Can You Say Grace Over All Things?
By Patricia Backora, author of the book
Tough Love in Christ's Millennium
Which you can order online from: http://www.publishamerica.com
Even Old Testament believers living under the Law of Moses knew the difference between a blessing and a curse. They gave God thanks for blessings, not for things which could hurt or kill them. There were even limitations on which meats they would thank the Lord for. Those living under Mosaic Law would never have dared to say grace over a Virginia ham.
Since Christ died on the Cross, some things have changed. It’s okay for a Christian to eat a ham sandwich now because New Covenant Christians are not under Mosaic dietary regulations. It is in that context that I Timothy 4:4-5 said that “every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused, so long as it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." Romans 14:14 was also written to resolve the heated issue of whether Mosaic dietary regulations were still in force upon believers in Christ. Paul wrote: I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth (believes) any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
A few sinners twist that Scripture to mean that even acts of immorality cannot be rejected as unclean. But whatever you do out of rebellion toward the will of God, is unclean. At the first church council in in Jerusalem, the Apostles forbade Gentile converts to eat things offered to idols (Acts 15:29). Peter and James had grown up as Jews who ate only Kosher food, but they did not forbid Gentile Christians to eat shellfish. However, those men felt led by the Holy Spirit to issue four necessary prohibitions which specifically banned fornication, food offered to idols, the consumption of blood, and meat from strangled animals. Things such as these could not be included in prayers of thanksiving “for all things”.
In Revelation 2:20 Jesus Himself reproves the Church of Thyatira for allowing Jezebel to teach His servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Even if those who indulged in idol food went through the motions of thanking God for it, they were still guilty of sin for deliberately defying God's commandment not to partake of it.
We may not be under Old Testament dietary restrictions on what species of animals we may eat, but those four prohibitions are still in force because they were issued by the original apostles, and the Church is built upon the foundation of those apostles (Eph.2:20). Mosaic dietary ordinances may have been nailed to the Cross of Calvary (Col.2:14), but can the Old Testament principle of rejecting certain physical things as unclean be applied as an object lesson to teach New Testament believers to reject things which are spiritually unclean?
Surely it can. Paul quotes Old Testament Scripture as he exhorts Christians to keep themselves separate from the iniquity of this world. Wherefore, come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING; and I will receive you (II Cor. 6:17). You are not to even TOUCH abominable things of wickedness, much less give God thanks for their existence! You can enjoy shrimp cocktail if you want to. You could even say grace over a meal of witchety grubs if you were dining with Aborigines in the Outback of Australia, and the meal would be sanctified by the Word of God and prayer (I Tim.4:4-5). But God has discriminating tastes. If you say grace over the magic mushrooms you’re about to dine on and ask Him to bless your trip to the next dimension, He won’t honor that prayer.
Pat, I praise God for the ways in which He leads you to share these gems! How we need to remember the simple rule of sanctifying everything unto God by thanksgiving and prayer. This would clearly show us what God`s gifts are and what the devil tempts us with! Another inspired piece from this warrior child of God.