Sweeter Than Honey
I have been thinking about starting some kind of exercise since Joe spoke on reaping what you sow. It caused me to really consider my eating patterns and lack of exercise. I have realized that if I eat a full meal at midnight, almost every day, I will reap 20 lbs in a year. Well, that's not a harvest that I want to keep on reaping. So, this morning I went for a walk. I could probably try to radically alter my eating patterns instead, but let's be real. Long term, I will probably just slide right back into the same old habits....exactly...that's why I'm walking.
The funny thing about long term weight maintenance is that it is fairly simple. It's not easy, but it's simple...for the most part. In school, I was always pretty good at math. If you eat more calories than you burn in a day/week/month, your body will store the extra as fat. If you use more calories, then your body will burn that extra fat. The hard part is that I love food. God has made a lot of food super delicious. And, I also think I eat when my brain gets bored.
Now that you are hungry, I want to talk to you today about three purposes for food. This list is not exhaustive but three things that I think God wants us to hear about the relationship between God and food.
The first reason may seem obvious but I want to state it none the less. God gives us food because of His great love and because He provides. James 1:17 says, Every good gift 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. (ESV) Also, Matthew 5:45 For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (ESV) God cares for us and provides the means to make food.
The second reason that God gives us food is so that we would eat it in such a way that we show the world that we love Jesus more than we love food. 1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (ESV) Paul is taking the most basic task and is essentially saying everything you do is a living parable to the world about the person and work of Jesus. Use food in such a way that the awesome glory of Jesus shines through. So, people in your life should see the way treat food and see the radiance or beams of God's glory. And, then hopefully by the grace of God, they will follow those beams back to the source who is God Himself. So, how do I treat food? How do you treat food? How are you declaring the greatness of God through your eating habits? Food is not our counselor...God is. Food is not our comforter...God is. Food is not ultimately where our strength comes from...God is. And, if we would swing the pendulum in the other direction, that's not good either. Abstaining from food for the sole purpose of looking good is not God glorifying. Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (ESV) Eat or not eat at all to the glory of God.
Finally, here is probably the most important thing I believe God wants us to hear today about food. God has given us food so that as we eat it, enjoy it, and are sustained by it that we are reminded that God is good. It's main purpose is that it is a physical reminder that God is better. He is better than pizza. He is better than chocolate. He is even better than a juicy steak or whatever you favorite food is. He is greater. Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him (ESV) And, if you have tasted His goodness then meditate on the following verses and worship as you read them.
 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
 the fear of the LORD is clean,
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. (ESV)
Father, I pray that you will open up our eyes to our desperate state. We need you desperately every second of every day. Our hearts are virtual idol factories and we have made idols out of food and even not eating food. Father, I pray for forgiveness and I pray for your power and presence. We need you more than anything...even the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breath. Open my eyes and the eyes of LBC....so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17–19(ESV)