Friday, February 22, 2008

More Than Bread 2/22/08

2 Timothy 2:20-21
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

In our house, we use a lot of paper plates. They are easy to microwave stuff on and you don't have to wash them. You just throw them away. But if we are going to entertain and want to impress, we have a whole set of really great dishes that look fabulous. Of course, some of them have never been used(I guess we aren't much on impressing folks). But as I read this passage, I thought about this in a little different light. Most of us, by nature, want to be seen and heard and admired even. And that isn't automatically a bad desire. But wouldn't it be far better to be useful instead of decorative? Don't worry too much about your visibility; work instead on your availability.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Than Bread 2/21/08

1 Samuel 10:20-22
20 When Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri's clan was chosen. Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquired further of the LORD, "Has the man come here yet?"
And the LORD said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage."

Have you ever felt like God has called you to do something, but that it was just too much. Maybe that God's request was simply too overwhelming. You are in good company. When Saul was annointed king of Israel, he was a little overwhelmed it would seem. When it was time for him to be introduced as king, he went and hid. This was no small feat, since he was a head taller than everyone else. But notice here that God knew exactly where he was and called him out of hiding. God is like that in other places in the Bible. Just look at Jonah for example. So, if God is calling you to do something. Get to it. Don't try to hide. God will come seeking and He always finds who He is looking for.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Than Bread 2/20/08

Romans 13:8-10
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

There are a lot of folks that get confused by the requirements of the law to modern Christianity. We obviously know that the 10 Commandments are still valid but the Bible also says that we can eat whatever we want. How do we draw the line between what is OK under grace and what is still forbidden if you will? I was reading this passage and it summed it up rather nicely. The commandments that God expects us to obey are summed up in one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." It sounds so simple, but it definitely isn't easy. But this is what we are called to do. It's all about love.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Than Bread 2/19/08

1 Timothy 1:15-17
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

In modern society there is a big push for self-esteem, or self confidence. And I am not against healthy self-esteem, but I think it is important to have a proper view of ourself and how we stand before God. Most of us wouldn't think to place ourselves in the category of the chief of sinners. In fact, most of us think that we are pretty OK people. But in the light of God's holiness, we get a very different picture. The truth is that we are all undeserving of God's mercy, but He has given us mercy anyway, to display His unlimited patience as an example for others. Are you living your life as an example to others of what God can do?

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Than Bread 2/18/08

Romans 8:26-27
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

I used to teach this principle to youth by using the word Dude, a lot. It is amazing how much of our communication with each other is done with voice inflection, tone, body language and so forth, and how little of it is done with the actual words we use. Our communication with God is much the same. We don't need high-sounding formal prayers to touch God's heart or get His attention. His Spirit searches our hearts and understands us at our innermost level. Even if you don't have the words to express yourself; cry out to God. He is always listening and He always understands. Even if you just say, "Dude!"