Happy New Year and welcome to 2016! As I mentioned this past Sunday I really do believe 2016 is an important year in the life and health of Community Presbyterian Church. We've recovered from some difficult times and seem to be doing fine as a church, but we dare not settle for mediocrity and be content just because we've gotten past a rough spot in the road. We must remember the basics of the Gospel, repent from having left our first love, and return to what we know to be true and sufficient for us - the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The idea of "returning to" the Gospel can be a rather vague and abstract concept if we're just waiting on some spiritual-like feeling to warm our hearts. While "returning" to the Gospel is, and always will be, a matter of faith there is the very practical aspect of going to the Bible to meet with and hear from God. Along with prayer and the sacraments, this is the functional way we're going to "return" to our first love ... loving God and our neighbor.
I've learned a little about my own sinful heart and lack of desire for God's Word lately. I've had the opportunity to be around a lot of babies ... some of this my own choice, some of it not. I obviously delighted in spending time with my beautiful granddaughter, Ella, over the holidays. And like any healthy baby, she has a passion to eat and let's you know when it's that time! And that time comes around much more frequently than it does for me. And then there's the litter of six kittens in my basement ... compliments of Turbo, the cat belonging to Cobi and his college roommates yet who somehow found her way to Moody for Christmas break. These little critters eat incessantly! They literally can't get enough at this point in their lives.
These are the hard truths I've learned about myself.
- I really don't have a "hunger" for God's Word. Even though I know it's scrumptious and satisfying I don't crave it as I do other things that are much less tasty and satisfying.
- In fact, I often spoil my appetite for Scripture by eating a lot of junk food.
- I snack on the Bible more than I actually view it as a meal. A little taste here and there and my appetite seems to be curbed a bit, but this comes at the expense of spiritual nutrition and overall spiritual health.
- I'm much better at telling others what they should eat than actually having a proper diet myself.
- All this merely highlights my pride, arrogance, and self-sufficient heart as I attempt to handle life on a junk food diet of my own rather than feasting on the abundance of delicious and healthy food offered to me in the Bible.
If you need to join me in repentance ... please do. If you need to join me in asking God to increase your appetite for Scripture ... please do. If, like me, you need to adjust your daily routine and spiritual diet to get rid of so much junk food and increase the intake of God's Word ... please do.
"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation - if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." - 1 Peter 2:2-3