Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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Scotty just came strolling in my office the other day, he didn't have an appointment, didn't check with my assistant. Oh, he doesn't need an appointment. He's about 18 months old. Yeah, he just kind of pushed the door open and there he was, and he came in talking and he almost never stopped. His mother was visiting our office, and I'll tell you, she said, "He's got a great vocabulary." And she was right! He's at that fascinating stage where his vocabulary is exploding!
In fact, even as I was talking to his mom, he was copying many of the words that I was saying and...he was getting it right. He's been doing that a lot lately they tell me. One of his mother's friends returned recently from a trip to the islands, and she had a picture of something called a flamboyant tree. Believe it or not, Scotty over in the corner says, "Flamboyant." This kid sounds like he's ready for his S.A.T.s already. The only problem is this: He's saying a lot more words than he understands. Of course, he's not the only one.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Catching Up With a Great Vocabulary."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is from Mark 7:6. Jesus is speaking of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law when He says these words, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written, 'The people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.'"
The Pharisees - well, they had an impressive spiritual vocabulary, but their hearts were cold. They didn't understand; they didn't apply all the great God words that they knew. What always disturbs me about the Pharisees is that they were the Bible people of that day, but they missed the reality of Jesus right in front of them.
Now, you and I are the Bible people of today. And like little Scotty, we have a great vocabulary. It doesn't take long to learn all the God talk: dedicate, consecrate, devotions, prayer, victorious Christian living, do God's will, "the Lord led me," witness, glorify God. But I wonder if we're like Scottie in another way? Do we understand all the words we keep using?
We talk about witnessing, but do you know how to do it, or is it just God talk for you? We talk about dedicating our life to Christ, but are we actually daily doing that - giving something new and specific to Him? Or is it just a phrase we've picked up, "I've dedicated my life to Christ." We talk about devotions. Great word, but have you ever asked anyone how to make it work, or is it just God talk? Victorious living; that's a great phrase, but are we making daily progress in conquering that specific sin? Or did we just find a phrase that we can use in a testimony or in a prayer meeting?
I'm afraid sometimes we become a believer; we learn the words and then we settle back and hide behind answers we really don't understand and we certainly don't know how to live. Even leaders; we just get more sophisticated in our rhetoric, but oftentimes the reality just doesn't match. It's as if, "Well, we're okay if we know the words, right?"
We wouldn't accept that for a little guy like Scotty. We'd say, "Well, he knows the words, but he's got to understand them before he's all grown up." He needs to understand and use what he's parroting, and so do we.
I think there are people who are in church every week and they know all the words, and they think they know the Lord. But you can know all the words, and the Bible says some people who knew all the words and did all the right things. Well, He will say to them on judgment day, "I never knew you." I don't want you to hear those words, because somewhere you learned the vocabulary. You learned the lifestyle, but you somehow missed giving yourself to Jesus. Maybe He asked me to say that today because He wants you to come home to Him today and know Him for real. Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm Yours. It's more than words; it's more than a head trip. I want You in my heart. I want to belong to You beginning today."
Go to our website and follow there the little road I've laid out to make sure you really belong to Him. Go to YoursForLife.net. Hey, Following Christ isn't just a new vocabulary, it's a new you.