Saturday, July 2, 2011

Taste and See: Eating a Balanced Diet

Today's post is inspired by Woodrow Kroll's Taking Back the Good Book. I'm choosing as a 'key verse' 1 Peter 2:2-3:
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation--if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 
In chapter thirteen, he discusses how important it is for believers to eat a balanced spiritual diet.

If a balanced diet is one of the keys to being healthy physically, why wouldn't it be one of the keys to being healthy spiritually? Eating a balanced diet means getting proper amounts of the five basic Bible food groups:
  • History--books such as Genesis, Joshua, 1 Samuel, and Acts
  • Prophecy -- books such as Daniel, Revelation, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah
  • Poetry -- books such as Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon
  • Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  • Epistles -- books such as Romans, Ephesians, 1 Peter, and Jude
You don't need to eat from these five groups every day, but if you want to establish good growth habits, you do need to eat repeatedly from all five. So what's for dinner today? Eat from the Law and the Prophets. Have a side salad from the Psalms. Devour the doctrine of the epistles, and enjoy the veggies of the Gospels. That's how to grow to spiritual maturity. (111-12)
He goes on to say:
Unfortunately, a growing number of twenty-first century Christians don't grow to maturity because they have developed a taste for spiritual junk food. Spiritual junk food isn't always bad; it's just not as good as a balanced, vitamin-enriched diet. Statistics prove that millions of evangelical Christians eat a steady diet of spiritual junk food. They crave the tasty, well-advertised, highly decorative side dishes and desserts but don't eat their vitamin-enriched lean meat and vegetables. A growing number of Christians want Gummi Bears; what they need is green beans.

Gummi Bears are tasty, they're cute, they're squishy, they're brightly colored, they've got everything going for them--except nutritional value. On the other hand, green beans may not be as tasty, as cute, nor as flashy or brightly colored. The main thing green beans have going for them is that they're what you need. They'll build you up and make you strong and healthy. The diet of the twenty-first century church consists of too many Gummi Bears and not enough of God's green beans. It's okay to eat an occasional Gummi Bear; just don't make it your meal every day.

When you buy Christian books, don't look for Gummi Bears. When you listen to Christian radio or watch Christian television, don't hone in on Gummi Bears. Don't let style rob you of substance. Adopt God's diet so you will grow "to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that [you] may no longer be children" (Eph. 4:13-14). Gummi Bears make great snacks, but green beans make a life. (112-13)
Christians who don't read the Bible may just have an eating disorder. The Bible is there for our nourishment, for our growth, for our encouragement. It is ours for the taking. It is OURS. God's very word revealed to us, for us. Through these life-giving words, we are NOURISHED, we are TRANSFORMED, we are RENEWED. Through these words we come to know and love our God, our Savior, our Father. Through these words we discover grace and love--in such a personal, intimate way that it almost leaves us speechless.

Earlier in the chapter, Kroll states: "Today, too many Christians are at the same place spiritually they were the day they were saved. They're stuck in spiritual infancy. They've never grown. They're still spiritual babies." (111)

Does that describe you? There is good news. It's never too late to start seeking God in his Word. You can start today. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new season, a new month, a new week. You don't need to devise the perfect plan. For the truth is, there is no perfect plan. You just have to do it. You just have to be consistent. You just have to bring yourself to the Word day after day after day after day. Come seeking God, come looking for answers, come searching and praying. Come with anticipation and enthusiasm. Don't be content with surviving on the bread crumbs of others. Those spiritual truths shared with you by others. Come and FEAST for yourself.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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