Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Real Meal


“I want a real meal, mama,” she said. Though the pitch of her tiny little voice indicated the youth of her years, her words almost declared a command. Taken by surprise, I proceeded to carry on a conversation with her, inquiring just what a ‘real meal’ might include. I wish I could remember her response, but I simply don’t. Yet after all these years I can still hear her voice desiring, no rather insisting, that she be fed well so her appetite would be satisfied and her body would grow. Not claiming to be a gourmet cook, I at least attempted to serve a balanced meal including vegetables, milk, meat, and bread. Yet, this little tot wanted more …

Her words returned to my mind as I pondered these verses:

     In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity …
Hebrews 5:12-14, 6:1a NIV

     The Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 NIV

     You’re going to find that there will be times where people will have not stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing , accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
2 Timothy 4:3-5 the Message

What does your stomach crave? Is your spirit satisfied with smooth words that are easy to hear, like spiritual junk food? Or do you want more, like the child wanting a ‘real meal’? Maybe you desire a ribeye steak, or plate full of lasagna, or cashew chicken, or whatever your favorite meal—an entrée full of flavor and something you can sink your teeth into! Do you crave the spiritual meat of God’s Word, a word that challenges you to grow and mature, something you can think on and put into practice in your life? Notice what Jesus had to say about this:

     “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
     “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
     When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.
Matthew 7:24-29 The Message

So what will you do? Will you feed your mind and spirit on God’s Word, delighting in the feast He desires to spread before you? Maybe you want this but do not know how or what to do. Here’s a simple suggestion: As you read the Bible each day, search for a verse that you can continue to think about. Then look for ways to act on that verse, putting it into practice. For example, Proverbs 15:1-3 (NIV) says ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’ Make a conscious effort to remember this verse and when you find you’re in the middle of a heated situation, choose to give a gentle answer. Take note of the results. What an adventure you’ll find as God’s Word becomes alive! (For the word of God is full of living power … Hebrews 4:11 NLT)

Like climbing stairs, one day rises to another and you will find yourself learning the Word, practicing what you’re learning and drawing closer to God. Enjoy the feast fit for a king as your soul thrives!

So what kind of ‘real meal’ will you enjoy today? I’d love to hear about it …

Many Blessings …

P.S.  Do you want more? Here’s some extra reading to help you ‘dig in’ …

1 Peter 2:2-3
Ephesians 4:1-16
1 Corinthians 3-4:5

Real Meal © 2011 Tanja Dufrene

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