Friday, September 16, 2016
Download MP3 (right click to save)
A while ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to this tasty new addition to my usual breakfast menu. They're called English crumpets; low fat, great taste. Then I was hooked. In fact, I decided I had to go get myself more of them. Well she told me that there was only one local store that carried them, so I made my way to that super-supermarket-one I was unfamiliar with. I went to where I figured something in the English muffin/bagel category would be: the bread section, right? No, not crumpets. I tried the bakery section. Failed again. I looked in every aisle that I could logically expect to find something from the breakfast bread family. Zip! Nothing! I finally tried something really radical. I asked someone who worked there. Yeah, a guy's last resort. He said, "They're in dairy." Dairy? Well, I guess these things are supposed to be refrigerated. And dairy is where I found them…at the end of a long search!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Spiritual Shopping."
Now in my search for what would satisfy my appetite, I was shopping in the right store, but not in the right aisle. You know, it's easy to make that same mistake when you're shopping spiritually-for something that will satisfy your appetite for meaning in life.
You only have to watch a few talk shows or look at some of today's best selling books to see that more and more people are shopping in the store that says ‘Spirituality'. We seem to have concluded rightly that earth-stuff doesn't satisfy the human soul. Ecclesiastes says, "God has placed eternity in the hearts of men."
That's right. Earth stuff isn't going to fill that hole. But, see, earth stuff doesn't give the meaning and the fulfillment that we can only get from something bigger-something spiritual. It may be that your own search has taken you down several aisles, looking for truth, for peace, for significance. There are probably more aisles in the spiritual store than ever before. It's easy to get confused, to get deceived, then get lost.
In our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus Christ makes a bold declaration about where we will find what our hearts are hungry for. It's in John 14:6, "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" Now Jesus said our spiritual shopping comes to an end when we go to His aisle and find the way He's provided to belong to God. This ‘coming to the Father' He talks about is all about finding a personal relationship with the One who created us, the One we're going to meet the moment we die.
Basically, there are three possibilities in the Spiritual Store. One is religion. You can try to fill the spiritual vacuum in your heart with the rituals and the beliefs of a religion. The second possibility is spiritual experiences from meditating, channeling, occult arts, or a wide variety of New Age spiritualities. And the third possibility in the Spiritual Store is a love relationship with our Creator.
And the world's best selling book, the Bible, makes clear in its' timeless wisdom that it is that relationship we're really looking for. In fact, the Bible says we were "created by Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16). In other words, we can't find our ultimate meaning until we belong to the One we were made by and made for. And the Bible goes on to point out that instead of living for Him, we have, day after day, lived for ourselves. And that has cut us off from our Creator, and left us looking to religion or spiritual experiences to fill the hole that only a God-relationship can fill.
Jesus came to pay for, to fix the brokenness that has come from our self-rule. That's why He died on the cross. That's why He said He is the way to get to our Heavenly Father-because He's the only One who paid the price to remove what keeps us from God.
A religion can't love you, neither can a spiritual experience. We need a Creator-relationship. And that begins when you reach out and trust Jesus, the Creator's Son, to bring you and God together.
Today you can reach out to Him and say, "Jesus, I don't understand it all, but I feel the stirring in my soul that says You are the end of my search. Beginning today, Jesus, I'm yours." At our website I've laid out there as simply as I could how you can be sure you belong to the One who gave you life, and the One who gave His life for you – Jesus Christ. You go to ANewStory.com please.
Most of all, let Jesus know you want him. Maybe Jesus was the last aisle you thought you'd find answers in. But He's the only aisle where you'll finally find what you've been looking for so long.