to get you back. For Jesus, that was a high price. It meant absorbing all the hell and all the punishment for your sin as He died on that cross.
But you can still go under. You can still drown, if you won’t let Jesus rescue you. Maybe it's hard for you to admit that you can’t somehow swim to God on your own. In fact, you’ve done some very good things to make it to Him-but not good enough to meet the perfect standard of a perfect God. In Romans 3:10, God includes every person when He says that by His standards, "There is no one righteous, not even one." Not even one. Not even you. Not even me. Like me that day at the lake, there's nothing you can contribute to your rescue. Your only hope is a savior. And only one person jumped in to save you. That is Jesus Christ.
All that any religion can offer you is a book of swimming instructions-their way to swim to God. But it doesn’t matter if they’re Protestant swimming instructions or Catholic swimming instructions, or Jewish, or Moslem, or Buddhist, or New Age or whatever. Swimming instructions won’t rescue a drowning man or woman. Only the Savior can do that. And only Jesus did the dying it requires to get rid of your sin and to get you into a relationship with your Creator.
Even now, through these few minutes, Jesus is coming to you, offering to do for you what you could never do for yourself, and that is save you from your sin. All you can do is grab Him as if He’s your only hope, because He is! You can’t rescue yourself. Won’t you finally put your pride aside and all the religion and the goodness you thought would get you to heaven, and just reach for Jesus? He would have never died on that cross if your goodness could get you to heaven. It took that! That was the only way.
Tell Him right now, "Jesus, I believe that when you were dying on that cross some of those sins you were dying for were mine. And I have no hope but what You did there on that cross, and I'm grabbing You like a drowning person would grab a lifeguard-to be my Savior from my sin."
I really want to invite you to go to our website as soon as you can today, because you're going to find there laid out very carefully with the scriptures from God's own Word that will help you be sure you belong to Him. It's ANewStory.com.
That day I was going under, I had one hope-and that one hope was enough. The rescuer had come. That’s what Jesus wants to be for you, beginning right now. Please, grab your Savior and hold on tight.