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A BETTER WAY TO HAVE A MEAL

Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it, than a house full of feasting with strife. Proverbs 17:1

“In every culture, meals are about more than simply fueling the body; they are communal experiences, as much about gathering, sharing, and connecting as they are about the cuisine itself”.

A quiet, very modest meal in a peaceful, quiet atmosphere is much better than a rich man's feast with its strife and contention.  That is what the writer of Proverbs tells us.  When you consider the table of Solomon as you read this - you realize that being the richest man with the most awesome feasts in history may not have been all that fantastic.  You can see king Solomon thinking in his head that things may have been better without all the pomp and revelry that surrounded his royal banquets.   We read today that the relative tranquility with which you take your meal may do more for you than the meal itself.  You can have a feast fit for a king - and yet if is it filled with stress and strife - it will yield indigestion.  Thus a dry morsel of food with a quiet, gracious atmosphere is better than the finest feasts of the rich. This word "quietness" is a word we all would like to experience.  It is the Hebrew word "shalvah" and it means a sense of security, prosperity, and quietness.  It indicates a lack of anxiety and ease.  The concept here of prosperity evidently does not speak of riches, but rather of the security and peace that come from not having to be concerned about things.  Though the world may trick us for a time - we will eventually long for this more than for all that the world can give us.   The other state of mind - strife - comes from the Hebrew word "rib" and means a controversy, a contention, strife.  It arises from disputes and quarrels and usually involves open hostilities and a clamoring of others for action on their behalf.  Oh, what a rough meal is experienced when we try to enjoy a meal with this kind of atmosphere and attitude present.  

“The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that children of families who regularly eat together:

  • are more likely to have higher intakes of fruits and vegetables and have a healthy weight, and
  • are less likely to have behavior problems or use drugs, cigarettes or alcohol when they get older.

Beyond health and nutrition, family meals provide a valuable opportunity for children and parents to reconnect.”

Peace and tranquility . . . these are often overlooked in our world's racing search for wealth, riches, and affluence.  The truth is that one-day in spite of all the wealth, fame, and abundance of things - they will long for peace.  Better to have the simple meal and peace - than all the wealth in the world and an ulcer as your side dish.

Resources to check out to improve your family meal times…

https://communityenvironment.unl.edu/october-national-eat-better-eat-together-month and 

https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/eating-as-a-family/family-meals–small-investment–big-payoff.

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THE WORD OF GOD ALONE!

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.” — 1 John 4:4, ESV

 

This passage of scripture is one of the most popularly quoted among Christians — right up there with John 3:16 (“God so loved the world”), 1 Timothy 1:7 (“God has not given us a spirit of fear”), and Romans 10:9 (“confess with your mouth”). It is a motivational verse for fearless living. Whether it’s dealing with a bad boss, an unfaithful friend, a critic, or with some unmet life goal, this verse is used to encourage Christians that they can overcome any perceived obstacle in their life.

 

What many fail to realize is that the writer John has a very specific purpose in mind for this statement that has nothing to do with bad bosses, unfaithful friends, or life dreams. Rather, John’s goal is to assure his readers that they have overcome the false prophets he introduces in verse 1: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”  It’s frustrating that Christians who quote 1 John 4:4 almost never mention it within the context of dealing with false teachers.  In fact, many false teachers themselves use this very verse to support their health and wealth prosperity gospel. It is used as a motivational instrument to encourage people to have the courage to chase their own dreams and desires.

 

John’s intent, however, isn’t to promote a clever one-liner marketing catchphrase. He instead has in mind to give confidence to believers battling against the false teachings of Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that truth comes from personally applied knowledge and experience. In other words, instead of trusting in the revealed word of God in scripture, they believed that a person needed new, special revelation to understand “hidden meanings” of scripture. These false teachers would sometimes claim that they had visions or new prophecies not found in scripture and that they had divine authority to impose these revelations upon the church.  Sounds familiar today doesn’t it…  Many false teachings found in today’s churches employ similar Gnostic principles. Whether it’s through the requirement of speaking in tongues as the genuine sign of true Christianity as claimed by Pentecostalism, the spurious revelations of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon claimed by the church of the Latter Day Saints, or the prophetic utterances of the Word of Faith preachers, they all deny the sufficiency of the Bible as the completely revealed word of God. At the core of these false religions lies the belief that the Bible is simply not enough. They are always in continual need of new prophecies, new experiences, new techniques and new requirements to reach God.

 

Isn’t it great to know we can and have overcome and that we can trust in the Word of God and the Word of God alone.

 

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