Tuesday, March 13, 2018
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Sometimes when I'm speaking at a youth conference, I show up on the platform with a pie and a can of whipped cream. Sometimes it makes the front row a little nervous. But not to fear - it's only an illustration, not a weapon. I have my pie cut into six slices. I cover one of those slices with a generous serving of whipped cream. Then the big question to the audience, "How many slices are going to taste like whipped cream?" There's no trick question here. One slice will. Then I spray the whipped cream all over that pie and then there's whipped cream everywhere. And then I repeat the question. This is not hard. Every slice of the pie now will taste like whipped cream. Which, whether you realize it or not, could have a lot to do with how God feels about you as a Christian!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Compartment Charade."
When we think about letting Jesus Christ be the Lord of our life, as He says He must be, we tend to think of one big slice that will be His - it becomes the Jesus-slice of our life. So, in that slice, you read His Book, you go to His meetings, you give to His offerings, you believe all His beliefs, you learn His language. That spiritual slice of our lives really tastes like Jesus.
But when Jesus talks about being our Lord, He's talking about changing the flavor of every slice of your life; how you act at work, at home, at school, what you do with your money, what you do with your talents, what you look at on the internet, what you watch, what you listen to, and what you do with your friends. But, see, you and I live in the Age of Compartmentalization where our beliefs are pretty much one compartment of our life. After all, what are beliefs for? You just believe them, right? And if you believe them, and visit them every Sunday at the Belief Museum, that's enough, right? "Hey, I really believe this stuff. I really do." We may not agree openly, but surveys, and just everyday life, show that a lot of us live like our relationship with Jesus is just a slice of our life - an important slice, but just a slice.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 1:11, God reveals His shocking reaction to our compartmentalized faith. "'The multitude of your sacrifices - what are they to Me?' says the Lord...'I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats...Stop bringing meaningless offerings...When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.'" Imagine, your Lord calling all your Christian meetings and activities "meaningless;" telling you that all your God-stuff is a waste of time in His eyes - that He's not going to respond to your prayers.
Here's the reason. God says, "Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight. Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!" Then God proceeds to name specific areas where their lives do not measure up to their beliefs. The message here is clear. No matter how beautiful the spiritual compartment of your life is, it means nothing when the rest of your life contradicts it.
Your Lord responds to what you live, not just what you believe. And maybe right now He's seeing how you cheat in your business, how you treat your family, how you watch or listen to portrayals of things that He hates, your racial prejudice, your out-of-control mouth, what you're doing romantically. And, in His holy eyes, you are neutralizing whatever you're doing over there in your spiritual compartment of your life.
Jesus asks this blunt question, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord" and do not do what I say?'" (Luke 6:46). He bought you with His life. He didn't pay for just a slice of your life. Either He's Lord of all or He's not Lord at all!
Maybe Jesus has only been in your head all these years and you've never moved Him to your heart. Which means you're still lost. You've never gone to the cross and said, "What happened there, Jesus, was for me, and I'm giving me to You." If you realize that today and you want to change it, and you want to be His for real, move Him from just your head to your heart. Tell Him today, "Jesus, finally, I'm really yours."
Our website is there to help you make sure you belong to Him. I encourage you to go to ANewStory.com today.
Remember, if He's not Lord of all, He's not Lord at all.