Monday, April 07, 2008

"Hope For Banged-Up Lives."

Maybe you're one of those "banged-up lives." You've been treated poorly, you've been made to feel that you never measure up, that you're a loser, people have undervalued you, passed you by, and maybe you've ended up pretty hard and angry inside. But there is someone who has never thrown away a banged up life, who sees beyond what's on the outside to the wounds on the inside and the potential He built into you when He made you. Jesus is your hope of a new beginning where the future doesn't have to be just an extension of a broken past. In Isaiah 61:1, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible says of Jesus, "The Lord ... has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners ... to provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes - a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Jesus has done that for millions of banged up people for two thousand years. He can do it for you because He died on the cross for every sin ever done by you or against you. The Bible says of His death on the cross: "He carried our sorrows...He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities...and by His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5). With someone who loves you so unconditionally, so completely, you don't have to ever again trash yourself, trash other people, or trash your future. You can tear up that name tag that identifies you as "victim" and replace it with the new identity Jesus gives you, "child of the King." If you'll surrender the steering wheel of your life and put the rest of your life in the hands of the man who died for you. Jesus, who's God's one and only Son, sacrificed Himself to become the ultimate banged-up life for you. However much you have been betrayed, you can trust Him. However much you have been hurt and rejected, you can count on His "never leave you" love. And your new beginning can start this very day.

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