Friday, April 5, 2013

How Much are you Eating?

This post is an accumulation of thoughts and conversations with various peoples through the years.

Around the time I started to study philosophy at Taylor, my younger sister and I had a conversation about how much philosophy is helpful to read. She mentioned that our neighbor and elder in the church said we ought to read more of the Bible then any other book. At the time we both found this preposterous since I was finding myself reading up to hundreds of pages of philosophy in a week.

Soon after, I was walking with my older brother about music. Back then there was a lot of discussion about what type of music was helpful to listen to, particularly rock and CCM. At the time, he thought it helpful to understood rock music like candy. A little can be fun and ok, but too much and you'll get sick.

Last summer, this same brother convinced me to listen to a sermon series. I struggle to listen to sermons, and they have been of little help in my life. There is really only one pastor's sermons who have been of great spiritual significance in my life. Anyway, he convinced me to listen to this series on assurance of salvation. He made the point that it's important to have a large quantity of spiritual things in our lives. At the time, and for a while by then, I thought it was more important to have a few high quality things in our spiritual life.

I listened to the sermons. Didn't get much out of them. These three stories have one thing in common, quantity of spiritual things. Rarely do we think about the quantity of spiritual things in our lives. We often analyze of the quality of spiritual things, thinking their their orthodoxy and application.

Jeremiah Burrows was a puritan minister who wrote "Gospel Worship." It's a series of sermons he gave about how we ought to worship. In talking about the Lord's Supper, this is what he said. I apologize for the length of the quote, Puritans are always long-winded, but it's worth reading through. If you don't just skip and read my summary below:

This is the communion of the body of Jesus Christ and of his blood, and therefore there ought to be hungering and thirsting desires of the soul after Jesus Christ. Therefore you must take heed that you do not come with your stomachs full of trash, as children do when they can get plums and pears and fill their stomachs with them when they come to your tables. Though there is never so much wholesome diet, they have no mind to it at all.  
So it is with men of the world. They fill their hearts with the trash of this world, with sensual delights, and whence it is that when they come to such a great ordinance to enjoy communion with Jesus Christ, then they feel no want at all of Christ. They only come and take a little piece of bread and a draught of wine, but for any strong, pausing desires to meet with Jesus Christ there in the ordinance, to come so as they know not how to live without Christ, even as a man who is hungry cannot live without his meat and drink, and so for the soul to to have such a disposition after Christ is a rare thing." 
The point being, when we approach the Lord's table, don't be feasting on the things of this world or you will come to the Lord's table with a full stomach of trash. You will not desire to feast on Him.

In the Old Testament, the Kings of Israel were required to read and study the Law day and night. King David expressed a love for God's law (See Psalm 119, all of it). In the New Testament, we see Jesus as a child having a great depth of God's law as a child (Luke 2). Furthermore, Paul himself was well versed in the Law and it almost got him killed a couple times by the Jews, Acts 9. Paul tells the Philippians to approve the things that are excellent in Philippians 1 and later to meditate or think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely or praiseworthy. In Revelations, John claims to "be in the spirit" when he received the revelations of things to come. 

By reading more of the Bible then any other book, filling my mind with excellent things then the Lord's Supper becomes much more desirable. Likewise, I find my relationship with Christ to be much stronger and prayer, bible study and worship comes easier to me. If we increase the quantity of spiritual things in our lives then we will desire them more. The more of the Bible I read, the more I enjoy it and realize how much I don't know about it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment, I'll review it as soon as I can!