Teenagers love food, especially when it is free. Keith, the youth pastor at First Baptist Church, held a Super Bowl outreach. Keith worked hard to get ready for the party. The spread had different kinds of chips, fried mushrooms and other hot foods.
As the kids were watching the first half, the food was disappearing quickly. Keith mumbled under his breath, “Surely Jan has more food on hand.” He strolled into the kitchen, opening all of the cabinet doors and the refrigerator looking for food. There was nothing, and when he went back out to check the table all the food was gone. His face turned white.
Keith dashed into the kitchen and quickly hit the speed dial button on his phone, and called his wife. "Jan, fifty kids showed up. We ran out of food. I don't know what to do. We don’t have any extra money."
Jan replied, "I just thought of something. Joe from church owns an apple farm. He’s been a good friend. Maybe he can bring a bucket of apples. I'll call and ask him."
Keith rolled his eyes. "Apples? Are you kidding me? The kids will walk out on me!"
"Just let me call him first." Jan said.
Keith paced back and forth. A few minutes later his wife called back. "Keith, Joe said he'll be there as soon as he can."
Keith‘s hands shook. "Honey, the kids will laugh at me."
"Just go talk to the kids. I'll pray for you. You'll be okay." The line went dead.
Keith walked out just as the halftime show was starting. He turned down the TV. Keith looked at the ground and did not make eye contact with the kids. "Kids, I've got some bad news: we've ran out of food. Joe, one of our church members, is bringing some apples. I know that may not be something you want to eat."
The kids started to boo. Keith looked up and put his hands up to quiet the students down.
"Again , I'm sorry. I wasn’t expecting fifty people. Though there is a lesson we can learn from this.” Keith opened up his Bible and held it in front of him.
“The food you had earlier is considered junk food. The apples that will arrive shortly are more nutritious for your bodies. Have you ever considered the junk food you put into your minds? Television and secular books can be junk food for your spiritual life. I am not saying that it’s bad to watch TV, but it’s a balance with things that are healthy for your faith. The question is, are you concerned about your spiritual health? How much time do you spend in the Word?"
The doorbell rang. "Could someone go and see who’s at the door?"
One of the youth put up their hand. "I’ll go."
"Thank you," said Keith.
Keith looked down at his Bible. "Romans 12: 2 says: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ As Christians we need to be in the Word daily. Next Sunday when you’re at church pick up a Bible reading schedule at the bookstore. Make a commitment to be in the Word today."
Joe strolled into the room with a bucket of apples. "Good news! The apples are here. Grab one- the second half is starting."
Ted, one of the youth who was quiet, walked up to Keith and put his head down.
"Ted, what’s wrong?" asked Keith.
"Pastor, I want to thank you about your message about spiritual junk food. I watch too much TV and hardly read the Bible. I've been so bad."
Keith smiled. "Ted, I am glad my message taught you something. I wasn’t prepared to speak about this tonight. I think the Lord is speaking to you."
Ted grinned. "I think so too."
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