Jesus Feeding the 5,000

A daily devotion for May 24th

How to Handle Life

He said to them, Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.

Matthew 13:52

So many people think becoming a Christian is just a way to get to heaven when you die. Thank God, it does include that. But that is not why God has called you now to be a Christian. Jesus shows us that something deeper is necessary. It consists of two elements. Everyone who is being trained in the kingdom of heaven is going to have to go through this process. He will be like a householder, a homeowner, who takes out of his treasury things new and old. That sounds very much like the description of a garage sale, but that is not what our Lord has in mind. Every disciple who is learning the process of life is like a man who is the head of a home and who is constantly taking out of his resources things new and things old, and putting them together.

What are these new and old things? The things that are new are the constantly changing experiences of our lives. Every one of us is always coming each day into new and fresh experiences that we have never had before. Some are starting out with the experience of marriage. Some are beginning parenthood. Some are recent graduates of school and are starting out in a new relationship with the world which they have never had before.

Ah, yes, but there are also things old. The old things are the abiding things, the eternal, unalterable principles, the unchanging relationships which never have varied for all of human time but remain the same forever. Life itself will teach you some of the old things, but the great place where the revelation of things old is found is in the Word of God. There is where you learn what is real and what you can count on. The business of life is to understand these things. Jesus is saying that you can start with an intellectual grasp of them, but you will never understand them until you put the two together — things new and things old. Then you will understand life.

Sometimes it is the new which illustrates and explains the old. All of us have gone through some kind of experience and suddenly we realize that a passage of Scripture is illuminated by this experience, and for the first time we understand what the old has said. It has come alive to us. And we never forget that lesson.

That is what Christianity is all about. It is designed to change us and make us whole. Apart from visible evidence of that wholeness, we have nothing to say to the world around. You can never speak with authority merely by having head knowledge of the Scripture. Authority will come only as you have undergone the process of taking things old and things new and putting them together. Out of that experience you can say, Let me share with you a lesson God has taught me. I got the clue from the Word, and I began to apply it to my situation, and this is what happened. That is the kind of Christianity to which the world listens and responds.

Father, help me to take these great things that are of old and put them together rightly with the things that are new, and thus learn how to be a true teacher in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Life Application

Am I putting together the ever changing experiences of life with the tried and true wisdom of Scripture?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

How to Handle Life

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