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!
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…