Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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She's a princess in the royalty of Hollywood; one of the most successful, A-list, admired actresses in America. Behind the glamour, there are unrelenting struggles and unanswered questions. She was given some major recognition at an international awards ceremony, and as she expressed her gratitude, she also opened up her heart in a brief moment of extreme candor. She said, "You know, I play so many roles, sometimes I wonder who the real me really is." I'll tell you this, you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have that going on.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Most Dangerous Role Of All."
Playing a role. You know, a lot of folks are doing that. Following the script you're supposed to follow, acting the way you're supposed to act, giving such a convincing performance that you almost believe it yourself. That gap between playing the role and experiencing the reality becomes horribly expensive when you're playing the role of belonging to Jesus Christ, when you really don't belong to Him.
That's why, in a passage of the Bible written to church folks, God gives a life-saving warning. It's in 2 Corinthians 13:5, our word for today from the Word of God. He says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test?" For those of us who have spent a lot of time around Jesus, it's particularly important that we don't assume we automatically have Jesus. We need to examine ourselves-to test ourselves. Christ Jesus isn't, in the Bible's words here, "in you" unless there's been a time in your life when you've consciously opened the door of your life to Him and invited Him in to run it from now on. When you know the words, go to the meetings and you believe the beliefs, it's just way too easy to miss this one life-or-death step.
My friend Gary is in the medical profession. The other day he took me aside and he told me his personal Jesus-story. He said he and his friends had gone forward at a church meeting as young teenagers. And while he went through what he described as an "accepting Christ" thing, he never really had a personal transaction with Jesus Christ that day. He did what he was supposed to do on the outside, but nothing really happened on the inside. From that point on, he said, he played the role.
Gary became a Sunday School teacher in his church, a deacon, and even the youth director. No one would have even thought to question whether or not he was really a Christian. One of his former professors invited him to a men's retreat one day, and he looked forward to impressing this respected Christian friend of his with what an active Christian he had become. But instead, that friend kept pressing him for an answer to this question: "If you died tonight and God asked why He should let you into His heaven, what would you tell Him?" Gary answered with his spiritual résumé. His friend told him that none of that could get him into heaven. It was that night Gary finally realized he was playing the role but missing the reality. He fully committed His life to Jesus Christ that night. And that has made all the difference in the world, and all the difference in where he will spend all of eternity.
Could it be that you have missed that step? The eternity-changing step of actually telling Jesus, "I believe you died for me. I believe You are my only hope. So beginning right now, I'm totally Yours." That takes courage. It takes honesty to admit you don't really have Jesus, but the cost of continuing to just play the role is way too high to pay; too awful to pay. God brought you here today so this could finally be your personal Jesus-day. So as He's speaking to you I your heart, with that tug you feel, don't miss this moment of truth. "Jesus, I'm Yours for real, beginning today."
I'd love for you to visit our website because that's where I have laid out the statements from God's word that will help you be sure that you have actually nailed down your relationship with Jesus Christ. That this indeed is your Jesus day. Go to ANewStory.com.
Tonight you can finally go to sleep with the peace you've never had. It's the peace that comes from only knowing that you really do belong to Jesus Christ.