Prepping to Eat

Its Saturday – “Yay !!”  would be most people’s reaction to this day.  Most work or go to school Monday through Friday and the weekend gives a welcome respite to a break in the routine, a time to sleep a little longer and just do whatever you have been meaning to catch up on.  

Saturday is also a great day to “prep” for the Lord’s day.   Recently we went to one of those Mongolian grill type restaurants and I was struck by the massive preparation of all the things done for diners to enjoy a great meal.  Chopped veggies, sliced meats and specially prepared sauces (hungry now?).  Anyway, like those prep cooks we as God’s children need to prep our hearts for receiving His feast !  What can we do?  There are some very practical things that can help like getting a good nights sleep so we don’t try to catch up when God is trying to feed us through a sermon. We can organize things on Saturday for the sometimes harried Sunday morning rush to get out the door so we dont arrive cranky ! 

But spiritually, we can pray for the services and the preacher and his message, we can pray for our own willingness and meekness to receive the “engrafted Word” but also do you remember what Jesus said about going to worship in the Sermon on the Mount?  “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar and go, first be reconciled to your brother and then offer your gift. (Mt.5:23,24).  Christ places a premium on making sure you have done what you can to rectify offenses between others BEFORE you set out to His house to worship Him.  Sometimes we tick others off, we’re sinners !  When you know you need to make something right with another and pride or fear is stopping you simply do what you can to maintain a good relationship with the Lord but also each other for the sake of worship and the ultimate glory of God.   When we prep to eat at God’s house the experience is much more enjoyable, not only for you but the Lord Who has set the table !  So this coming Sunday, “eat and enjoy” !!

Call the Plumber !

Its early yet in the day and I had what you might call a bitter sweet experience already. We’ve had a leak with some plumbing so I’d set up a visit from our plumber. The bitter is I now owe him, the sweet is he fixed it !  But what a blessing knowing we can remove the dish that caught the annoying drips and we’re back in business, ha !

Proverbs talks about drips too.  Twice in this book of wisdom a contentious or scrappy woman is likened to the steady, annoying dripping of water:  “. . .the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping” (19:13) &  “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike”  (27:15).     Now I’m blessed with the opposite kind of wife yet at times, male or female, isn’t it so easy to become a  “drip”?     Something happens we don’t like and rather than find the blessing in it we let out a dribble of disgust.  We start to take our focus off the Lord and we become cranky and say things we later regret. After a while if we don’t call our great Plumber to fix the leaks we become a lot like that woman Solomon referred to in those verses.   So when you feel yourself getting a little leaky in your spiritual life, call on the “Plumber”. The bitter is you are forced to confront your sin but the sweet is you’re back in business in your Christian life !

Have you had your bath today?

In Ps.119:9 the psalmist poses the age old question “wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?”  Young or old, even a saved person struggles with this since the sin nature still is a part of our makeup until we go home to glory.  In the meantime, what can we do?  

For starters he says in the rest of the verse we can “take heed. . . to Thy Word”.  The word heed was used of a watchman or guard. And like him we must safeguard the principles of the Bible in our life as we make decisions each day. We must carefully let God weigh in and reject any desires that contradict Him.  Didn’t Christ do this as He agonized in Gethsemane and said “not My will but Thine be done”?

  We can also PRAY.  The writer knew he was capable of straying so he asked that God help him to not “wander” in vs.10.   Daily you can ask God for this help. Didn’t Jesus teach us to pray “and lead us not to temptation but deliver us from evil” ?

And finally, have you given much thought to memorizing the Bible?  Vs.11 says doing this is a great help against the lurking monster of sin that is within each of us.   Let’s say you struggle morally, or you spend impulsively and get yourself into financial straits, or you have a tendency to talk about others in less than spiritual ways.  Whatever your “pleasure” there is help. Look up some verses that especially help you overcome those sins and learn them and then when the temptation comes knocking, carefully call it up from memory and recite it.   Didn’t the Lord also do this as He was tempted of Satan ?

So are you taking that “bath” each day?  Or are you beginning to stink?  Turn on the shower of God’s grace and let the water of the Word wash over that soul today !

Heavenly Blogs

For some of you reading this, blogs may be familiar as you have surfed the internet. For others this may be a first.  The term “blog”  was coined from “weblog” as a kind of journal people make online.  Most blogs on the “net” are likely going to be the ramblings of people with too much free time on their hands.  Of course, some may consider rambling part of the job description of the preacher !   Hopefully, this will be of some spiritual encouragement to you even though I’m fairly new to “blogging”.

When I thought of the whole concept of blogging it brought to mind how God has put down His thoughts for us in the pages of the Bible. His “blogging”, if you will, like man’s was to be read by all in this world as the internet can touch every nation now !   His heart was sent out via words that can encourage, challenge and even save a lost soul from hell itself if we will take what’s from His heart and accept it into ours.   So take a little time today, amidst all your routines, and read what He has carefully, personally written to YOU.   God told Joshua to “meditate therein day and night”  (Josh.1:8) and in so doing he was used wonderfully and successfully of the Lord, so will you be !

Devotions

Why do we call them devotions? Because its a time we are to spend giving or devoting ourselves to the Lord to develop our relationship with Him and to know Him better.  David, in Ps.119:1-2, spoke of being “blessed” as he spent time with God.  The word speaks of happiness. So what does God say is the way to true joy?  To answer that, note the last phrases in both verses, they speak of obedience and a sincere desire to really know God.  David wrote of “walking” and “seeking”.   Have you fallen into the trap of going through the motions in your devotions by failing to apply what He says through His word to YOU?   Has it become  dutiful and you’ve lost the heart of devotion?  Get back to the basics, friend, God loves you so much, devote yourself to Him today and you will find real joy !!