The Magnet In That Old Hunk of Wood
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It started out as a family adventure; it ended as a family tragedy. James Reddick took his 12-year-old son and his 11-year-old daughter on a hiking expedition up on Mount Rainier in Washington State. All of a sudden, a freak snowstorm arose. It created instant blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds. With a blinding 'white out' around them, they could not go any further. Dad knew they had to create some kind of shelter. All he could do was to cut out a large hole in the ground; he used a cup from their cooking kit to do it, and then he put his children in that hole and he covered it with a tarp. But the fierce winds just kept blowing the tarp away, and that left the children exposed to that deadly storm. The father tried everything he could find to hold down the tarp, but nothing worked. Finally, in one last desperate attempt to save his children, he actually lay across that hole himself to keep the snow from blowing in. Two days later, a search party noticed the edge of a backpack. They uncovered the hole and they found the two children alive and well. But first they uncovered their father who froze to death, protecting the ones he loved.
That father had given the highest kind of love there is - the giving of his life so people he loved would not have to die. It is that kind of love that touches us in the deepest part of us; it's a compelling love. It's why I'm asking you to open your heart today to the One who has loved you like that.
It's Jesus who said those oft-quoted words: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Then, in John 10:11, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." I'm one of those sheep that He laid down His life for, and so are you. And that's why it is so important that you make sure you belong to Him; that you've responded to Jesus. The Son of God put His body between you and the awful consequences of running your own life, eternal separation from God. When He died on the cross, Jesus took the storm of God's judgment on Himself. He died so you don't have to.
Malcolm Muggeridge was one of the most respected British journalists of the last century. His keen insights and his distinctive writings appeared regularly in some of England's most respected publications. For much of his life, he was an articulate unbeliever when it came to Jesus. But later in life, his perspective changed dramatically. He became a committed and outspoken follower of Jesus Christ. When he was asked what drew him to Christ, he simply said, "It is the cross, more than anything else, that has called me inexorably to Christ."
Not Christianity, not rituals, not beliefs, not even the great teachings and miracles of Jesus. It was His cross. See, there really is a magnet in that old hunk of wood; a magnet that draws us to the foot of that cross to see how very much He loves us. In your heart, would you allow yourself to walk up to that old skull-shaped hill, stand there at the foot of that cross and look at the agony of the Son of God, nailed to that cross. And listen as He looks your way and says, "Father, forgive him"..."Father, forgive her."
Put all the excuses aside, all your religion, your failures, those hypocrites you've known, those questions, and just let it finally overwhelm you. God's one and only Son loves me; He died for me! And then, bow down at that cross and give yourself to this One who cared more about your life than His own. Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm Yours!"
If you'd like to be sure you belong to Him, we would love to help you know how to begin a relationship with Him and where to go from here. If you'll just go to our website, that's really what it's there for. It's called YoursForLife.net. Would you visit us there as soon as you can today?
I can understand if you walk by Christians or even Christianity. But please, don't walk by the cross! That is a love you just dare not pass by. And it is your only hope of heaven.
Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.