As I write this post it is Easter Sunday. I have spent time at our sunrise service earlier today, followed by our regularly scheduled service a bit later in the morning. Our family then gathered, as perhaps your’s and many other did, for an Easter lunch consisting of enough food to feed a few villages around the world.
Judging by what I have seen, this is how many people spend their Easters. Going to church. Eating and celebrating. While many then spend their time hiding and hunting Easter eggs, I had a thought.
How many of those going to church and “celebrating” Easter really know Christ as their Savior?
Before He died, Jesus said that the days before His return would be like those of the days of Noah. There would be eating. Drinking. Giving in marriage. We know how that turned out, don’t we?
Noah spent one hundred years building his ark. God told Noah that it would rain and he needed to build a boat. God was patient enough to give Noah one hundred years before He flooded the world. What was everyone else doing?
Eating and drinking, leading and culminating in wickedness. They ate and they were still blinded by the god of this world Satan.
God gives us another option. Does he not want to enjoy life and live it up? Yes, I actually think does. Just in a different way.
God tells us in to taste and see that He is good. Eat what He has to offer. Have you eyes opened so that you can see. What do you find? That God is good.
That’s really what it boils down to, isn’t it? We are going to eat. We are going to enjoy life. The results really depend what our food is.
We can eat and drink and go about our normal lives as though there is no consequence to what our lives are made up of. We can live like there is no tomorrow, just like those in the days of Noah. It doesn’t matter whether we live twenty, forty, or eighty years. God is patient for a time. Then the time is done.
Or we can approach it like Noah. We can nourish ourselves on God’s word. We can believe, like him and like Christ, that we don’t live by bread alone, but by the very word of God. We can see. See that God is for us and that Christ is life. We can taste and see that He is good.
How about you? What are you eating?
Today is the last Sunday I preach at the Big Meadow Campground. I have concluded this year with a mini-series based on Psalm 34:8, “O Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
I opened up by talking about how we need the Lord should be our source of nourishment which enables us to see that He is good.
Next, I discussed how, from the beginning, God is good and wants to share that goodness with us.
Last week, I spoke about how we ended up in the shape we are in.
Today, I want to discuss about how Jesus flipped the script that Adam and Eve gave us.
Last week, I went into detail about how Adam and Eve questioned God’s goodness and promise of life, they saw that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good for food and they ate. They did the opposite of the script of Psalm 34:8.
Jesus changes this by following the Psalm 34:8 script when he is tempted by Satan.
Jesus has spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting. At the end, He is hungry. Satan tempts Him and encourages Him to turn stones into bread to eat. Jesus responds by saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Despite being hungry, Jesus does not eat what Satan encourages Him to eat. He does not take the easy way out. He chooses to trust the Father.
Next, Satan takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple. He encourages Jesus to jump off by telling Him that the angels will catch Him. Like Eve, Satan tells Jesus that He will not die. Jesus responds by telling Satan, “You shall not put the Lord Your God to the test.”
Finally, Satan takes Jesus up on a mountain and shows Him all of the kingdoms of the world. He tells Jesus to worship him and all of those kingdoms will be His. Eve was told that she would be like God if she ate the fruit. In other words, she would be in charge. At their most basic, Satan offered Eve and Jesus the same thing. Power over their lives.
Jesus responded by telling Satan, “Go Satan. For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
Stripped down to its most basic, Jesus tasted and saw that God is good.
He did for us what we could not do on our own. He made it possible for us to be able to taste and see that God is good.
Do you taste and see that God is good?
You take the good, you take the bad, you take it all, and there you have, the facts of life, the facts of life…..
Yesterday was a typical Sunday at church.
There was good.
There was bad.
The music was good as usual.
It was good to see some folks since we hadn’t been at church in a few weeks.
There was disappointment.
Some things made us shake our heads.
It was a typical Sunday.
And like Mrs. Garrett taught me over thirty years ago, that’s the way it is.
How was your church service yesterday?
One of the earliest prayers we learn is God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him for our food.
Something I’ve been thinking about, though, is whether or not God really is great.
Understand something, please. I believe God is awesome and perfect and any number of other descriptive words.
However, in the Bible, I rarely come across God described as great. He and His works are described as good.
After Creation, He looked at everything and called it “Good.” Not great.
Jesus is called “Good Master” and says that there is only One who is good. Not great.
God works everything for good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Not great.
He who begins a good work in you will complete it to the end. Not great.
Simply put, Good seems to be good enough.
Is that enough for us?
I’m spending a lot of time these days writing about how God is good. This is something I believe with all of my heart. God is good and he wants you and me to know it. So, He challenges us to taste and see that He is good.
What is the purpose of knowing that He is good? What about when things just aren’t good?
God causes those things to work together for GOOD to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
If you are a believer in and follower of Christ, then God is going to cause ALL THINGS to work together for GOOD.
How about that?
How do you keep your head up during tough times and terrible circumstances?
You remember that God is good.
You remember that, because God is good, that He works these things for good.
Is that easy?
No. I have to remind myself of this only about every day.
However, my memory is not a reflection of the reality of the situation.
God is good and He works everything out for my good. And yours too, if you love Him.
What’s God’s goal in all of this?
The ultimate good in all of this is that we will be conformed to the image of His Son.
In other words, tough times and terrible circumstances enter our lives so that we will become more Christlike. God works these things for our good in order that we become more like His son.
Bad situation enters our life. God uses it to move us along in the process to be like Christ.
Do you believe God is good during tough times?
Jim Collins says, in his book Good To Great, that good is the enemy of great. That may be so in business, but how about in faith?
One of the earliest things we teach our children is this: God is great, God is GOOD. That’s great (pun intended) but do we believe it?
God invites us to taste and see that He is, indeed, good. He strives, for some reason that just doesn’t make sense to us, to prove to us that He is good. Not great, but good.
A man came up to Jesus and called Him, “Good Teacher.” Jesus replied that there is only One who is GOOD. He is referring to the Father. Jesus doesn’t claim to be GOOD. He wants for us to know that the Father is GOOD.
Do you believe that God is good? If not, why? For all of His emphasis on us knowing that He is good, for some reason many of us simply don’t believe that God is good.
We believe many things about Him.
We believe that He doesn’t care.
We believe that He doesn’t take care of us.
We believe that He is distant.
We believe that He leaves us to our own design.
We believe many things about God.
Do we believe He is good?
When I think back to when I first began dating my wife, Jan, going out to eat together was one of the main ways that we dated. I think this is an almost universal way of dating here in America. People go out to eat. If things go well, if they are GOOD, then the relationship will often proceed.
It seems that this is the way friendships with other couples go as well. You invite another couple over. They invite you over. You spend time together and eat. Or you go out. It doesn’t matter. Either way, you are eating together as a couple or couples. When it’s GOOD, it continues.
My friend David and I spent almost ten years doing this on a daily basis. We went to break together at 9:30 every day. We went to bread together at 3:30 every day. I don’t think either one of us intended for it to be a daily ritual for a decade, but it was. And it was GOOD.
David has moved on to another job. He texted me the other day wanted to go to lunch. I couldn’t make it. If I had, though, it would have been GOOD because we have a great friendship that is based on a lot of eating together.
An interesting thing is that I think our relationships with humans are pictures of our relationship with God. I think that He wants the same thing with us that we want with each other. How does He do it?
He invites to taste and see that He is GOOD. He invites us to treat our relationship with Him as we would a meal. Taste His GOODness. See His GOODness.
We get a great glimpse of this with Christ. He invites us to eat the bread for it is His body. He invites us to drink the wine for it is His blood. He invites us to eat and drink and taste what He has done for us through His work on the cross. He invites us to taste and see that He is GOOD.
Are you tasting Him? Are you seeing Him? Do you know that God is GOOD?
Someone wrote Facebook status the other day. It said something like this: Sometimes an accident happens. Then it turns out good. Was it really an accident?
I could answer what I believe about that with one word, but then you might feel cheated by a short blog post and I want you to get your money’s worth.
Many years ago, as detailed in the book of Genesis, Joseph was thrown in a pit. Then he was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. From there, he ended up second-in-command of Egypt. His brothers, who sold him into slavery, came to him looking for food when there was a terrible drought.
Eventually, he revealed himself to them. The brothers were afraid that he would take revenge upon them. He eventually told them, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”
What perspective and maturity. What trust in the sovereignty of God.
How would Joseph answer the question I led with?
Yes, from our perspective, accidents happen. Events seem random. Oopsies occur.
From God’s perspective, randomness does not happen. He is not surprised. He is not caught off-guard. Nothing is an accident to Him.
I truly believe that everything that happens fits into the course God has decided will occur. Do I fully understand that? Absolutely not. Too many things happen that I do not understand. I simply trust. I trust He has the ending decided. Everything points to that. He has it all under control.
We may see an accident. Good may come out of it.
We may mean something for evil. God, somehow, means it for good.
Do you believe that “accidents” happen? Do you believe God is in control?
We who follow Christ and want a Godly life have an enemy. I’m not talking about our enemy who roams around like a roaring lion wanting to devour us.
I’m talking about and impersonal enemy. One that we face and succumb to daily, if not hourly or by the minute.
The enemy of Godly is……good.
We have been told all of our lives to be good. We have been trained to be good. We have been told this by our parents. Our churches. Our teachers. All with great intentions.
The problem is that Good, instead of Godly, becomes our focus.
We grow up to be good neighbors. We grow up to be good church members. We grow up to be good parents.
It isn’t good enough.
We can’t be that good.
We need to grow to be Godly.
We need to strive to be Christlike.
We need to learn to walk in the Spirit.
Good is the enemy of these.
Good strives to just be good enough. Good wants to be comfortable. Good is not offensive.
Being Godly is none of these things. Being Godly does not allow complacency.
Being Christlike does not allow one to settle in.
Being of the Spirit pushes you forward.
Good is the enemy of Godly.
Do you struggle between Good and Godly?
A few weeks ago I wrote this post about ways to taste and see God. One of the questions that has been popping up for me is this: Why don’t we taste and see Him? So I’ve given it a lot of thought for the past month and a half.
Here is a reason why I think we don’t.
We act just like Adam and Eve.
When we take a look at Genesis 3, we can see that Eve does just the opposite of what David tells to do in regard to tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.
Eve and the serpent are hanging out. They engage in some chit-chat. The serpent asks her if she can’t eat from all of the trees in the Garden. She says that she can eat from all of them but one. She can’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. She knows she will die.
The serpent then uses a pretty good argument. He tells Eve that she will be just like God, knowing good and evil. This is where the crack in Eve’s armor was. This is where she made her most serious mistake.
She saw and tasted the fruit. She saw an object of desire and she tasted it.
Do you see that? She did just the opposite of what the Psalmist says.
He says taste and see that the Lord is good.
Eve saw that the fruit was good for food and tasted it. Then she gave it to Adam and he ate.
Guess what happened next? They couldn’t see anymore. They couldn’t see God’s goodness.
That’s the way we are. We see so many things around us. We taste them. And we can’t see God.
God wants us to stop. He wants us to taste Him. Why? Because we will see that He is good.
He is looking to restore us back to the way we were before Adam and Eve saw and tasted.
He is looking to show us that He is good.
What ways could you make sure that you Taste and See instead of seeing and tasting?