Monday, July 30, 2018
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We tend to measure life by its milestones. Take our first born child, our daughter. There have been a lot of milestones in her life. I remember looking at the films of her learning to walk. Now, that's a big milestone from a long time ago. Her first piano recital; we have pictures of that of course. Her first band concert; that was a big one. Let's see, there was her junior high graduation, then her high school graduation, her college graduation, her wedding; man, there have been a lot of things. I remember that when she graduated from college there was a sense of completion I think for all of us. She had a double major in college. She graduated with honors. She got a degree from a great school, and I wrote something on her graduation card for all the work and all the money that that degree had cost. I told her there is another degree that she needs. One that is far more important.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Real Master's Degree."
Our word for today from the Word of God from 2 Timothy 2:15 - "Study to show yourself a workman approved under God who does not need to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth." Now when our daughter's class received their degree, it was kind of exciting. Some of them held it up when they walked across that stage - "Man, I crossed that finish line." Some of them waved at people. Some of them waved their degree, and basically the school was saying, "Alright, you've done all you need to do to have this school's approval."
Now Paul was suggesting a higher degree to aim for - a real Master's Degree. It has nothing to do with going on for more college. Jim Elliot was a graduate of the same college that our daughter attended. Jim was a young man who went to the Auca Indians, the Waorani Indians, stone-age savages in the jungles of Ecuador and some people thought he wasted his life when he was martyred trying to reach them. But he actually invested his life in reaching those precious natives.
See, today many of them know the Lord. The killers are actually pastors of the Auca church. His example caused many of us to go into full-time Christian work. Jim Elliot would say he only wanted one degree in his life. Though he was a college grad, he said, "I want my A.U.G. award - Approved Unto God." Does God approve - that's what Jim said he wanted. Now the tragedy is when you sacrifice your A.U.G. - your Master's Degree - in order to get some position or recognition that men offer.
Maybe you have given your Approved unto God to get some academic achievement; -maybe you have made some compromises. Maybe you lost your Master's Degree in order to get a business position or a promotion; you paid a price that's too high. Or maybe to achieve something in ministry or the reaching of some important goal or dream, but it's cost you God's approval. Maybe you want to be acknowledged by a group of friends or colleagues or by a guy or girl, and in the process you lost your A.U.G. degree - your Master's Degree. You lost God's approval.
You've got to ask yourself, did you do it in a way that would give you Jesus' approval too? Or did it cost you His approval? Have you told the truth on your way to that goal? Have you consistently had your time with him or have you sacrificed that? Have you been caring for people, or have you been running over people to get there? Have you taken time to minister to people in need or are you just too busy for that? Have you stayed pure?
Our daughter saw the president of the college waiting as she crossed that platform that day, but I told her, "Honey, I think Jesus was waiting for you with your A.U.G. degree. He had a degree to give you that day, too." Boy, I sure hope He has one for me. The Master's Degree is the one that really matters, when you hear Him say some of the most wonderful words in the universe, "Well done."