Thursday, February 22, 2018
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This grandparent thing can be an expensive proposition. I mean, without grandchildren, you can walk past hundreds of cute toys and never miss a step. But when you have a grandchild, you keep seeing your grandchild's name on those toys. Which means you must buy toy with name on it. Right? Well, not all of them, but probably too many of them. We happened to be in a store with our little granddaughter when she was about one year old, and I happened to see this great stick horse that I thought would be entertaining for another grandchild. That would be our nearly three-year-old grandson at the time. When you squeeze the ear of the head of this horse, the William Tell Overture (otherwise known to us non-intellectuals as the "Lone Ranger Theme") starts playing, and the horse starts whinnying and snorting, and its nose starts twitching back and forth inside its halter. Well, I walked up to the grocery cart that our one-year-old granddaughter was riding in, and I turned it on for her to see. Her reaction was interesting. She reached in the direction of that twitching steed, wanting me to bring it closer. So I did. But as I brought it near her, she pulled as far back as she could, laying her head against her mother's shoulder. So much for my field test.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Close, But No Closer."
Our little granddaughter wanted to check out what I had, but she didn't want it to get too close. Curious, but keeping her distance. Just like a lot of us spiritual seekers do with Jesus.
Oh, you may consider yourself a spiritual seeker; which, by the way, is a wise thing to be. You've seen that our soul can never be satisfied by just earth-stuff. You know it must be something spiritual that will give life real meaning, right, and give your heart real peace. There are many possibilities to sample on the spiritual buffet we have today, but one possibility that's hard to overlook is Jesus Christ. He's so compelling, so dominating, virtually every world religion has an honored place for Him.
You're willing to check out Jesus. You may have even been around Jesus much of your life. Maybe you know a lot about Jesus. You like Jesus. You agree with Jesus. But maybe like our granddaughter with that toy, you've basically said to Him, "You can get this close, but no closer." Oh, you like having Him around, but when it comes to responding to His claims on your life, that's where you draw the line.
Jesus met a man like that. The man demonstrated a strong interest in Jesus and a lot of insight into His teachings. Jesus described him this way in Mark 12:34, our word for today from the Word of God: "You are not far from the kingdom of God." I wonder if Jesus might be saying that to you: "You're so close to belonging to Me. You're not far, but you're not in." See, close doesn't count when it comes to knowing Jesus. Close doesn't count on the day you die. You can be close to heaven, but not in. And that's still hell.
You've let Jesus be near you, but maybe you've never invited Him into your heart. You've never told Him that you're pinning all your hopes on Him and His death on the cross for your sins and His resurrection from the dead. It would be the ultimate tragedy of your life if you got so close to Jesus and missed Him.
This time, don't pull back. This time, reach out for Him until He's yours. He is, in fact, reaching for you right now and He's planting in you the desire to belong to Him. Why not give yourself to Him while the opportunity is there? You'll never experience what Jesus can do in a life until He's in your life. If you're ready to step across the line into Jesus' arms, tell Him that right where you are.
I think maybe a visit to our website might help you to just kind of be sure you have nailed this down and that He is yours for real today. That website is ANewStory.com.
See, being around Jesus will never give you answers, it will never give you heaven. It's all about belonging to Jesus, and you can belong to Him this very day.