As a young girl, I looked forward to potluck dinners in the basement of our small church. I would stand at the top of the stairs and inhale the smell that was wafting its way up from the kitchen, causing my mouth water and then I'd race down as fast as I could.
The various and sundry dishes seemed to stretch on forever.
My favorite thing to do, before it all began, was to walk up one side of the tables and down the other, trying to see all that was there. If I stretched my neck and stood on my tip toes I could just get a glimpse of what was in the those wonderful smelling dishes.
The good old standbys always brought a smile to my face; fried chicken, orange jello and deviled eggs. But other dishes like vegetables or weird salads would make me wrinkle my nose and rejoice that at this dinner I didnít have to have a ďno thank youĒ helping. And then there were the desserts, as usual the ladies of our church had out done themselves with warm brownies fresh out of the oven, enormous cakes, and pies galore.
My joy of potluck dinners was born out of a love for food and fellowship. My favorite thing about potlucks was that my parents werenít as attentive to my eating habits which enabled me to eat whatever I wanted. This meant that I could forego the vegetable dishes and fill up on desserts to my heartís delight.
I also enjoyed the freedom to be able to pick and choose what I wanted to eat. At home there werenít a lot of choices. I had to eat a little of everything, even if I didnít like it. I learned early in life not to complain because that would only get me more!
My love for potluck dinners was raised to new heights, when I realized for the first time that if I put something on my plate and didnít like it, I didnít have to eat it! That was never the case at home. The mantra, ďClean Your PlateĒ had been adopted by my parents, and there was no hope of changing it. Believe me, I tried.
Recently when I sat down to spend some time in the Scriptures; I was struck with the fact that I have a tendency to love Godís Word, like I love potluck dinners! Let me explain . . .
I choose to feast on verses like Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT) The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
But turn my nose up at verses like Matthew 5:44 (NLT) But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
My desire for things that are easy and tasteful hinders me from developing strength and depth as His disciple. And I can't help but wonder if this is what Paul was alluding to in 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NLT) I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you werenít ready for anything stronger. And you still arenít ready. . .
Donít get me wrong, Iím not saying that there are verses in the Bible that donít have any value but the point Iím trying to make is that we hamper Godís work in our life when we pick and choose what we like and donít take it ALL into account.
Godís Word is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. I readily confess that I donít like to be cut open, to have my sin held up to the light of His Word. It's so much easier to steer clear of Godís cleansing work in my life and focus on His unending love and faithfulness. But God desires so much more for me and for you!
My question to you is this: Are you approaching Godís Word like you approach a potluck dinner? Do you find yourself choosing the verses in Godís Word that are tasty and appetizing and avoiding those that seem distasteful or hard?
Lord, I confess in my heart of hearts I have approached your Word like I do a potluck dinner. I have feasted on Your grace and avoided Your commands. Thank you for extending Your mercy to me and open my eyes and my heart to ALL that you want to teach me. Amen.
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