Monday, April 11, 2016
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It's always a good idea to lock your luggage when you're flying commercially. It's especially a good idea if you're going out of the country. It's an even better idea if you know where the keys for your suitcase locks are before you try to lock them! I was packing in a rush for my flight to Mexico. I had my padlocks ready to go. I couldn't find the keys. Now with only minutes left before I had to leave, we launched this all out desperate search. We checked drawers – no keys. We looked in creative places – no keys! So I was resigned to leaving with unlocked suitcases and a garment bag, when I zipped this garment bag shut and I found the keys. Someone had been wise enough to attach them to the zipper that we use to lock...right there! What I had been looking for everywhere, it had been right in front of me all along!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Surprising End of Your Lifetime Search."
In a sense, our whole life is a search for a key. A key that will answer some of life's bottom line questions, "Why am I on this planet? How can I find love that I won't lose? How can I find a relationship I can totally trust? How can I get some lasting peace? What happens after I die?" Well, like this guy with a lock that had no key, we look a lot of places for answers. It might be that your inner search is taking you through a series of relationships, some good, some bad, or down a variety of spiritual roads trying various approaches to God, or maybe through some successes that were supposed to quiet your heart. But they never did. May I suggest that maybe the key you've been looking for has been right in front of you all along on a road so familiar, so accessible you've missed it.
Our word for today from the Word of God will take you right there. Now you'll have to climb a hill with me, it's called skull hill. It's outside the city of Jerusalem, and there you will find the one and only Son of God battered and bleeding on a Roman cross. We're going to take our place next to a Roman officer; in fact he's the man personally in charge of the execution of Jesus Christ. He's a tough, hardened executioner. He's about to speak. You need to hear what he is saying. Mark 15:39, "And then the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, and he said, 'Surely this was the Son of God!'"
Now, this is the man who is in charge of the execution of the Son of God! He didn't believe that when he came there that day, but he leaves there believing it. What changed his heart? Well, it says, "he saw how He died." See, the centurion heard Jesus say, "Father, forgive them." and he knew he was forgiving those who were responsible for his death. The centurion said, "That's me he's forgiving."
Well, I know it was me too. Because the Bible says He carried our sins in His own body on the tree. The One you and I have sinned against stands ready to forgive every sin we've ever committed. He died to do that. And then this officer heard Jesus say, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise." He said that to a thief on the cross next to Him.
See, this Jesus has the power to take us to Heaven with Him. It is the ultimate peace to know that on the day your heart beats the last time, Jesus is going to say to you, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise." Your search ends at the cross of Jesus. That cross where God's Son died for you is the place where you will finally find God, peace, and unloseable love. You'll finally find eternal life.
This could be your day to stand at His cross and know you belong to Him. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to make your peace with God and get this done? Then say, "Jesus, I believe when You were dying on that cross it was my sins you were paying for. I believe you're alive, you want to come into my life, and you will today because I open my life to you and put all my trust in you."
Please go to our website and follow there the road that I've laid out as simply as I can to know you've begun your relationship with Him. Go to ANewStory.com. It's been a long search hasn't it? It doesn't have to be any longer. When the Savior on that cross becomes your personal Savior, you have found the key that unlocks it all.