Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ummmmm Ummmmm; Delicious

I love food, and if I'm not mistaken so do most other people.  I love to cook and I love to feed people and make them feel good, especially my children and my husband. 

News articles that I have read indicate that the United States is country filled with people who love to eat and that we have become obese.   We eat too much and move too little. 

The life of a Christian is one of self-control.  The Lord wants us to be able to control our actions, even down to how much we eat.  Even food can become an idol and the exercise of eating, idolatry. 

This is an area in which the Lord has been seeking to bring change to in my life.  I have struggled with loving food too much for many years, and only as recently as last April brought changes in my life situation which caused me to re-evaluate my eating habits and my need to drop some weight.  As I have written about before on this blog, my son was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis.  It has been shown that people who have inflammatory bowel disease, i.e., Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease are benefited when they eat a diet which does not include grains, sugar, milk and starches, like potatoes; basically no carbohydrates.    This is known as the G.A.P.S. diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome).  It was developed by a neurologist who had a child who had ulcerative colitis.  She was told by physicians that there was no cure for this autoimmune disease.  However, after placing her daughter on this diet for two years, she was cured of the disease and was slowly re-started on all the forbidden items at least to some extent.

It is quite weird, isn't it, that God gave us appetites and food and spices and an inquiring mind and an ability to figure out ways to make things delicious and what do we do but turn that into an idol and spend so much more time figuring out what to eat, when to eat and where to eat than we take to read His Word and spend some time talking to Him.   

Psalm 34:8 tells us:  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusts in Him. 

I have tasted the Lord's goodness in my times of Bible Study, and I come away like a child looking in the window of a store that sells the most delicious baked goods -- always with my mouth open and rounded in  awe!   He feeds us with words of promise and words of love, sometimes the taste is bitter when  He speaks to us about sin and wrongdoing.  It is rich and dwells in our bodies a long time.  It sustains us and gives us life as we strive to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  It can warm you up like nothing else and when your pride runs amok and takes control, it can cool you off like someone pouring a glass of ice down the back of your shirt!  Just like with real food, it can be cool and creamy, warm and soothing and it can be sweet as honey and as nourishing as the most vitamin-enriched protein.  Sometimes within one dish you can taste things that are bitter, sour, sweet, and smokey.  It is multi-dimensional, ultra healthy and life changing.

God's Word is delicious. Oh, please, won't you taste and see that the Lord is good?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Self-Defense

Have you ever noticed that when a person is under fire, or condemnation or accused of wrongdoing (actual or perceived) that the immediate reaction is to defend one's self?  That is our natural man inclination.  However, we are told in Luke 23:9:

Then he (Pilate) questioned with him in many words; but he (Jesus) answered him nothing.

 Jesus did not defend himself to the High Priest.  He allowed the Pharisees to accuse him of anything and everything that they wanted, and uttered not a word in His own defense.

I know that when I am accused unjustly for whatever reason, my immediate reaction is to defend myself.

This is a very hard thing to accept, but Jesus wants our lives to resemble his as closely as possible.  He is, after all, the way the truth and the life.  His instructions to us in Matthew 16:24 include these words:  "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me".  So when we think that He wants us prosperous, think again; when we think He wants us to have homes and money and vehicles and all the other things that wealth affords us in the life, think again.

We are not promised healthy, happy, successful lives.  If the Son of God could not expect to have the best of health, wealth, position, and long life, what makes us think we should expect those things?  We are never to react out of a selfish desire to defend ourselves, we are to react in ways that will surely disarm our most vengeful enemies:  by turning the other cheek,  by not only giving our coat,  but by also giving our sweater.  If  we are asked to walk a mile on behalf of someone, we should be willing to go two.

Think about this for a minute:  If Jesus would have defended himself before Pilate, what he if he had been turned loose and not crucified?  Mankind would have had no hope, no peace and no one to pay our atonement.  We would have been condemned to death and eternity in hell.

So quit acting out of the defense mode and switch instead to the disciple mode by taking up your cross, denying yourself and following him.