Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hungry for Him...

Hungry for Him

As you begin to read this, I want you to recall what you had for supper the last three nights. If you are like me, you had to pause and think about it for a minute.  More than likely, at one of those meals you had more than one option to choose from.  Hold on to that thought....

It is not uncommon in my job to meet families who have limited to no food. For some children, breakfast and lunch at school are their only meals.  When you ask what they had to eat for the last three meals, they can tell you each item on their plate down to how much salt they used!  I have never heard a hungry child complain because they were given squash instead of mashed potatoes.  Why?  Because they don't take for granted the food they are given and cherish each morsel given.  Usually when offered, parents will accept food but say "don't worry about me, as long as my children have food, I will be fine."  Unselfish, unconditional love.....willing to skip a meal for themselves to ensure their children are fed.

A lesson in this on counting our blessings...Oh when our cup runneth over, are we thankful and hungry for more?  Do we count our blessings one by one, right down to the salt of life? Or do we complain about "squash" longing for something else-- taking for granted God's goodness?  Like our meals do we have to stop and ponder what our blessings are or can we name them right down to each morsel? 1Thessalonians 5:16-18---tells us to pray continuously and to give thanks in all things, in all circumstances....every morsel, every trial, every triumph....God has a reason...Jeremiah 29:11-13

Spiritually I want to be like the parent willing to give up something she needed to make sure someone else was full.  Do we have faith like the little girl I talked to recently?  When I asked her about giving her some food...she said..."oh my mama will not let me go hungry."  God is not going to let us go hungry when we hunger and thirst for we live like we believe it?  Matthew 5:1-12

May we hunger for the things of God, willing to sacrifice if asked, always longing for the things of God--counting every morsel with thanksgiving!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Seasoned by Him

For those of you who know me well---you know I am not a chef!  However, being tempted by my "chefly friends," I decided to enhance my cooking abilities!  To do so, I rummaged through and found an old cast iron skillet that belonged to my mother.  I set out to restore it.  Let's just say it was painstaking to rid it of its rust and corrosion.  BUT after a two week tedious process, one cut finger and some lung damage from the chemicals (LOL), I have a "NEW" cast iron skillet to use.

There is a spiritual lesson in this.  We are all like that cast iron skillet.  For me, God was rummaging through and found me at the age of 18. I may have looked ok on the outside but on the inside there was rust and corrosion.  I trusted in treasures of this world that would rust...Matthew 6:19 tells us not to lay our treasures up on earth because they will rust away.  The question becomes are we more interested in the things of this world that will rust or the things eternal that will last forever.  The corrosion of our lives are anything that deflects from the things of God.  Perhaps some of these things are not bad in and of themselves but if they distract you from the purpose for which you were created (to bring Honor and Glory to Him), then the corrosiveness needs to be purged.  Romans 3:23 tells us we all have some corrosion.   We may not have grease build up but we are scarred by selfish choices and decisions.   Discovering we are sinners in need of a Savior is the point at which our restoration process begins.  How wonderful is it we have a restorer who wants to bring us back to an ALL THINGS NEW (2 Corinthians 5:17) state!?  It doesn't stop at Salvation.  We continue to be refined and drawn closer to Him every day.  When we resist, we are missing out!

For me to reflect on where I was at 18 (and for some of you to remember), I know I was selfcentered but God saw beyond the selfishness and saw potential!  Like I soaked the skillet, He started soaking me---through time in His word, through prayer and fellowship some of that rust and corrosion started disapating.  He seasons me daily when I read His word and subject myself to listen to Him.  The seasoning process for the skillet is ongoing---regularly adding lard to the surface.  Our spiritual seasoning process is ongoing too --- it requires ongoing exposure to His word and gives consideration to what/who we expose ourselves to.  Fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ is seasoning as is going to church, reading His word and praying. God saw me worthy of chiseling away at my past,---like chiseling away at the skillet, it too was painstaking (after all it took His son dying on the cross). He saw me (AND YOU) fit to soak in His love and finally to slowly expose us to the refiners fire (Malachi 3:2) ....and then the cool down process---lavishing us with His undeserved grace!  I've lived the last 26 years in awe that He found me worthy of this gift!

You are in one of three places today--       

1 - A cast iron skillet in need of being found---He is ready to restore you if you just believe on His Son Jesus Christ.  Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5: 12, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9-10

2 - A cast iron skillet in the restoration process --- He has something amazing plannned for you so be willing to let Him continuously restore you.  Malachi 3:2, Jeremiah 29:11-13

3 - Gradually letting rust appear--- you have been restored--- oh you won't lose your salvation but you are missing out on some amazing blessings!  Yield to His call to return to Him!  Luke 15:11-24

Remember I started this skillet process because of the influence of a friend.  Living for Jesus you may influence someone else to long for what you have.  Be a restored skillet for Jesus! Others are looking at you!