Keys to the Kingdom – Carolyn Tucker
Several years ago, my husband planted two Bur Oak trees in our yard. When these trees starting bearing acorns, I was elated because I’d never seen such magnificent acorns! Due to their large size and hairy caps, they’re the perfect accent for my autumn decorating. While gathering acorns a few days ago, I discovered that the deer had been brazen enough to come into the yard, eat MY acorns, and poop while they were at it. There were tons of broken and empty caps! Acorns in perfect condition are beautiful and useful, but most of what I found were damaged and useless. I put the debris in a bucket and threw it away.
I think there’s a lot of acorn people out there. Some are sinners with empty and broken lives, and some are believers who have gotten sidetracked and lost their way. There’s a fix for both of these categories. The sinner is to accept John 3:16, and the sidetracked is to act on Hebrews 4:16 NLT: “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” You can’t be too big a mess for God because in His eyes there’s no such thing as “good for nothing.” When God touches your life (as a sinner or believer) you’re good for something.
When a believer realizes he’s not living up to the standards of Jesus’ teachings, he can simply go to the heavenly Father, repent, accept His forgiveness, and keep truckin’. God is loving and patient, kind and caring. He isn’t willing that any should perish (spiritually). There’s no benefit in thinking you need to punish yourself for your waywardness. Jesus died on the cross for you, and that’s enough. It’s ridiculous to think you need to add something to what Jesus accomplished for you. Get up, get going, and get over it. Accept God’s grace and then help someone else find their way to the Throne.
For many years, Jimmy and I have shared the gospel song, “He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away” written by our friend Gene Reasoner. “Empty and broken I came back to Him; a vessel unworthy, so scarred with sin. But He did not despair, He started over again. And I bless the day He didn’t throw the clay away. He is the Potter and I am the clay; molded in His image, He wants me to stay. But when I stumble and fall and my vessel breaks, He just picks up all the pieces; He doesn’t throw the clay away. Over and over He molds me and makes me; into His likeness He fashions the clay. A vessel of honor I am today all because Jesus didn’t throw the clay away. ”
The way of the Cross of Christ is hope. If you’ve failed, don’t throw in the towel — it’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings. As long as you’re breathing, there’s hope. I believe and rely on the truth of this scripture: “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins — and not only our sins but the sins of the world” (1 John 2:1,2 NLT).
The Key: Don’t be bashful; be like the deer and go boldly to your heavenly Father and receive what you need.