Apples of Gold
Radio Script for June 30, 2009
“Is Your Faith Really Just Superstition?”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
I tithed when I wasn’t walking with the Lord.
It was more like a good luck charm, or a fear of bad luck.
I also went to church when I wasn’t walking with the Lord.
And I wouldn’t allow anything to be set on top of the Bible.
I was a Lutheran, and I had Catholic friends. They wouldn’t eat meat on Fridays, and they definitely wouldn’t darken the door of a Lutheran church.
Some Pentecostal boys didn’t wear shorts in P.E.
I knew girls who wore the shortest shorts they could find, but who kept the Sabbath starting at sundown every Friday.
I knew smoking, drinking, cussing drug pushers who wouldn’t dare take the Lord’s name in vain.
And raise your hand if you know any church youth leaders who suddenly pushed up that wedding date.
It’s like one old guy used to tell me, “Most babies take nine months. The first one can come at any time.”
Looking back, I see this in my own life, and I see it in so many lives today. Our Christianity is basically a lot like superstition.
Yes, we keep certain rules, but it’s sort of like throwing bananas over the wall to make King Kong go away.
And we aren’t even good at keeping our own rules, because we’re not completely sure they’re doing any good.
But we do use our rules to judge each other. “Oh, you do that? Well I don’t do that. No, I’m not perfect, but at least I don’t do that.”
The Pharisees in the Bible were experts at this. They knew the rules, and if you didn’t keep them, well that just proved what they already knew – that they were better than you.
But what about the rules? What about the 10 Commandments? What about the Law of Moses?
Well you know what those are? A giant shadow.
Hebrews 10:1 says, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves…”
So all those rules? A shadow of good things, but not the good things themselves.
Picture this. Imagine it’s late in the day, and a young woman is sitting at a desk in her home. As the sunlight pours in through the window behind her, she writes a letter to her husband who is off serving in the military.
Suddenly she notices a change in the light. She lifts her head and sees the sunlight casting a shadow on the wall. It’s the shadow of her husband!
Now let me ask you, what kind of wife would she be if she jumped up and started showing interest in the shadow; if she caressed the shadow and traced the shadow on the wall?
That might not be unusual if her husband was still at war, but not when he’s standing at the door! Why would she be interested in the shadow when the real thing is there?
It would be weird, wouldn’t it? But that’s the way we are as Christians sometimes. We get weirdly superstitious about laws and rules, but that’s just the shadow.
Look at Colossians 2:16-17. “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
See, the laws fail to make us right with God, because we can’t keep them all. But Jesus makes us right with God!
The laws don’t wash away our guilt, but Jesus cleanses us white as snow!
The laws are inactive on the outside of us, but the Spirit of Christ is proactive on the inside of us, strengthening us and teaching us and guiding us and loving us.
Christ has come to live inside us! Our love relationship with Him is the real thing.
Colossians 2:6 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him…”
Jesus is the center. Jesus is our focus. The laws and rules are just a shadow. Jesus is the substance.
That does not nullify the laws. It fulfills them. We live in Christ and let Christ come alive in us. And His love pours through us, both toward God and toward all mankind. And that love is the fulfillment of the law.
So is your faith kind of superstitious? Do you keep some laws so God will bless you, or so that He at least won’t curse you?
Well then it’s time to take your eyes off the rules and laws, because all you’re looking at is the shadow.
It’s time to focus on the real thing!
And the real thing is our relationship with our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2009 The Arrow’s Tip
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
Why “The Arrow’s Tip”? Each morning, after diligently seeking the Lord, I write Apples of Gold. Then before I release it to the public I pray one final prayer, “Lord, send forth your arrows.” I envision Apples of Gold as arrows, tips dipped in the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1), sailing toward the hearts and minds of men and women around the world.
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