Monday, November 30, 2015
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If you know teenagers or even pre-teens, you'll hear that word "like" a lot! It's not new. Even when one of my sons was going through those interesting teenage years, he had a case of "like-itis", we'll call it. Typical sentence, "Well, there was like this movie I wanted to like watch, and so I like looked for what time it was supposed to be like – you know." Well, you know what though? There might be some power in that word like.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Classroom of Everyday Stuff."
Our word for today from the Word of God; we are in Proverbs 24:32. Solomon says, "I applied my heart to what I observed and I learned a lesson from what I saw." Here was Solomon, the wisest man in the Old Testament, and he tells us how he learned about life. He says he didn't just look at the things that he saw, or heard, or experienced. He applied them and he tried to see, "Is there a lesson in this somewhere?" Maybe it's like something that I've see or heard or experienced. It's the power of an illustration or an analogy to understand something that otherwise would just kind of just be floating out there.
Well, Jesus did this. Right? How did He teach? By example. I think He probably would have liked the word like. How many times did He look in the eyes of disciples and give them an abstract concept like, "the kingdom of heaven." I'm just... I can see their eyes glazing over. "What's the kingdom of heaven?" He goes, "The kingdom of heaven is... it's like that field over there. It's like this grape vine. It's like this little boy."
Solomon learned, he said, from his own experiences, and God uses them like this program today. You know, a lot of times people will go, "Ron, where do these programs come from? Where do you get all these analogies?" You know what? We all see them every day. It's from everyday life. You have an everyday life, and it's a great way to learn. To say, you know, that is like this. This is something God teaches and it's a lot like that.
There's a great hymn This Is My Father's World. Haven't heard it for a while; it's still a great hymn. Now, if this is my Father's world, doesn't that mean that we're surrounded by things that you could use to help understand what His Word says to us? The Bible says, "The earth is the Lord's and all of its fullness." So start with the premise, "I am surrounded by things that could show me what God is like. I'm going to have something happen to me today or happen around me today that's going to give me a chance to understand what God is like."
Then like Solomon, "I applied my heart to what I observe." Maybe the only difference from me and some other people is I guess I just focus and I look for messages about God in everyday life. You can do that. So as you use God's Word, do that too.
I try even when I'm keeping my Spiritual Journal for my Jesus time, I try to write down what might be an analogy; what this might be like that would help me understand it better. Look at life as a teaching experience. It's the classroom of everyday stuff! You look for connections between spiritual truths and everyday experiences. And let me tell you, if you look for them you'll find them. You'll be able to understand them better and you'll be able to communicate them better to others.
It's the process of taking an important but abstract truth and applying it to something; maybe a child's comment, or just an example. Think about the phrase, "Be filled with the Spirit of God." Be filled with the Spirit. I thought about, "What do we fill up?" We fill up glasses. If I want a glass of water but that glass is currently filled with tea, what do I have to do before I fill it up? I have to empty out what's in it now in order to fill it with what I really want. You've got to empty it to fill it. All of a sudden, being filled with the Spirit makes more sense to me. It's like filling a glass with what you really want. But first you have to empty what it's already filled with.
So the abstract becomes concrete when you begin to look for something that it is like. So, read God's Word, follow it, and then apply it to your life. Look at your Father's world. Each day is exciting when you get up and say, "You know what? I'm going to look for some God-sightings today, because my Father's will is illustrated by my Father's world.