Friday, April 29, 2016
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Okay, it's Wild Kingdom trivia quiz time. What is an emu? If you guessed a big old Australian bird that can't fly, you're right. They can't fly, but they can produce oil. Yeah! Boy, my wife, she was glad they do. She had been having some severe pain in her back and arm. We decided to go ahead with our plans to spend a few days away with our family. The place we were staying at had bottles of emu oil for sale, of all things, at the cash register. I'd never heard of emu oil. And I wasn't jumping up and down to buy some, actually. But the owners said it might help give my wife a little relief. So, "Hello, emu oil." Now it wasn't a miracle cure, but we do think it helped. I would just put a blob of it on her back and gently rub it into her back and arm. Actually, that blob of emu oil wouldn't have done much good just sitting on her back. You had to rub it in for it to really help.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Rubbing It In."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 6:46-49. It's about rubbing it in. Jesus said, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?" Key words here: "do not do." It reminds me of James 1:22 - "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." In other words, just having a big blob of Bible information in your brain won't do anything but make you think you're doing fine spiritually when you're not. You have to rub it in!
Let's continue with Luke 6:47. "I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it because it was well built." (Now we have a flashback from Sunday School, "The wise man built his house on the rock and the rains came tumbling down..." But that's not your problem. That's mine.)
The Bible is really what makes a difference in a person's life when a storm hits. Then you're storm proof. "But the one," it says, "who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
Notice - it isn't knowing His words that make the difference. It's putting them into practice; he who puts them into practice and he who doesn't. Which one are you? This means every time you read God's words, you should be coming away with a "do" because of what God said. "Lord, what did I read today and what do I 'do' differently because of what I read? I'll take this action, I'll make this change."
Just having that emu oil didn't help my wife's situation. Just getting into it didn't do anything. It had to be rubbed in; it had to become a part of her. The Bible is like that. Just getting into the Bible isn't what transforms your life. It's getting the Bible into you, into some specific application in today's experience; something that changes part of you that day. It could be you know a lot of verses, you have some great outlines from some great speakers. Maybe you listen to a lot of broadcasts like this. Maybe even you're a real student of the Bible; you're getting Biblically smarter. You know some of the big words to call things now. Your spiritual vocabulary is growing, but somehow you're not really becoming more and more like Jesus, which is the point of it all. There are blobs of Bible, but you just haven't been rubbing it into your soul, your personality, your relationships, your priorities and your everyday life.
It's not enough to read God's words just to know what He says to analyze it, or even to understand what He says, though that's important. Ultimately, I have to read God's words to let them change me in some specific way! So each new day, are you opening up to the transforming oil of God's Word and are you letting God rub it in?
Getting into His words is enlightening; getting His words into you is transforming!