Saturday morning I received a phone call from a friend who was at the bookstore purchasing “her” new Bible. She called to see which Bible I would recommend, but had picked out a few that she liked. When I shared with her the one that I would recommend she looked at it and immediately said, “NO! I like the other one.” She told me which one that was and why and I said, “Perfect!”
Yesterday she called and shared that she went to dinner with some friends who also own Bibles, but seem to know a little more about what’s inside than she does. When she shared with them that she purchased her new Bible they then asked her if she had accepted Christ into her heart, and understands that Christ is the only way to heaven. Within a few minutes my friend felt defeated because she didn’t understand all that her friends did.
When my friend shared her heart with me, I had to think back to all the times when I felt that way. The Bible was written so that each person would have the opportunity to read their heart, and when a person decides that what they’ve read (or heard) to be the true Word of God that is when one will accept Christ within their heart. I believe it’s important to understand the difference between having friends confirm our heart vs condemn out heart. When one comes to the point in their life where they believe what they believe and then they find another who believes what they believe that is called, “confirmation.” When one believes because someone else believes, but doesn’t understand why they believe, that is called “confusion.”
When I was a child there was a Tootsie Pop commercial with a young boy who wanted to know how many licks it would take for him to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. The dialogue reads:
A young boy begins: “Mr. Cow… ”
Mr. Cow: “Yeeeeesss?”
Boy: “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
Mr. Cow: “I don’t know, I always end up biting. Ask Mr. Fox, for he’s much clever than I.”
Boy: “Mr. Fox, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
Mr. Fox: “Why don’t you ask Mr. Turtle, for he’s been around a lot longer than I? Me, heheh, I bite!”
Boy: “Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
Mr. Turtle: “I’ve never even made it without biting. Ask Mr. Owl, for he is the wisest of us all.”
Boy: “Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
Mr. Owl: “A good question. Let’s find out. A One… A two-HOO… A tha-three…”
Mr. Owl: “A Three!”
Boy: “If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s a smart owl.”
Narrator: “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.”
And that is the message I want to share with my friend today. The world may never know how many licks it takes you to get to the center of what you are seeking, but God does. To find the heart of Jesus one must take the time to know the heart of God.
And, because YOU are seeking the truth…YOU will find it.
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. Matthew 7:1-28
ONWARD BY FAITH!