Flowers are always special. They just seem kind of more special in the winter. There was a lady who worked in our ministry offices and she had some flowers on her desk. I stopped by to pick up some work, and there I saw these beautiful flowers in a vase. That’s pretty significant. I mean, after all, how many times do the words “man” and “notice” ever go together in the same sentence, right? Actually, I noticed a few more times as I hustled down the hall past her door. Then I actually put on the brakes for a moment and I stuck my head in to smell the flowers on her desk. It wasn’t worth the stop. There was no smell. They’re fake!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “So Beautiful, So Dead.”
Those flowers can sure fool you. They look so real, but they have no life. Just like so many folks who look like they really belong to Jesus Christ, but there’s no life there. Jesus warned us about this fatal difference in His story about God’s Kingdom being like a wheat field where wheat grows right next to another grass that looks just like wheat. Jesus said no man can tell which is the real wheat until harvest time, or Judgment Day. Then the “wheat” will be gathered into heaven and the wheat lookalike will be burned.
In another place, Jesus describes people who will come before Him on Judgment Day, talking all the right Christian words and beliefs and activities. They’ve got the resume, but He’ll tell them, “I never knew you.” That’s frightening stuff. You can see why the Bible said in 2 Corinthians 13:5, which is our word for today from the Word of God, “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?” The time to realize that you know about Jesus but you don’t know Him is now, not when you’re standing before Him, because then it’s too late.
Just like those artificial flowers that are so beautiful but so dead. It’s so easy to look like someone who belongs to Jesus but not really know Him. Especially if you’ve been around Jesus most of your life. You know the words. You believe the beliefs. You try to do the right things. You go to the right meetings. You give to the right things. And, quite possibly, everyone around you assumes you belong to Him except Jesus. And He’s the only one who matters.
That “examine yourself” verse says to make sure “Christ Jesus is in you.” A lot of people have Jesus around them, but not in them because there’s never been a time when they consciously, personally really opened up their life to Him. He can be in your head, but not in your heart. Which means you will miss heaven by eighteen inches. That’s how far it is from your head to your heart. And God says, “It is with the heart man believes and is saved” (Romans 10:9).
One night I went into a church not married. The woman I wanted to marry came down the aisle. We stood in front of the minister. We walked out together, but I left still not married. It was the rehearsal. The next night, same woman, same man, same minister, same aisle, but this time I walked out married. The first night I was just going through the motions. The second night I committed my life to her. Maybe you’ve been going through all the motions of knowing Jesus. But somewhere, you’ve missed the step of saying, “Jesus, I know what you did on that cross was for me. And you’re my only hope. Beginning right here, beginning right now, I’m Yours!” That’s when you give yourself to Him.
If you know you’ve done that, you really do belong to Him. If you don’t know you’ve done that, you probably haven’t. But that could change today. And what a relief, what a difference there’s going to be when you’re His for real.
Let me encourage you to say today, “Jesus, I’m yours.” And to go to our website. Right there I think I can help walk you through the beginning of a relationship with Jesus Christ so you can be sure you belong to Him. That website is ANewStory.com. I hope you’ll get there today.
There’s no more going through the motions. No, make this the real deal. Let this be your personal Jesus-day!