Hobby-horse living


vintage-wonder-horse-deluxe-hobby-horse-24ded9933c9d776c4e78563a0c4c7168John 14:15 (NKJV) If you love Me, keep My commandments.


When I grew up I remember people describing particular preachers as “clothes-line preachers” or “hobby-horse preachers.”  

What they meant by that is that no matter where the preacher took his text and no matter what his announced topic was, eventually he’d get around to talking about one particular pet-peeve of his. 

In those days, it usually had to do with what women wore—thus the expression “clothes-line preachers” (this was back when women hung their clothes up outside on a clothes line \ ask your grandmother to explain) or some particular vice—like drinking, smoking, gambling, going to movies and the such.  This was his “hobby-horse” (like the rocking horse that little children had—there was a lot of action but very little movement beyond that one spot).  So you could on it, somewhere in the sermon he’d circle around to the old familiar refrain, thus the label–“Hobby horse preacher.”   

But the fact is Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments” (plural).  We must beware of making things too simple.  There is no magic bean that grows a beanstalk to heaven.  There is no one principle or one doctrine that, if you learn that and believe that then you are a “real” Christian.  

Jesus has commandment(s).  

Minimally, this mean that you can’t put all your spiritual eggs in one basket.  I’ve known people who felt as long as they spoke in tongues everything was ok (Who knows, maybe the Holy Spirit was crying out to the Father to not bring down judgement on them just yet for the way they were living!) 

Then there are those who feel like going to church on Sunday pretty much gives them a free pass to do what they want to do the rest of the week. 

Many (most?) flavors Christianity majors on a particular doctrine or practice—get that right and tow the party line and you’re in good standing.  

But bottom line, Jesus didn’t make room for “specialist Christians” who have the luxary to specialize in one thing.  The Christian faith is a walk, a process, a journey.  You don’t “get it” and then coast to Heaven; God gets you and you press toward the mark of the high calling of God.

  • The ONE THING for today: Be open to leading of the Holy Spirit; I’m guessing He’s got something to teach you about the commandments of Jesus today–and it will be a whole lot more exciting than bouncing around on the same ole hobby horse that you’ve been sitting on for way to long.

Ephesians 4:13 (NLT)

This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.


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