Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Perfect Loaf

So... I made bread a couple of days ago.  A friend and I attended a bread making class 26 years ago and I still make the same easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy recipe called "The Perfect Loaf" that we learned to make that day.  It is fool proof.  It's important that you know this because I'm not really a bread maker except when I make this perfect recipe.

I can measure out the stuff and stir it together in a bowl...

I can dump out the mess and knead it fairly well...

I can let it rise in my oven...

And I can bake it up golden brown.

But my bread...

even though it is a perfect loaf and is tremendously good for you because it's packed with nutrition and nuts and raisins...

is not what the Bible would call the 

                                          Bread of Life.

Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life and invites us all to partake and be satisfied.

I love this picture.

This squirrel is feasting on our left-over communion bread.  I bet she couldn't believe her good fortune to have found all this bread hanging out on this feeder!  It was a good day for squirrels.

Today, communion was served all over the world as it was World Communion Day.

People heard the words of Jesus and were invited to "Take and eat.  This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."  

We all need this kind of Bread, the Bread of Life.

We all need Jesus; He is easily found and is just what I/we need.

He is the "Perfect Loaf"offered to all of us.

Take and eat.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Devil Made Me Do It

This piece was written by a friend of mine in the Monday Morning Bible Study Class.  We were discussing the idea that God created sin as the topic had come up in another conversation.  My friend wrote this and I agree.  What do you think?

"God is holy and worthy.  Who creates sin and separation?  We must give God His We have heard the comedic line: “The Devil made me do it.”  Acknowledging the humor in that line we smile.  We have also heard: “God created all things.”  And we give Him credit for that.  However, is God given credit for things where credit is not due?  I recently heard: “God created sin.  Isaiah 45:7 says so.”If that is the case, if God is the author of sin, may one therefore change the comedic saying to “God made me do it.”  After all, if God created sin and I participated in it, am I, in sinning, only just participating in part of God’s creation.
I John 1:5  God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” God is faithful, He cannot deny Himself.  He remains true to His character. II Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.”  Habakkuk 1:13 speaks of God “Who art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on wrong.”
God, in His purity and holiness and righteousness, has such an aversion to sin. Sin blocks fellowship and even caused Him to turn away from Jesus, His beloved Son, on the cross. The depth of Jesus’ agonizing death – the ultimate in sacrifice and payment made to atone for our sin shows at once the depth of God’s love for us and the depth He’s willing to go to solve the problem of sin. And it was said “God created sin.” James 1:13-17: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and He Himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
And so, where is the source of sin? By whose hand is it created?  Where is just responsibility due?
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary describes sin – giving seven pages in discussion, over 6,200 words.  No support for God’s authorship of sin is given.  Regarding Isaiah 45:7, the reference given to validate the premise that God created sin, the following is written:  “In Isaiah 45:7 Yahweh (God) describes His actions by saying, ‘. . . I make peace, and create evil (ra). . . “; moral “evil” is not intended in this context, but rather the antithesis of salom (“peace; welfare; well-being”).  The whole verse affirms that as absolute Sovereign, the Lord creates a universe governed by a moral order.  Calamity and misfortune will surely ensue from the wickedness of ungodly men.” 
The footnote in the Scofield Reference Bible for Isaiah 45:7 reads: “God is not the author of sin (Hab. 1:13; 2 Tim 2:13; Ti. 1:2; Jas. 1:13; I Jn. 1:5).  One of the meanings of the Hebrew word ra carries the idea of adversity or calamity, and it is evidently so employed here.  God has made sorrow and wretchedness to be the sure fruits of sin.” 
Please consider.  Perhaps what we’ve lost sight of is the all-surpassing holiness of God.  Do we sanctify/set apart as sacred those things of God?  In reciting the Lord’s Prayer  saying “Hallowed be Thy Name” do we give Him the true reverance due?  Do we venerate Him and His sacredness?  How do you treat that cross that adorns your neck?  Have things “of God” become so commonplace in our society that His awesomeness is lost?  We flippantly use His Name that in days of old people didn’t dare utter out of reverence.  The Name . . . scribes of antiquity copying the Holy Scriptures would need to bathe and cleanse themselves each time before even writing His Name in Holy Scripture. In my casual talk and referring to the Bible, when did I last use the term “Holy Bible”?  Can one become so “familiar” and “comfortable” with something that it loses significance?  How far does it go?  Can “familiarity breed contempt?” In personal reflection I must ask myself, ”How am I handling the holy presence and glory of God? Am I guilty and content to put a familiar God in a box of my personal expectations and strap it to man-made programs and procedures and in carefulness to societal norms not become too religious?”  My perspective, my vision, my commitment, and indeed, my future residence for my “ultimate retirement” . . . perhaps all these need re-examination . . . 
I am sorry, Lord.  I don’t want You, in familiarity, to become common.  I repent and seek renewal.  As far as mortal flesh can withstand, let me be aware of your glory and presence and holiness in a new way that in reverential awe I may fall prostrate before you.  Your awe, your glory, your majesty – make these my panoramic view that consumes my vision. 
  1. W. Tozer writes:  “Do you quietly bow your head in reverence when you step into the average church?  I would be surprised if your answer is yes.”
But I, but we, can change. 
“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying ,’To Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’” Revelation 5:11-13
And, Lord, do you hear my voice?

Let us give God what is due – in our thoughts and theology, and in our lives.  And our response. . . . . . . . "

What do you think?