Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Need to Feed

Everyone who breaths likes to eat.  Our diet has a major influence on our health and what kind of life we live.  I don't know about you, but I notice how certain foods affect my health and ability to get in shape.

American's are in love with food and I'm an American.  One of my favorite restaurants to go to is a buffet. Imagine one half of the buffet restaurant with great looking food like: pizza, steak, chicken, and pasta.  Imagine the other half with terrible food (IMO) like: monkey brain tacos, chicken fried skunk, BBQ possum, and teriyaki snake guts.  Which half would you grab a tray for?  What if the great looking food had a sign in front of it that said, "All food on this side contains poison?"  Would you sample that food or would you eat from the side with the terrible looking food?  If you want to live, you head toward the terrible looking food.

Like physical foods, we have the option to consume spiritual foods. There are only two kinds that exist, food from the world or food from God.  Many times the world's food looks good, but in the end it leads to death.  Solomon said (Proverbs 14:12), "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death."  Solomon gives a perfect diagnosis of what the spiritual food of the world is like.  The world's food may look good, but it's a killer. On the other hand, God offers the true food for healthy living.  Jesus said (John 6:35), "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  The food of God is life sustaining. 

One of the saddest realities of the church is to see so many individuals who are still feeding upon the world's food.  We need more Believers who are self-feeders. In other words, we need more Believers who individually feed on God's Word.  Here are some suggestions for you if you would like to be a better self feeder: 1.) Make time every day to read at least one chapter of the Bible, 2.)  Jot down questions and make notes to meditate on in your daily reading, 3.)  Pick a Bible reading plan and stick to it (suggested plans), and 4.) pray that God would speak to your heart through the reading of His Word.

What we spiritually feed on makes an eternal difference in our life.  Our spiritual food will guide how we live our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Everyone has a need to feed, the question is, "What side of the buffet line are you on?"

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Weight means Wait

My wife and her friend are leading a ladies study and the first lesson dealt with one of Mary and Martha's encounter with Jesus.

   Luke 10 -  38 While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house. 39 Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. 40 But Martha was busy with all the work to be done. She went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me.”
  41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. 42 Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.”

The better thing that Jesus was talking about was the fact that Mary was willing to wait upon the Lord.  If you notice, Martha was worried and upset about many things.  These things she was worried and upset about had to do with her focus.  Her focus was not on the Lord, but upon the world.  Do you find yourself worried and upset about many things? I bet you do.

One of the most obvious and truthful words of Jesus was when He said, "In this world you will have trouble" (John 16:33).  Can you identify with Jesus on this one?  I have never met a person who is either not going through trouble presently or has not been through trouble in the past.  Let's face it, if you are breathing, your going to have troubles in this life.  Life comes with a lot of weight and burdens.  So, what are we to do?

Everyone has only two options.  You can either wait on God or you can wait on yourself (try to do it on your own).  It's either Jesus way or the world's way. Here's how Jesus finished up the rest of John 16:33 - "I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. Be brave! I have defeated the world."  Do you want peace?  It is found in waiting upon the Lord.  Again Jesus said, "Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.  " (Matthew 11:28-29).  Do you want rest?  Rest for life's burdens is found in waiting upon the Lord.

The world offers nothing but despair and darkness for all of life's troubles.  What option seems best to you?  When the weight of the world is on your back it makes a difference in what you wait on!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In Gear

The other day while riding my bike, my legs didn't feel right.  I couldn't get into any kind of rhythm. I started to worry I would never get in shape again.  I kept going over in my head what I needed to do differently, like change my diet and exercise more.  I finally accepted the fact that I'm getting older and getting in shape just takes a while.

While I was thinking all these thoughts of discouragement, I looked down at my three front sprockets and noticed the chain was not on the middle sprocket.  The middle sprocket is the one I primarily use.  When I switched back to the middle sprocket it made all the difference in the world. Suddenly, I felt like I was in shape again. I was able to ride the final 8 miles home feeling like a new man.

I started thinking about the importance of being in the right gear with God.  It's like a radio station, there is only one right number.  If the station is not correct, you have only static and if you are not in the right gear, you labor in vain.

The great commandment states to, '" Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second command is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There are no commands more important than these"' (Mark 12:29-31).  To do this is to be in the right gear.  Moses after all the heartache of leading rebellious and complaining people, ultimately had this to say to God, "If I have truly pleased you, show me your plans so that I may know you and continue to please you" (Exodus 33:13).  What Moses wanted more than anything was to know God - that's being in gear.  

What gear you're in makes a difference in how you go forward.  If you are in the wrong gear (gear of the world), you will only be making life more difficult for yourself.  There is only one gear that leads to fulfillment (John 10:10) and that is found in a love relationship with Jesus.