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Summary: A touchstone is a stone that tests the quality of gold and silver. Jesus is our Touchstone. He is the Genuine Article. He’s The Real Thing.

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Sermon Preached by Pastor Larry C. Brincefield on June 6th.

Title: The Touchstone (or, “Ain’t Nothin’ like the real thing, baby”

Text: Mark 7:31-37

Introduction

1. A touchstone is a hard, black stone,…

• It is used to test the quality of gold or silver…

• When gold or silver is rubbed on the stone…

• It leaves a certain kind of streak behind…

• But when it is not gold or silver…

• The streak will indicate that.

• Over time, the word touchstone has come to mean anything that is genuine or real.

2. The word was mainly a mining term…

• And we don’t use it as much today…

• But perhaps it is a word that should be brought back to more common use.

Read Text: Mark 7:31-37

1. Touchstone illustrated

The story is told that when the great library of Alexandria

burned,

• Only one book was saved. …

• Unfortunately, it wasn’t a particularly a valuable book;

• It wasn’t very interesting…

• Just sort of dull and boring.

• and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few small coins…

• the man found that, while The book wasn’t very interesting, …

• but between its pages there was something very interesting.

• On the inside of the back cover was written the secret of the "Touchstone"!

• This touchstone, unlike the one in our definition…

• It didn’t tell whether something was truly gold or not…

• This stone could turn any common metal into pure gold.

• The writing explained that this special touchstone was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles beside the Black Sea.

• But the secret was this: The touchstone would feel warm to the touch,…

• while ordinary stones would be cold.

• So the man was excited about his good fortune…

• So he sold everything he had…

• And borrowed all the money he could…

• In order to pay for his journey to the Black Sea and find the touchstone.

• When he arrived there, he began testing stones.

• When he picked it up and it was cold to the touch…

• He knew it was an ordinary stone and so he would throw it into the sea…

• To prevent him from checking the same stone more than once.

• And so he continued…day after day…

• Picking up stones and throwing them into the sea.

• Week after week…

• Year after year…

• Picking up a stone and throwing it into the sea.

• One day, however, about mid-afternoon, he picked up a stone and it was warm.

• But by the sheer force of habit…

• He threw it into the sea before he realized what he had done.

2. Here we see a story that mirrors true life…

A. We get involved in the daily routine of living…

• Day after day…

• Doing the same kinds of things…

• Week after week…

• Developing the habit that life is cold to the touch…

• It is unexciting…

• No warmth…

• Nothing real or genuine…

• And so we just go through life…

• Tossing stone after stone aside…

B. And the danger is…

• When we finally come into contact with something real…

• Something genuine…

• Out of the force of habit…

• We will just toss it aside.

C. You see, Jesus is that Touchstone…

• He is the genuine article…

• He is Something Real…

• But far too often, people come to church…

• Week after week after week…

• Living out their life day after day after day…

• And then, finally, they come face to face with Jesus…

• They come face to face with something genuine…

• The come face to face with something real…

• And they just toss it aside…

• And go on about their habit of living.

3. In our text…

A. Some people brought someone who was deaf and mute to Jesus…

• Jesus didn’t want to draw undue attention to Himself…

• And so He pulled the man aside…

• Jesus obviously wanted this man to focus on Him…

• To really see Him…

• To realize the genuineness of Jesus…

• Jesus touched his ears and his tongue…

• And healed the man.

B. This man came face to face with the Touchstone…

• And he recognized it…

• He didn’t just walk away from this plain looking Galilean…

• He allowed Him to touch him…

• He even allowed Him to spit upon him…

• And when he embraced the Genuine Article…

• When he embraced the Touchstone…

• His life was forever changed.

4. My hope is that we will be like this man…

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