Sunday, March 21, 2010

Soul-winning recipe

Today’s Readings: Acts 13:42 NIV

42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.

Good evening!

“Pass the potatoes, please!” I have no personal preference as to how it is served; they are absolutely delicious mashed, smashed, baked, broiled, skewered, or boiled. While I do enjoy German potato salad, potato soup, mashed potatoes with gravy, baked potatoes with margarine, potato casserole, hash brown potatoes, thick-cut French fries and/or cheesy scalloped potatoes, my favorite potato is a plain baker, with a dash of salt, pepper and a little margarine on the side. The potato is an amazing food source, loaded in carbohydrates and vitamins. Much of what we add to the potato is not healthy for our bodies; yet, I attest that the perfect potato is simply a divine culinary taste treat!

Just as our physical bodies need food for fuel, our souls need spiritual food that recharges and propels us forward by faith. Paul and Barnabas were cooking up a little soul food smorgasbord at the synagogue that day; and many who heard Paul speak craved more. The people instinctively recognized Jesus Christ working in and through these men, as they spoke about the Lord. They witnessed miraculous healings and knew the testimony was true. The people asked Paul and Barnabas to stay through the week and speak again on the following Sabbath. One simple serving of the Gospel message was not nearly enough to feed the need.

Spiritual nourishment can come in a garden variety of ways. We consume it at church, in Sunday school, at in-home Bible Studies and small group meetings. We worship in a variety of different community settings; sometimes we are fed through a Christian radio or television broadcast. We do not have to look far to find the Word of Christ online. Wherever Christian believers are, Jesus Christ enters into the mix and feeds us all.

I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to especially encourage my friends - especially my pastors, teachers, and mentors who daily serve the Lord. Sometimes, we think we have to dress up the Gospel to make it palatable within our rapidly changing culture. We are constantly reinventing how we do worship; we speak, using culturally relevant terminology; we worry about our praise worship and whether the music will appeal to every generation. We hope to supernaturally meet every personal preference on the planet. Did Jesus appeal to all whom He encountered as He walked the earth in human flesh? Our Lord has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His Daddy is the Great I AM. We get so lost in looking for a new edge, that we forget Christ’s Word is the only edge we will ever need. Just like the potato is a perfectly healthy food source, Jesus Christ is the perfect soul food for every hungry human heart. We don’t need to dress Him up to make Him more appealing. His Word alone is relevant today! If we are willing to serve up the Gospel with the same fervor of Paul and Barnabas, we can count on the Holy Spirit to do all the wooing. The people will come, because they are starving to hear the Truth. This is a natural craving birthed into every human heart, and only Jesus Christ can fill it.

Please make His Message simple. When folks realize who the Lord truly is and who we are in relationship to Him; as we are compelled to repent of our sins and seek Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, spiritual taste buds burst open with the flavorful goodness of His grace! There is only One Way to the Father, and it is through the Son. Praise the Lord for His soul-winning recipe.

Sharing Christ’s message of salvation is not nearly as difficult as we human types make it. Father, please forgive us. Fill your Church with a holy hunger to obediently serve your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by sharing your perfect soul food with the world. The Gospel will speak for itself. Our job is simply to GO. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, for He is the source of our strength, Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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