May 24, 2021
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Scotty had just come strolling in my office. He didn't have an appointment, didn't check with my assistant. He really didn't need an appointment. See, he was about 18 months old. Yeah, he just kind of pushed the door open and there he was, and he came in talking and almost never stopped. His mother was visiting our office, and she said, "He's got a great vocabulary." And she was right! He was at that fascinating stage where his vocabulary was 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. They said he'd been doing that a lot lately. One of his mother's friends had returned recently from a trip to the islands, and she had a picture of something called a flamboyant tree. Yeah, believe it or not, Scotty over in the corner says, "Flamboyant." This kid...he sounded like he was ready for, you know, S.A.T. tests or something like that already. The only problem was this: He was saying a lot more words than he understood. Of course, he's not alone in that.
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 a very impressive spiritual vocabulary, but their hearts were cold. They didn't understand; they didn't apply all the great God words 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.
Well, 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 that 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." Well that's good, but do we even understand that and how it works? 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 we can use in a testimony or 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 doesn't match the words. 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 needs 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, 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." That's the Bible.
I don't want you to hear those words, because somewhere you learned the vocabulary, the lifestyle, but you've 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."
Listen, get to our website today. You'll find there a road to get this settled once and for all. It's ANewStory.com.
Because following Christ isn't just a new vocabulary, it's a new you.