In my last post, I mentioned food in two senses. The first, alluding to the fact that my family and I are on a slightly moderated food plan (we are). The second, is that the Word of God, the Bible, provides us our spiritual food. And a good diet requires balance, the entire Bible, not just parts.
This time, we will talk about the importance of eating often. How often do you eat, spiritually speaking? The need is there to eat often, every day, at minimum. There isn’t one of us who would go a day without eating, at least in our modern American society. Why would we miss out on our spiritual nourishment from the Word?
I will never forget the analogy an older pastor gave me in regards to the Bible. He referenced his own sermons, and compared them to people eating out for lunch on Sundays after the service, which many in the church my family attended at that time did.
He observed that the lunch after church could very well have been the most expensive of the week. It might have taken the most time to prepare. It might have been the most elaborate. It might have been the most enjoyable (in terms of taste, atmosphere, etc.). But, he told me, it better not be the only meal that the people eat that week.
He’s correct, of course. To only eat once a week, at lunch on Sunday, would put a person in a bad place as far as their health.
He pointed out, then, that the same was true when it came to the Bible. This pastor said that he spent a lot of time preparing a sermon on just one scripture passage. He observed that, through that time, he could find insights others could not. He is a professionally-paid pastor. He has training that most people sitting in church pews do not possess. His sermon, he told me without a trace of arrogance, was likely the best Bible study most people would have that week.
But then, he reminded me, it better not be the only one. There had better be more Bible nourishment in the lives of people in the pews, than just what they got on Sunday morning. If that was all they were getting, then they were limping along through their lives, spiritually speaking. They were not getting as nourished as they ought.
So, I would emphasize, as I try to often, the importance of church attendance. Come, worship, listen to the sermon. Hopefully it feeds your soul with spiritual food.
But please, do not just feast once a week on what is said from the pulpit. Your soul, your walk with God, will depend on so much more than that.
It’s expensive, physically speaking, to eat out all of the time. Restaurants cost money. Eventually, most of us learn to shop on our own and make our own food, even if the taste doesn’t always measure up to eating out.
I think the same with Bible study. I have had people tell me that they have received no special training, and don’t know how to study the Word because they didn’t get a Christian education, or something to that effect. However, we all need to learn to eat on our own.
Ask other believers what they have read lately, and for study tips (think of this as “trading recipes”). Purchase a commentary or two, or some other volume that will aid your learning of scripture (these are the “cookbooks”). But, whatever you do, get down to business, and start eating at home more!
Until next time, in Christ,