For just a moment imagine that you have been invited to a special Christmas dinner at a good friend’s home. Your friend has prepared a feast and you are the guest of honor. All of your favorite foods are sitting around the table. All of the food looks great. Everything smells delicious. 

Everyone sits down at the table. “Help yourself,” your host says. People begin to pick up bowls and platters and pass them your way. You hold a bowl and say, “Mmmmm, it smells so delicious.” Then you pass the plate without taking any food. Then a platter is passed to you. Again, you comment as you pass the plate on to someone else, “This looks scrumptious!” You keep passing the plates never taking any of the food.

Imagine your friend’s response. “What are you doing? Why won’t you take anything? I’ve worked so hard! Don’t you care for it? I thought these dishes were your favorite!” Finally, you reply, “Well yes, they are my favorites foods, but no, I don’t actually eat the food. I just look and breathe in the aromas.”

Obviously, unless someone was on a very special diet, no one would do this! Spiritually speaking, I’m afraid many Christ-followers do this very thing,. We gather around a feast of tasty things that God prepares for us to strengthen and build our lives, such as the Bible, prayer, fellowship with other believers, worship and serving others in ministry. Too often our response is similar to the fictional story described above. “Mmmm… Boy that mission project sure looks good, but no thanks,” or “Wow, I know that Sunday Bible study is so wonderful, but it’s not for me.” And so, we sit at the table of a spiritual feast, and then pass the plates without taking anything.

God wants us to move beyond a safe, mediocre diet of Christianity—to experience all of what God offers in order to build our lives—so that we truly become all that He has created us to be. We need an ongoing connection to Jesus in order to remain healthy and effective as His servants!

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5 NLT

Therefore, whatever spiritual growth opportunities present themselves, be sure to dig in!


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