Friday, April 4, 2014

When Food is King

Granted, Americans have been overtaken by such a physical appetite that gluttony and body idolatry fill our malls, streets, televisions, homes, and lifestyles. Food is king: organic, gluten-free, low fat, high fat, homemade, hard (on arteries) and fast. No matter which side of the coin you prefer, chances are that the food we eat (or don't eat) plays a large role in our everyday choices.

The same is true of the American church. We want to be fed, and our demands rule the pulpit. Our tastes determine where we spend our money and time: contemporary worship, blazing sermons, hymns, choruses, truth or comfort. Take your pick, it's a smorgasbord!

Sadly, our spiritual selves mirror our physical. A great number of us struggle with spiritual obesity. We know, read, study, and discuss more than we spiritually "do." Exercise lags behind input. On the other end of the spectrum are the anorexics who visit church as little as possible, nibble on crumbs and waste away, their spiritual lives looking less and less enviable. The buff exercise and tone their muscles, manage what they learn and know, but get so caught up in appearance that the true honor-bearer, Jesus, is lost behind the mirrors of other's approval.

Each of us needs a balance--enough Truth for our daily needs, enough faith to be uncomfortable; just a daily dose of Jesus. In.  And out.

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:12-14

Therefore hear the parable of the sower:  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.  But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.  Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:18-23


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