My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Did You Bring Your Appetite?
Nope, not vegetables! Little Alice taking over my ice-cream cone. A little appetite with lots of love.
Proverbs 15:17Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is
than a fatted ox and hatred with it.
The guests are invited to dinner but the host is concerned that there is little to offer. Without the financial resources of the wealthy, they are unable to kill a fatted ox and can only serve vegetables. While some may be discouraged by this, wisdom tells us that the satisfaction depends upon the appetite of the guest. If the guests who are invited are hungry, then even a small meal will be enjoyed and received with gratitude. They will experience the love of the host who was willing to share all he had with his guests.
I was born in Germany where my parents served as missionaries. It seems that our financial resources were often limited, and yet, there was an endless supply of guests at our table. Not only did we have our dear German friends gathering with us at the table, but also many visitors from other countries who would stop by, wanting to see “the mission.” We always found this a bit humorous as we were simply a family living in an urban setting, planting a church. That, however, did not stop the visitors.
My mother has always been a creative cook and recently, while watching the television show “Chopped,” I realized that she would have known how to make something out of a crazy concoction of items. She was a master at making a meal out of a nearly-empty refrigerator.
One night, while we were living in Germany, some out of town guests called at the last minute and said they were coming over. My mother wasn’t sure what to do because she didn’t have much for supper. She had made a pot of soup which would feed her family of six, but now it needed to be stretched for guests. Pulling out her coin purse, she found enough pfennigs to send one of the older boys to the store to buy some breadsticks. Then, she added more water to the soup and got out one of her nicest tablecloths. She set the dining room table with her nice china and when the breadsticks arrived, placed them in attractive containers at either end of the table. When the guests arrived they were welcomed into our home and to the table. They enjoyed a dinner of watered down soup and breadsticks, but also the love of the family. When they left that night they remarked on the fabulous dinner that they had enjoyed. It was a dinner of vegetables, but love was present, and they were satisfied.
There’s a lot of shopping for churches these days and people looking for the biggest and the best, the most fatted ox of a church that they can find. It may make those smaller churches, those that are serving vegetables feel that they simply cannot compete. The reality is that they can’t compete, if that’s the plan, but they can offer loving food to those who are hungry. There are plenty of people in this world who are so starved that they will be thrilled with a small church, offering a limited menu, if it’s served with love.
For the rest of us, what we get out of church depends a great deal on our appetite. My spiritual appetite depends on whether or not I’ve been spending time in God’s presence. If I have, it doesn’t matter where I worship on a Sunday because I can’t wait to worship God with other people. It seems the more I spend time with the Lord, the hungrier I am and every morsel that I receive fills me with God’s love.
When we bring our appetites, we discover that the love of God is more important than the fatted ox. We don’t need the stuff, we need Jesus!
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…
Scripture: Acts 9:32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Observation:
In this text by the physician Luke, Paul has just recently been converted. Suddenly the narrative shifts to the Apostle Peter who is, no doubt, the leader of the followers of the Way. This passage sets the stage for the expansion of the ministry to the Gentiles. It is in Joppa that Peter has his vision that eventually leads him to the house of Cornelius but at this moment, Peter has no idea where this is going. Peter is simply going about his business, visiting the believers who live outside of Jerusalem, making it to the town of Lydda.
It is in Lydda, not far from …
Scripture: Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. Observation:
This passage from Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is frequently quoted and used to remind us of the unity which is found when we belong to Christ. Any barriers that may have existed are to be brought down. The power of prejudice is to be destroyed and a new life is to be found when one belongs to Christ.
Jerome put it this way, “ When one has once put on Christ and, having been sent into the flame, glows with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, it is not apparent whether he is of gold or silver. As long as the heat takes over the mass in this way there is one fiery color, and all diversity of race, condition and body is taken away by such a garment.” (EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS 2.3.27–28) What happens is that the former…