Thursday, August 29, 2002
Recently my sister-in-law introduced me to a tasty new addition to my usual breakfast menu - these great English crumpets. Low fat, great taste. Now I'm hooked. In fact, I decided I had to go get myself more of them. I learned from her that there's only one local store that carries them so I made my way to this super-supermarket - one I was unfamiliar with. I went to where I figured something in the English muffin/bagel category would be: the bread section, right? No crumpets. I tried the bakery section. Failure again. I looked in every aisle that I could logically expect to find something from the breakfast bread family. Zippo! I finally tried something really radical. I asked someone who worked there. He said, "They're in dairy." Dairy? Well, I guess these things are supposed to be refrigerated. And dairy is where I found them! But it had been a long search.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Spiritual Shopping."
Now in my search for what would satisfy my appetite, I was shopping in the right store, but not in the right aisle. It's easy to make that same mistake when you're shopping spiritually - for something that will satisfy your appetite for meaning in life.
You only have to watch a few talk shows or look at today's best selling books to see that more and more of us are shopping in the store that says "Spirituality." We seem to have concluded that earth-stuff doesn't satisfy the human soul. It doesn't give the meaning, the fulfillment that we can only get from something bigger - something spiritual. It may be that your own search has taken you down several aisles, looking for truth, peace, significance. There are probably more aisles in the spiritual store than ever before. It's easy to get confused, to get deceived, to even get lost.
In our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus Christ makes a bold declaration about where we will find what our hearts are hungry for. It's found in John 14:6. "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" Now Jesus said our spiritual shopping comes to an end when we go to His aisle and find the way He's provided to belong to God. This "coming to the Father" is all about finding a personal relationship with the One who created us, the One we meet when we die.
Basically, there are three possibilities in the Spiritual Store. One is religion. You can try to fill the spiritual vacuum in your heart with the rituals and beliefs of a religion. The second possibility is spiritual experiences from meditating, to channeling, to occult arts, to a wide variety of New Age spiritualities. And the third possibility in the Spiritual Store is a love relationship with our Creator.
And the world's best selling book, the Bible, makes clear in its timeless wisdom that it is that relationship we're really looking for. In fact, the Bible says we were "created by Him and for Him." (Colossians 1:16) In other words, we can't find our ultimate meaning until we belong to the One we were made by and made for. And the Bible goes on to point out that instead of living for Him, we have, day after day, lived for ourselves. And that has cut us off from our Creator, and left us looking to religion or spiritual experiences to fill the hole that only a God-relationship can fill.
Jesus came to pay for, to fix the brokenness that has come from our self-rule. That's why He died on that cross. That's why He said He is the way to get to our Heavenly Father - because only He paid the price to remove what keeps us from that relationship.
A religion can't love you, neither can a spiritual experience. We need a Creator-relationship. And that begins when you reach out and trust Jesus, the Creator's Son, to bring you and God together.
If you want to open yourself up to this relationship you were made for, I'd like to send you the booklet I wrote about it called "Yours For Life." Just let me know you want it. Most of all, let Jesus know you want him. Maybe Jesus was the last aisle you thought you'd find the answers in. But He's the only aisle where you'll finally find what you're looking for.