Section Three: The Lifestyle Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Three: Trusting God’s Provision.
Our reading for today: Isaiah 55: 1-3a (MsgB)
Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything’s free! Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to Me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to My life-giving, life-nourishing words.
There’s a lot of buzz today about how more Americans are looking to bring a healthier diet to the table. Many are looking for meals that consist of more natural and nutritious foods versus the highly-processed stuff that fills the aisles of our grocery stores. So much of these convenient foods are brimming with high levels of salt, sugar, and other preservatives, and quite honestly, so much of it is slowly poisoning an entire generation!
In truth, the baby-boomer generation, of which I proudly belong, has birthed what has now become the most over-fed yet under-nourished group of people ever to live on planet Earth. And sadly, our unhealthy eating habits are only one small indication of how under-nourished, and yet overly-pampered, we truly are.
Look, for example, at our education levels, where our state and federal governments spend more money each year to educate our children. Yet increasingly, test scores seem to indicate a growing discrepancy between dollars spent versus actual increased learning. One report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that in 2012, the U.S. spent $11,700 per student at the elementary/secondary level, while at the postsecondary level, the cost was $26,600 per student! Despite these very high numbers (among the highest amongst all westernized nations), many experts in the field believe that this one generation of Americans, over the last thirty years, has done more to dumb-down our world than any other in the history of mankind!
Take Television and its highly-advanced big brother, the Internet, as just another example of how this ‘give-it-to-me-now’ generation has downgraded an entire civilization. Where else in the universe would you find brilliant minds, made in the image of our Creator and capable of discovering countless new benefits for mankind, totally mesmerized by TV shows such as Naked and Afraid or The Celebrity Apprentice, while a whole generation seems glued to video screens displaying little electronic blips we call Pac-Man, Mario Brothers, and the latest…Pokémon-Go?
Think for just a moment, about this whole deficiency in human-kind from God’s perspective. What if it were your child, for example, who was squandering their valuable life away, living on a steady diet of cotton candy and junk food, while spending each day playing video games instead of finding a productive occupation that utilizes both their talents and their capabilities? Wouldn’t you, as a good parent, do everything in your power to intervene in the life of that child, giving them every opportunity you could to help turn their lives back toward good, pursuing healthier things that would bless both them and those they love?
Of course, you would…and, as we see here in God’s Word, so would our Creator.
Now, you might be asking yourself, what does my little rant here have to do with our current subject of Trusting God’s Provision? Well, let me quickly summarize…
As followers of Christ, living in what sociologists and world historians alike call, the most pampered generation ever to live on this planet, it’s vital for us to keep our perspective on how much “cotton candy” or “junk food” we are buying and consuming in this life versus what’s truly nutritious, from God’s perspective, for our human existence. And I hope you all know that I’m not just talking about food here!
So listen, once again, to our Loving Creator, as He invites us to put away our credit cards, step away from our fleshly snack bar, and pull up a chair at His Table of Life…
Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to Me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to My life-giving, life-nourishing words.
My prayer: Father God, Your invitation sounds truly refreshing to my ears. Forgive me for my childish behavior that keeps me stuffing myself with unhealthy things, whether it be in the food I eat, the time I waste, or the money I spend on just doing life. I choose, this day, with the help of Your Spirit, to step away from my menu suggestions for life in order to join You, on Your dime, as we dine together at Your Table. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So where am I settling for “cotton candy” and “junk food” in my daily existence, and how might I best move away from those unhealthy choices, choosing instead to respond to God’s invitation, coming closer to Him, while embracing all Jesus has for me through His life-giving, life-nourishing words?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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