Lunch Bites

Lunch Bite February 15, 2021

Lunch Bite February 15, 2021

“…. God is love, …” (1 John 4:16, ESV)

I usually don’t like the practice of pulling a phrase from a passage or sentence.  But this one stands on its own.  I have never been a great student of English, I speak it, somewhat I reckon.  But being a student of the Word has forced me to slow down from time to time and focus on words that I have taken for granted.  “Is” is one of those words.  “Is” is the present tense third person form of “be.”  The word describes the nature and being of something or someone.  In this case the “is” defines the essence of God’s being.  This may be important because it is not an action of God to love but love is God is love.  So, we need to rethink love.  Love is not simply an action.  Love must become part of our being who we are.

For the rest of the passage now, 

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16, ESV)

Our being must be about the abiding presence of God in our life.  The Trinitarian God of scripture.  God abides with us as Father, God abides with us as Savior and King Christ Jesus who died for us, God abides with us as Holy Spirit who counsels us, reveals God to us, and is the most intimate presence of God in our daily life.  From Shakespeare’s play Hamlet we are all familiar with the quote, ‘To be or not to be, that is the question.”  That is the question for believers are we to continue trying to love or will we simply be love in others lives just as God’s being in our life is love. 

Lunch Bite February 12, 2021

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4, ESV)

A God of comfort.  Truly we all need comfort, and I would say we need it every day in the bad days and the good days.  However, I know many think that the comfort of God is only needed when we are in a tight spot in our life.  The times when we grieve, the times when all hope is gone, and times when we cannot seem to get control of our life it is most obvious, we need God.   Should we not also enjoy God’s comfort in times of peace, contentment, and joy as well?  God is the one who has brought us to an oasis in our life.  Yes, we enjoy those times but are we resting in God’s comfort in those periods of our life.  The case is often when our soul is at rest in the world it is not resting in God.  We should be comforted not only in our affliction also when life is going well.  Because this is what God brings to us and He does so by His presence in our life. 

As God has comforted us, he expects us to share what we have received with others.  We know what we have been through and we know what they are going through, and we should bring the God of all comfort to them in the good and in the bad.  Which means we must look to serving not just the afflicted but those at ease in life because it is likely they are the ones in most need and furthest from God. 

Lunch Bite February 11, 2021

But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” (2 Peter 3:13–14, ESV)

With the eyes of our hearts opened to see the things of God we become very aware of what is wrong in the world and what is wrong in our life.  We cannot change the world directly, but we can change our life and, in the process, maybe our small corner of the world can be better. 

God has promised that He is going to change the world and only He has the power to do so.  Until that time, he directs us to live in this promise with patience an endurance to the end.  Because God is patient as well not wanting any to perish and so there are still more who will be saved.  There is a purpose to God’s plan just as God had a purpose to save you in the grace of Christ. 

As we wait trusting in the promise of a better day God directs us how: Be diligent, committed, seeking to grow every day.  Be clean, deal with sin growing every day to be more and more like Christ, striving to present yourself before the Lord one day having loved Jesus and having kept His commandments.  Be at peace, do not be overcome by the turmoil of the world, the promises of God are our rock and our anchor.  Let the peace of Christ dwell in you richly.  Our peace should begin at the cross.  If Jesus is willing to die for you will he let you perish in this current evil and twisted time.  When we lose our peace, we are vulnerable to the enemy. Stand fast,  “and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15, ESV)

Lunch Bite February 10, 2021

and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,” (2 Peter 2:7–10, ESV)

Lunch Bite started a few weeks ago as part of a discussion with a friend and the need we have to be stirred up to be in God’s word and for it to be brief but something we can dwell upon.  Mostly scripture and little commentary.  With that and trying to stay focused on that purpose I wanted to share this passage today. 

For Christians we look at the world and we see the way people reject, mock, and even curse God and his salvation.  Our souls can be greatly troubled by the wickedness we see just as Lot was troubled.  Our souls can even be entrapped by the wickedness.  If you are feeling tormented in life by the wickedness of the world you live in with all of its temptations focus on the fact that just as God delivered Lot He will deliver you. 

One caution don’t look back after being delivered.  Remember Lot’s wife she stands as an example of one who was lured by the wickedness and in her heart and she would miss this life.  She missed God’s rescue.

Lunch Bite February 9, 2021

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6, AV)

I have been searching for a scripture in my daily reading to offer you that speaks about how good and wonderful I am.  I really need that I need to know that I am a good person and I need to her God tell me that.  Am I the only one that has felt this, am I the only one who struggles to find the passage that speaks about our own personal goodness?  I look around and I see a lot of really good people doing some really good things and the Bible has to speak about the goodness of mankind.  We have to have some righteousness in us or else why would Jesus come, why would Jesus call us friend, why would He sacrifice His life.  I thought I had found something when I read that Abraham was a friend of God then I read that he lied and gave over His own wife to other men to save his skin.  Then there was David who is said to have a heart after God’s own then he has an affair with a woman and arranges to have her husband killed when she became pregnant.  Of course, Moses surely had to be good in God’s eyes, but he was forbidden from entering the promised land after serving God for 40 years all because he yelled at a rock. 

I am being somewhat negative in a sense but that is really where we all must start with God.  Yes, we find favor with God, but it is nothing of our own doing it is all of God.  The trouble today seems that with all the memes, selfies, blogs, social this and insta, people are spending a lot of time trying to convince the world and God that they are good people.  So many will never learn the truth of who they are in Christ.  Saving faith in God comes when we cry out God have mercy on me, a sinner.  We come to God with nothing and we receive everything of God’s Amazing Grace.   Sounds like a great trade I bring my nothing and receive everything.  I think I can live with that. Don’t need 10,000 friends on face something to tell me what I have or need.  I have it all in Christ Jesus. 

Lunch Bite February 8, 2021

It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:5, ESV)

Who do you choose to listen to?  It is certainly more pleasing to hear the song of fools.  They tell us what we want to hear, they tell us we are justified to remain in our sin, the song of fools distracts us from the decisions we need to make.  I think the song of fools must be a lot like the song of the Pied Piper who played his flute and to lull and entice not only the rats to follow but also the children. 

This may be why so many are fearful, even among professing believers, to open the scripture and read God’s word because they will be confronted with the truth about their true condition before the Holy God and their fate.  Seems they would rather stick their head in the sand hoping to hide from the truth.  Funny thing, the truth remains, God said His word remains forever, the truth will not change and will not go away.  The best action is to deal with the truth, accept Godly rebuke and the servants that speak the truth.  As the truth does not change, we can change and we can deal with our sinful ways to be ready to stand before the Lord.

Lunch Bite February 5, 2021

Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.(Ecclesiastes 4:4–6, ESV)

God teaches us ways that often go against our thinking.  But we strive and we try, and we cry when we fail.  We look at our life and ask why.  We are driven by our desires and our desires are tied up in the flesh.  The parts of our life that touches the rest of a broken world and we end up desiring what is broken.  We dive into the noise, the clanking, and banging and think oh yeah, I got this.  When really all we have accomplished according to scripture is nothing, we expend our energy, we are drained, and we think what is wrong.  All I wanted was what I see that others have.  We neglect what is truly best.  To have God in the stillness and quiet.  Even if we end up with two hands full of this world, we have nothing.  However, one handful of God is everything.

What are you striving for?  Even believers get caught in this trap thinking they are striving for God but they are not truly seeking God personally but what God can do for them.  They will still end up with nothing but toil and strife.  Spend your energy by desiring God and to sit in His quietness. 

Lunch Bite February 4, 2021

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8, ESV)

Christians should be the most well rested people in the world.  According to this passage when we lay down at night, we should be able to rest and to have peace trusting in God and knowing we are in His tender care.

However, what should be and what is are as far apart as the east is from the west.  Ponder that east from the west phrase used in scripture. Start travelling west and pause every 5000 miles and check how much further you must travel to reach the east?  Instead of us being the most rested, we are usually the most troubled.  Because on one hand we know what God says but on the other we see the reality of sin and evil in the world.

Why are our souls troubled?  Believers are caught up in the world to the point that we have lost the peace, rest, and security of our faith.  It has to do with the voices in our life.  When the voices of life are louder than the voice of God then we yield to the wrong voices.  Having trouble with insomnia, anxiety, or restlessness.  Silence all the noise of the world and give your ears to hearing God’s voice from scripture, the Bible. 

Lunch Bite February 3, 2021

1 Peter 1:13

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

There is a phrase that is used when people are caught up in life controlling issues, the phrase is “Stinkin – Thinkin.”  While this phrase is often overused, abused, and misconstrued it does reflect a primary truth about who we are as broken sinners.  Sinners whose minds are not functioning right, affected by the world we live in.  As believers we are sinners who in Christ Jesus have been given a new hope, a new life, and new eyes to see and understand our life and our world a new way of thinkin. 

In this passage of scripture, we are told to first to get our thinkin right,  being sober-minded and clear headed.  Well, the only way to achieve that is if we have focused our minds on the truth of God.  God’s word is truth that we need for life, we can trust the words spoken, and because we have been given eyes of faith we can believe in what we do not see.  If we fill our minds and focus our thinkin on these principles contained in scripture there will be little room left for any, doubts, worries, fears, anxieties, or confusion. 

Second this passage tells us that as we to prepare our minds for right thinkin, we need an anchor, a goal, a motivation.  A disciple’s life is completely consumed with the following the Master and desiring the greater promises of journey’s end.  Our faith does not hold fast going from one moment to the next and living in the crisis of the day.  Focusing on moments we are always looking for next anchor point for our hope.   Our faith is a much stronger anchor that reaches into eternity.  So, when we look about us and see the storms of the moment, we see our lifeline reaching past these moments to the promises of forever.  We see the lifeline disappear into the future, and we know God will hold us fast, God has the other end of the lifeline and He will make certain you finish your journey.  With the right thinkin we are now prepared to face all of life moment by moment.  Living in faith and trusting God.  When the stinkin thinkin comes knockin at your door hang out a sign that says no room in the inn, filled by thoughts of God. 

Lunch Bite February 2, 2021

Ecclesiastes 2:3–11

3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. 4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.

9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

The pursuit of happiness?  The authors of the Declaration of Independence were right in a sense to include the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence because every person has the right to seek out what makes them happy.  Solomon learned in his life and shared with us that most pursuits will never yield the fruits of happiness.  He had tried them all and he declared his pursuits to be futile and a waste of time.

Those who worked to establish this country set forth these words.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

They have become the liberties that we value.  While we are pursuing happiness, we must hear God’s words through a man given great wisdom that to find joy we must pursue it through our relationship and knowledge of God.  God has given you the right to pursue your happiness and He and has given Himself as the means of life, liberty, and happiness. 

Do not be like Solomon and get to the end of your life to declare all your pursuits a waste of time because you pursued the wrong things.  Before it is too late stop and examine your pursuits are they God, of God, and include God.