Shopping With God’s Grocery List

First of all, be looking for our mid-September email on Friday, the 15th. I will address the hubbub in Christendom as to whether the eclipse last month (and the one in 2024) and the planetary alignment on 9/23 have anything to do with us Christians, and I will make a bold prediction about the non-date of the Rapture/Gathering Together.

Last month we had our quarterly TLTF Elders meeting. Given that our three Trustees and ten Elders live in seven different states, we have had only one face-to-face gathering so far. Nonetheless, we have established quite a heartfelt rapport among ourselves, and our recent meeting was very bonding as we discussed both the work of the ministry and our personal lives.

So that you can pray for us, our Trustees are Franco Bottley (Christina) (NY), Jon Touchstone (Christine) (FL), and I (Elizabeth) (IN). Mike Lewis (Dana) (TX) is our alternate Trustee. Our newest Elder is Gary Lee Corns (WV), who joins Don Chamberlain (NY), Marc Dickie (FL), Janis Erickson (MN), Virgil and Carolyn Ramey (MI), and Greg and Linda Rogers (IN) in our leadership nucleus.      

Our meeting started off with Jon Touchstone sharing some great things from the Word that inspired me and keyed some thoughts I’ll share in this month’s FOD. Among other things, he talked about how each of us is to be nourished by the Word day by day. That brought to mind the “culinary” metaphors found in God’s wonderful Word, and it also brought to mind FOOD!Thank God for FOOD! What a concept! And how metaphorically pertinent it is to our spiritual lives.

Now of course I’m referring to actual food, not some man-made, shrink-wrapped, never-to-decompose-in-a-compost-pile object whose ingredients are described in a large paragraph of polysyllabic words that really should also have a HAZMAT symbol. We’re talking “health food” versus “junk food,” and those very terms themselves clearly indicate the resulting benefits or consequences to our “fearfully and wonderfully made” bodies.

We are often told to, “Watch what you eat.” Duh, I always do that. Who closes his eyes and just stabs around on his plate until he gets something on his fork and then blindly puts it in his mouth? But perhaps we too seldom think about the total commitment we are making when we ingest food or drink. Do you realize you become one with a Twinkie?

Now seriously, think how much you love to EAT! But wait, suppose I add the word “furniture” to that sentence? Then you wouldn’t be so quick to chow down, would you? So we love to eat good food. And we all love those four magic words on a restaurant sign: ALL YOU CAN EAT. I more fully develop these concepts and also go into what the Word says about “Holy Communion” in a popular teaching titled Eat, Drink, and Remember.

So what’s on God’s Grocery List? At least milk, water, bread, meat, fruit, salt, wine, and apples. Don’t swallow everything you read, but here are some God-breathed verses for you to chew on so that you won’t find yourself in a pickle, sandwiched by life, or feeling like chopped liver. OK, I’ll stop.

1 Peter 2:2-3
2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

A newborn babe is TOTALLY FOCUSED, and interminably insistent upon, one thing: mother’s milk! I WA-A-A-N-T it now! And throughout our lives we need healthy water, my favorite drink.

John 4:13-14
13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

OK, we now need gluten-free bread, but…

Matthew 4:4
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word [rhema] that comes from the mouth of God.”

And, right after Jesus fed five thousand people FREE FOOD, ALL YOU CAN EAT, we read the following:

John 6:32-35
32Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.33For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Only the Lord Jesus Christ can give a person true and everlasting life. While we are on this earth and partake of his goodness, he will sustain us so that we can pour out our hearts in service to him.

John 4:34
Jesus said unto them, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

As we become spiritually healthy within, people see that manifest in our lives, and the fruit they observe will cause hunger in those who want the Truth.

Galatians 5:22-23a
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23meekness, temperance.

As we dine daily with our Lord, we take on a radiance that attracts those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Beside that, we can spice up their lives with God’s truth and love.

Matthew 5:13a
“You are the salt of the earth.”

Mark 9:50
Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

And just as we eat our favorite foods with great gusto (no, that’s not a famous circus magician), so we should relish our time at the table with our Lord each day.

Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Someone else at the Elders meeting brought up the concept of perishable skills, as in “use or lose,” and said that if we are not growing in them, we are atrophying. Of course that is true both physically and spiritually. Our purpose in growing in the Lord Jesus is so that we can become “broken bread” for others, like he was, always serving the interests of others before himself. As he thrice exhorted Peter in John 21, “Feed my sheep.” And it is the Word that we feed them, as delectably as we can without watering down the Gospel. As Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is likeapples of gold in settings of silver.

When our cup is overflowing, you and I can share the abundance with those in our lives, as did Jesus, and the apostle Paul.

Philippians 2:17
But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.

So, if you feel anything less than totally pumped about your Christian life and your individual ministry in the Body of Christ and your privilege to share biblical truth with others, why not do some “shopping” in God’s storehouse of nourishing goodies? Taking ample time to put your eyes on, and ponder, the Written Word will bring you face-to-face and heart-to-heart with the Living Word, Jesus Christ, The Man who embodies living water, sweet milk, nourishing bread, “organic” meat, and delectable fruit that will energize you day by day.

Thanks for your prayers for all of us who are serving you at The Living Truth Fellowship. “Go, stand, speak to the people all these words of life.”

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