June 7, 2022
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On a trip to Florida, I had just a little personal time - enough to get over to Epcot Center at Disney World, which was a really cool place. You know, they've set it up so it's actually like being in several of the big countries of the world; some of which I've actually been to for real. And it was just really great to be in touch with the world that way. You know? So, I grabbed a van, actually part of a limo service. And as we were getting near Epcot, I said to the driver, "Man, I'll bet you drive here in your sleep, don't you? I mean, this is something you do all the time. You probably could do it with your eyes closed." He said, "Oh, yeah, man, I could. I've been here so many times." I said, "Well, how many times have you actually been in Epcot?" He said, "Oh, I've never been in." He just brings people there. Well, you know what, it's so often that way isn't it?
I mean, you live right on top of what tourists come from all over the world to see, but you don't go in there yourself. We moved to the New York area to Northern New Jersey, and we were really eager to explore what was there. We'd say to people who were born there, "Have you ever been over to the Empire State Building or to the Statue of Liberty? Been to this battlefield in New Jersey or this beautiful country store in a little country town?" And they'd go, "No, I think it's boring here, and no, I haven't been there." There was a lot of great stuff. They'd never been to see it! See, it's common for us to be so close to something for so long that we miss it, including the one thing we can't afford to miss.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Danger of Growing Up With Jesus."
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in Mark 6. I'm going to read verses 1-6. Here's the home folks hazard. "Jesus went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed." Now, remember, this is Nazareth. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles? Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son?" Then they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives, in his own house is a prophet without honor." He couldn't do any miracles there...and he was amazed at their lack of faith, the Bible says. Wow! I mean, is this a sobering message? The people who grew up with Jesus are the ones who expected no miracle.
Oh, they knew all about him. "What would you like to know about Jesus?" "Oh, we know his brother here. Oh, the sister lives right down the street. His Mom? Oh, yeah. I just saw her at the grocery store today. I used to play with them when we were little." They grew up with Him, but nothing happened between Jesus and them. It's sort of like those of us who live near those great sights and experiences, like my driver down in Florida, or people who live around New York and don't ever go to anything in New York. They take them for granted.
Now, maybe you grew up with Jesus in a sense. You've been around Christ for years. Well, there are two dangers for those of us who've known about Him for so long. First of all, you can underestimate Him. That's what happened to some people in this story. So many of us spiritual veterans are living in mediocrity; we pray little prayers; we live small Christian lives. Maybe it's been a long time since you've really lived dangerously and taken some risks for Christ and expected the supernatural. Has your relationship with Christ become boring, predictable, managed? New arrivals in the kingdom eagerly explore all Christ can do, and He never disappoints them. But the people who lived around Christ back then would take Him for granted.
The other danger of those is an even greater one, and that is that even though you've known all about Him for years, you don't know Him personally. You've never actually had a personal, saving transaction with Jesus Christ at His cross. You could be a candidate to be one of the smartest people in hell, with all the knowledge but no relationship.
If you're not really sure you belong to Him - you believe things about Him - but you've never really given yourself to Him, let this be your day. Make it real! Go to our website and let me help you there make sure you belong to Him. That's ANewStory.com.
One of the greatest tragedies of all eternity would be if you've been around Jesus your whole life and you missed Him...and you missed heaven.