So I’m coming off of what we gathered for ourselves yesterday, and well, let me see if I could try pulling it off with a more positive disposition:
When you talk about love, you talk about God. And when you talk about God, you talk about love.
When you talk about God’s love, you talk about Jesus Christ. And when you talk about Jesus Christ, you talk about God’s love.
When you talk about Jesus Christ, you talk about your salvation. And when you talk about your salvation, you will always mention Jesus Christ.
Something new we added: When you talk about salvation that comes only through Christ, you are automatically strengthened and/or brought to joy. Consequently, in times of high levels of power and/or joy, don’t be surprised if you would be reminded of Jesus Christ and the salvation we have in and through Him.
No, I don’t think we’re stretching it – in fact, I believe we’re digging deeper into it as a mine, and finding more and more gems the deeper we go.
Now in light of this, consider the first verses we pull up in Proverbs 23.
When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.
I remember that one ‘fellowship’ I attended some time last February, the one that turned out to be more of a session to groom us to look like we’re trying hard to look rich (cue Supa Hot Fire rap response here). They did say something about how when we, say, take ‘clients’, or just friends or family out for a meal, we offer them hot food and drink to seem cozy and accommodating, instead of giving them cold stuff, because that would apparently make us seem distant and separate. Those were their words, but I do remember pointing out that if we were to really follow that pattern, you offer cold food and drink during hot weather to seem refreshing.
Anyway, sure, those subtleties were not lost on me – the only difference between what they presented and what I gathered is that while they wanted to just point out that it’s critical for us to move however we could to establish and maintain them having a positive outlook towards us, I was just more reminded of the so-called Golden Rule – unto unto others, unto unto you.
Ahem. Sorry. Inside joke that goes way back to college days.
No, I’d offer a good bowl of soup to whoever I’m eating with on a cold day in Kathmandu because I’d like the same thing. Consequently, I’m not offering water from a coconut just cracked open and poured into a frosty glass, to whoever I’m with at noon on a beach thinking about sealing a business deal – I want one, myself! I offer what I want to others, because that’s what I want for myself as well!
But that’s on one side of the transaction (if you insist on still calling it a transaction, that is). But if you find yourself on the receiving end, well, that’s where that verse comes in. Observe carefully what is before you, and be wary if you are given to appetite. That last line got to me, because the way I see it, being ‘given to appetite’ implies that something as basic as food affects your judgment.
In line with what we discussed yesterday, we’d say that if you were given to appetite, you find strength and joy in the food set before you – Or, whatever is served to you impacts your strength, and your joy.
Now hold your horses. I’m not about to bash customs and traditions that are simplified to just serving good food as necessary. Taking it the other way, I’m not hating on folks who find strength and joy in food, much so that they do ‘stress-eating’ when they need one or both of those things. No, what I do want to point out here is that we’re seeing yet another subtle perspective to the salvation each and every one of us have in Christ.
In Him, and in Him primarily do we find our strength and our joy. And just as His salvation is complete and absolute, encompassing all of our being, so the strength we have in Him, and the joy that He is to us – well, they are equally complete and absolute, much so that we do not spurn anything else in fear; No, we are able to give everything and everyone the benefit of the doubt, because we operate in perfect love.
In other words, we are no longer so easily given to appetite. Christ is our Bread of Life who has not only satisfied us, but reminded us of the strength and power we have in Him. Through Christ we have also been filled with the Holy Spirit, who constantly reminds us of the everlasting joy associated with our full reconciliation with the Creator of the Universe – far more celebratory than the finest wines!
And like I said, it’s not like we reject everything else – no, the infinite superiority of Christ alive in us, as we are alive in Him, THAT’S what I believe is what prompted Paul to tell the Romans, and to tell us: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (From Romans 12)
Funny how I opened all of this thinking about the connection of being given to appetite and how our salvation fits into it. Now, it seems I’ve stumbled upon something deeper – another parallel, perhaps?
I wrote earlier: When you talk about salvation that comes only through Christ, you are automatically strengthened and/or brought to joy. Consequently, in times of high levels of power and/or joy, don’t be surprised if you would be reminded of Jesus Christ and the salvation we have in and through Him.
Are we to consider that it is in our meditation of our absolute salvation in Christ (which brings us true strength and joy), that our minds are renewed, and the rest of our beings are transformed? Is it in our appreciation of Christ as our salvation, that we are brought from glory to glory – into a pattern far superior to what the world would have us conforming to?
However I’m brought to think about it right now, one thing I know for sure – Our not conforming to the patterns of this world, and the renewing of our minds is not up to us primarily. We can try off of our own strength, and off of our own experience, to come up with our own strategies and programs and systems and trainings, so we are not conformed, and our minds are renewed, according to our limited, finite perspectives.
I am NOT saying strategies, programs, systems, and trainings are wrong. I AM saying that it all starts from the strength and joy we associate to our salvation. I AM saying any and all movement – strategies, programs, systems, and trainings – They ALL start from Christ.
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
I’m finding it amusing. We started with talking about hot food, and here we are, with another perspective to the Truth of our salvation in Christ. Sure, we didn’t necessarily pull a parallel off here, but boy, it just feels good to have something in my own mind, something I’ve wanted to communicate for so long, just a little bit closer to being totally clarified and defined.
I’ll end it here for now. I hope you got something here. I certainly did.
Until the next post, God bless you.
Leave a Reply