Lunch Bite January 28, 2021

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”” (Luke 12:19–21, ESV)

Sorry but working second shift today meaning lunch is more like supper 🙂   Still trying to bring a word in a moment.  Most factories allow only 30 minutes for lunch and there is one in Springfield that the lunch break is only 20 minutes.  Life has put us on a treadmill and the speed is being controlled by someone else a taskmaster.  We move from one thing to the other never seeming to have the time for anything important in our life. 

First what is important for life, is it leisure activities, hobbies, sports, work, money, fun, or family.  What we value we pursue and what we pursue should bring satisfaction, right?  At least that is why most people pursue certain activities and things.  I have yet to hear anyone pursuing something in life because the want failure, despair, frustration, or anxiety.  What we pursue should yield peace and fulfillment in life.  With all that people pursue why does it seem that none are ever satisfied and truly content with life.  Alcohol, addictions, pornography, and sexual impurity  are all things that are pursued that do not yield contentment and peace.  I never hear the alcoholic say ahh that drink was it my soul is truly content now I am at peace. 

What will you spend your precious time pursuing?  You have very brief moments will you use those to pursue what can truly change your soul and bring peace and satisfaction in your life.  Jesus is the way to find peace with God, peace in life, and peace in eternity.  “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35, ESV).  Hunger and thirst are symbolic of spiritual needs that only having a relationship with God through Christ Jesus will meet.  Use your precious moments and spend them in pursuit of the one good you can have in your life Jesus.  Quit building barns.   

Lunch Bite January 27, 2021

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?” (Job 40:6–8, ESV)

Consider for a moment the  current situation of the world, all the wrongs, all the evil, and all the hurts.  Who gets the blame?  At the end of the day and in the secret places of the heart who do most people blame for the problems of the world?  God!  Believers and unbelievers alike blame God for the ills of the world.  Believers ask, “God why don’t you do something?”  Unbelievers cry out, “Where is your God?”  Some have the courage to speak the words out loud even as Job did in confronting the misery of his life, but most will keep these as the secret words of the heart.  Both the outer and the inner words are poison to a person.  Because of sin we are all guilty of having these moments in life of asking, “Why God?”

How do we grow in our faith to fight against these self-destructive thoughts and words that bring worry and anxiety to life?  Greater than the worry we burden ourselves with these words are sins before our Father when we do. 

God’s answer to Job and our need for these times is an encounter with God, to see His power revealed before us and the question from God, “Will you put me in the wrong?”  When we do think this way, we begin to fall into the snare of the devil and think as Job did that God is not good, that God is not able, that God does not care.  No time in Job’s grief did he waiver in His faith that God can deliver him from the circumstances. 

So, amid your troubles when all hope seems gone as it did to Job, pray to hear God’s voice commanding you to get up out of your misery, to come before the throne of grace boldly, then fall on your knees before God, and ask God to forgive your doubts of His love and care for you.  Ask God for greater faith to trust in Him and to rest in your salvation in Christ that one day we will be restored before God as Job was.   In the light of His glory and grace the world will fade away.

Lunch Bite January 26, 2021

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Hebrews 9:24, ESV)

Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord God.” (Jeremiah 2:22, ESV)

How often do stop to consider what Jesus and God the Father have done for you.  I say “you” loosely because scripture is only addressing the passage from Hebrews to a certain class of humanity.  The saved, the redeemed, those that are born again by faith in Christ alone.  If you are one of those then consider what Jesus has done.  The perfect, holy, precious God the Son, pure and lovely beyond words comes into the presence of the Father dirty and defiled beyond recognition because of your sins.  It is said that Jesus was likely to have been beaten so badly by the Romans that he could not be recognized. 

However, the Father recognized Him though even in all the sins that he bore. I think about this that it may have been like an experience many parents have faced.  When a child comes in from playing outdoors all day and they are covered in mud and filth barely recognizable as a child.  Unlike this scenario the mother or father would tenderly cleanse the child but our heavenly Father instead pours out His wrath for all these sins that have defiled the Son on the Son.  The Son willing gives His life and makes the sacrifice needed for you, remember “you” as in those who are saved, to be able to come before the Father one day and the He will not see your filth and your sin.  He will see the Son and His sacrifice to deliver us from our sin. 

If “you” are not one that has come to grips with God’s love for you as a sinner and you think you can be Ok before God on your own, then the warning from Jeremiah 2:22 must be heeded before it is too late.  “You” must let Jesus appear before the Father on your behalf, you are what defiles the Son, it was for your sin that Jesus died. 

If “you” are one of the redeemed how will you worship Christ Jesus for what he has done to make you clean before the Father. 

Lunch Bite January 25, 2021

Today a question is every word that proceeds from the mouth of God enough.  Uncut, unmodified, no additives, and no preservatives. If God opened His hand to you today and this is what He brings would it be enough. 
Psalm 25 for life, for today.

Psalm 25:title–22  Of David.

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

2 O my God, in you I trust;

let me not be put to shame;

let not my enemies exult over me.

3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;

they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;

teach me your paths.

5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all the day long.

6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,

for they have been from of old.

7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

according to your steadfast love remember me,

for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

8 Good and upright is the Lord;

therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

9 He leads the humble in what is right,

and teaches the humble his way.

10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,

for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord,

pardon my guilt, for it is great.

12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?

Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.

13 His soul shall abide in well-being,

and his offspring shall inherit the land.

14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,

and he makes known to them his covenant.

15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,

for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,

for I am lonely and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;

bring me out of my distresses.

18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,

and forgive all my sins.

19 Consider how many are my foes,

and with what violent hatred they hate me.

20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!

Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,

for I wait for you.

22 Redeem ____your name here_____, O God,

out of all his troubles.

Lunch Bite January 22, 2021

4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

Choose wisely the friends in your life.  Scripture is clear about true friendship that is first found in a relationship with Jesus who sacrificed Himself to save sinners.  True friends will speak the truth in love, remember the kisses of the enemy are profuse.  The truth we need is often a boot on our backside and those who care the most for us will have the courage to correct us.  Many friends will be confusing and draining.  Life is not Facebook and you are not defined by how many likes (kisses of the enemy) you get in the world.  Which James speaks to in this passage.

In the wisdom and truth given to James by Holy Spirit we learn a startling truth that if we continue to pursue worldly friendship based on the passions and lust of the heart, we are enemies with God.  Many would object that they are not at war with God as they seek to live their life.  However, the world is the domain of Satan, God has allowed limited freedom to him (see Ephesians 6).  If we choose friends of the world rather than friendship with God and His children, then we enter the enemy’s camp.  If we are in the camp with Satan, then God sees us as His enemies. 

Find a group, a church, a part of the body that loves each other in the truth, not judgmental condemnation but biblical love and truth as sinners seeking to help other sinners.  Solomon in all His wisdom knew this truth. 

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12)

Life is better together!  Peace and grace in Christ.

Lunch Bite January 21, 2021

13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” (John 15:13–17)

Jesus gives us the example of God’s view of a friend.  Certainly, we will never be able to do for another friend what Jesus has done for us.  Jesus states the definition of God’s love in verse 13.  No greater love exists than the love of self-sacrifice telling us that we are His friends meaning that He will give His life for us.  In this relationship as a friend to Jesus we are given access to the Father as a child of God and the wonders and will of God are made known to those God has chosen.  This friendship in Christ becomes even more special and intimate in the fact that God has chosen us as His friends and family. 

Knowing Jesus’ view of friendship, he expects that we take Him as our friend and share Him with others that they may know what it is like to have one true Friend.  No other relationship on earth can be more meaningful, satisfying, or joyful than to know the Friend who gave His life for you.  Do you know someone who needs to be introduced to your Friend Christ Jesus our Lord?  Or, do you need to know Jesus as that Friend who gave His life for your sins.

Why not sing about your friend Jesus.

Lunch Bite January 20,2021

For the big eaters who follow these posts. Today we feature the Jethro Bodine lunch box available in a 45 quart version. For those that are too young or who failed American History I will leave it to you to look up the Clampetts. Seriously we should have a Jethro appetite for the word of God.

24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, 25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” (Proverbs 22:24–25)

How many times do people willingly fall among the wrong crowd, are influenced by the wrong ideas, or simply like a good argument?  No one would really seek out a bar room brawler to have for a friend unless of course they like the thrill and excitement that  comes with a good fight.  This is not the way of our Master.  There were several times Jesus expressed a righteous anger in scripture, when He overturned the money changers tables, when he was confronted by the unbelief of the religious leaders, or the lack of faith in His closest disciples.  If we are honest, we liked it when Jesus went after the bad guys with a whip in the temple, but  we can trust Jesus because He is the one true living God and will not lead us astray because His anger is righteous and corrective.

While we may not seek out hot-tempered  people directly for friends how many of us are influenced by them because we choose to let them speak into our life.  The voices of anger and wrath are so much more available today because of our connectedness in social media.  At the time this Proverb was written the social media sight was at the gate of the city where people would gather.  People then were given to their passions as well from angry and wrathful words, but they were from people they knew.  Unlike then today the angry and wrathful words come from sources we cannot validate or verify, from thousands of miles away, and yes, I believe Satan has a Facebook account along with His demons and they are busy, busy, busy.  These words of anger if allowed will influence and affect even the best of us.  We will become entangled and spread the lies and become entrapped in Satan’s snare of anger.  Where there is anger there is no room for love and no room for Christ. 

Lunch Bite January 19, 2021

5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:5–6)

We are often confused about true friends.  We think friends must be the ones always there to be our cheering section, to lead the procession proclaiming our greatness, or who smothers us with vain approval.  You know the words they use; you have heard them I am sure.  Everyone loves those Facebook likes right.  Now before any of us begins to offer rebuke and correction to a “friend” we must first learn what it means to be a true friend and to seek out those few relationships where we can trust the other person, and accept truth spoken to us in love.  Because if we don’t approach this as one willing to be corrected before offering correction then we will likely get unfriended and nobody wants that.  Facebook a few years ago added a feature to prevent people from being hurt by someone unfriending them, instead we can mute them.  Basically, ignore them without them ever knowing.  It is interesting how the features of social media mimic real life. 

To be a friend seek out those that genuinely care and have the courage to not lead a procession of false praise for you but to take you aside and with compassion and tenderness speak the words that God leads them to say.  Not sure where to find such a friend.  There is One who stands waiting for you to respond to Him.  Jesus wants to be your friend and Holy Spirit waits to speak into your life. 

Stop letting all these false friends slobber all over your face and turn to the one true friend God.  Be a friend first. 

God’s grace and peace to you in Christ.

Lunch Bite January 18, 2021

24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

Biblical friendship is defined much different in scripture and goes against much of everyday living.  In Social media the goal seems to be to have the most friends.  In work a goal is to build a network of contacts.  And it is often said that it is not what you know but who you know.  In each of these scenarios it is about being noticed, being known, and to create envy or sympathy from others toward self. 

Social media in this culture is toxic and expensive emotionally and spiritually.  The principle from Proverbs is that we should not be willing to spend ourselves in many friendships that are not true friendships but only acquaintances. Instead investing in few and true friendships is worth it because they will be there for you and you will be there for them. 

Facebook’s friends are not really friends put it to the test one day seek to get help, true help.  Back to the about who you know, this matters in only one relationship.  That is the relationship we can have with God through Christ Jesus.  Jesus called his disciples friends.  Friendship should be modeled on Jesus.

Lunch Bite for January 15, 2021

Psalm 45:7

7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

In reading this and many other passages in Psalms and the Old Testament we understand how much God hates wickedness and the wicked.  We can all look out in the world today and see the wickedness and God hates wickedness so we cheer this verse because in the end they will get what they deserve.  Can I get an amen?  Recently there was a man on TV calling down fire and God’s curses on the wicked people who opposed Trump.  I could hear it from the pews Amen, boy that is some preaching finally we get back to ole timey preachin, “Hell fire and brimstone.”  We all are prone to having a James and John response to the wicked.

Luke 9:53–54

53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

I was challenged by this verse today and hope you will be.  Given the culture how much does God hate wickedness.  It was then Holy Spirit moved in my heart to understand how much God hates wickedness.  God hates wickedness so much because it offends His righteousness and perfect holiness that God will kill the offender, God will take a life, God must be just.  Suddenly, the Amens in my heart were quieter and realization of how hate and love can be brought together in God the Son, Christ Jesus.  God killed His Son because of my wickedness.  Yes, God hates wickedness so much that God’s justice and condemnation were poured out in wrath upon the Christ, upon my Lord.  Yes, God hates the wickedness of the world today so much that he has made a way for the wicked to be forgiven in the blood of Jesus.  So, before we pick our pitch forks and torches to storm the castle maybe we need to realize their wickedness is our wickedness, “For all have sinned.”  Jesus rebuked the James and John’s response because His face was set on Jerusalem, the cross, and the salvation of all who would believe how much God hates wickedness that He is willing to love the wicked who turn and repent.  In my place condemned He stood. How terrible the fate of those that will refuse the grace of God in Christ and they will receive the hate of God upon themselves for the wickedness of their life.  God hated my wickedness so much He killed Christ Jesus, the Son of God.