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!
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain. Observation:
There is a foundation to the house of this life, and that must be the Lord. Application:
I think it started this week when we got off the plane in Boise. A flood of memories began to overwhelm me as I reminisced about the way that things used to be. Many years ago, when we were living in Russia, we would come back home to the United States on furlough, and that always meant coming to Boise, Idaho. My parents were living here and had built a home with two guest rooms that we would call “home” for three months. Exiting the security area at the airport, my parents were always there, waiting with expectant smiles, for us to finally arrive. I can see my mom, clapping her hands, with a grin from ear to ear, just waiting to wrap her arms around every one of us. This week, I glanced at the waiting area as we exited the security …
Scripture: Phil. 4:10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. Phil. 4:15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than …
Scripture: Proverbs 21:17Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want; whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich. Observation:
Some have said that this verse speaks of the dangers of an Epicurean life-style. What does that mean? Generally we have attributed this to the teaching of Epicurus, a philosopher who was born in 341 BC. He encouraged people to find a static state of pleasure where one was satiated — or full. When the pleasures have been completely, or entirely satisfied, then one feels full. Later Epicurean societies adopted a motto: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo ("I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”). In contemporary society this phrase has been adopted to be used at humanist funerals, or to be carved as an epitaph on a headstone.
The problem is that they don’t understand what Wisdom was trying to say. Pleasure alone would ultimately leave one wanting. The Epicurean life of rich foods and drink, as well as the investment in oils and cosmetics could not be sustained. T…