August 18, 2022
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Hollywood is kind of a world of illusions. If you don't know it already, well you learn it when you tour a major studio. I did that once and I got to see where movies and TV series were filmed. You find out, for example, that when you see a man speeding along in a car he might be sitting still on the set. They put in all the scenery that makes it look like he's moving, later.
I remember reading about a legendary movie star of another generation. And they had a great illusion for him in this western town. One of the buildings had a door that they actually "shrunk" for this actor, because he wasn't very tall. You're not supposed to have a short hero, right? And they wanted a tall leading man, so they made the door small so he would look tall. (I need these guys to help me out.)
It's a world of illusion. And it didn't stop with the western town. There was a street in WWII vintage European village, and there was old Chicago. And the buildings! Oh, impressive until you open a door and go inside. There's nothing there! Did you ever get that feeling about your life?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Impressive on the Outside, Empty on the Inside."
Impressive exteriors! That's what 2 Timothy 3:5-7 talk about, and they happen to be our word for today from the Word of God. And Paul, in describing what people are going to be like near the end of human history, gives this description. He says they are "having a form of godliness" - okay, they look good on the outside - "but denying its power." Then in verse 7 he says, they're "always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth."
Now, notice here he describes people who have religion; they have a form of godliness. The problem is it's a set. They go to the right meetings, they say the right words, they give in the right offerings, they support the right causes. There's just no power behind it. Then he talks about people who have an education but no answers; they can't arrive at the truth.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, which is King Solomon's personal diary, he described the great set of his life. And he talked about all the monuments he had built, and the palace he had built, and the women he had loved, and the pleasures he had partaken in, and the musicians he brought in, and the wealth he had amassed. What a set! And then he describes what was going on inside over and over again in these three words, "chasing the wind."
I remember a time when I'd had like just one person after another tell they felt empty inside. A high school athlete at the top of his career with all the scholarships said, "Ron, why do I feel so empty?" A community leader, a leader in his church, looked at me and said, "Ron, why after all this religious effort do I feel so empty?" Maybe your life has a great set for people to see: success, a sense of humor, friends, religion, but you're aware that behind that set there's no power, there's no answers, there's no peace. After years of wearing the right masks and saying the right thing, well we find out there's nothing behind that set - nothing there. Why don't you deal with what's missing or actually who's missing?
Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes, "We have eternity in our hearts." What's missing is the person who made you. Colossians 1:16 sums up our life in six words. Speaking of Christ it says, "We were created by Him and for Him." Could it be that you are missing the relationship you were made for? Even religious people; you can have a religious set and maybe never have Christ.
This could be the day that you finally experience the reality, the ultimate reality of God not around you but God in you. Of the peace and the love and the forgiveness and the heaven that only Jesus can give you, because only He died to make it possible. And He walked out of His grave so He could walk into your life today. If you want to know how to begin that relationship? Go to our website at ANewStory.com.
If you're tired of just repainting the scenery of your life and making a more impressive exterior, why don't you open the door of that set and let Jesus Christ into the emptiness behind it. He can build a house there that you really live in.