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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Harvest scene near Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
The harvest view we now see at the end of our road.
After they harvest the corn they bale the remaining stalks for fodder, which is used for animal bedding.

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"Tasting The Kindness Of The Lord"

"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him" (Psalm 34:8). Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord" (1 Peter 2:1-3).
Cookie jarLast night I passed through our kitchen and decided to get a few animal crackers out of the cookie jar for an evening snack. I grabbed several not paying a lot of attention and stuck one in my mouth. Phew, it sure didn't taste like an animal cracker but rather it turned out to be a small dog biscuit! I headed for the door, stepped out on our deck, and spit it out on the ground immediately. Then I thoroughly washed my mouth out.  It wasn't necessarily a terrible taste but it sure wasn't what I was expecting!

Now in my defense we have two cookie jars on our counter and normally Brooksyne keeps one filled with cookies for human consumption. The doggie biscuits did look like an animal cracker in color and size, although if I would have examined more carefully I would have seen they were not in animal shapes! But the taste was all I needed for my palate to discern the difference between a tasty sweet animal cracker and a plain dog biscuit, which was not tasty at all. (At least to me!)

Now as I am preparing this message Brooksyne is canning applesauce and she just brought me a bowl of freshly home-made cinnamon apple sauce made from apples in our neighborhood. I just tasted the sauce and it is good; delightful to my tastebuds!

The Bible uses different words to encourage us to live for God. Today's text exhorts us to "taste and see that the LORD is good." Now I was able to quickly discern that I had not grabbed an animal cookie last night. In a much more important test of discernment many people have wrong assumptions about the goodness of God on the basis of what they have "tasted".

Their taste may be based on a faulty teaching or unanswered prayer (as they saw it).  Perhaps they've observed the hypocritical lifestyles of immature believers or had little exposure to the Bible or Christianity. Many see only the embarrassing antics of those on TV, the radio, and even in some local churches who claim to represent Christ.

Some have refused to even taste, for they consider God to be a killjoy or One who disapproves of all activity that's deemed to be fun in life. 

And then there are those who have sampled but never actually filled their plate with all that the Lord has for those seek to follow Him with all their heart.
Matthew Henry comments on Psalm 34:8 in this way: David would have us to join with him in kind and good thoughts of God. "O taste and see that the Lord is good."

Peter enjoins us to discard those attitudes which lead to one's spiritual malnourishment (malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander). Instead we are to seek spiritual nourishment, "like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good" (I Peter 2:1-3).

Some people feed on controversy, dissension, or juicy gossip.  As believers, let us feed on the goodness of the Lord as we load up on His delightful provisions that He has invited us to taste and savor.  Let us taste of God's goodness each day so that we are encouraged in the worst of times to trust in Him.  Let us regularly feed on the kindness of the Lord and invite others to join us at the supper table of the Lamb!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, whet our appetite for spiritual food that brings sustenance, growth and experience as we partake of the Bread of Life.   May our hearts hunger for the wonderful promises, provisions, and principles revealed throughout Your Holy Scripture.  As we regularly taste of these nourishing nuggets we will become mature and be strengthened so that we can trust You in times of famine. Keep us tasting and keep us trusting.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"Kindness"  Video  Chris Tomlin

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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