Tuesday, December 2, 2008

BFS--Spiritual Jell-O?

Memory Verse: Romans 10:17 - So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Intro: America’s Favorite Dessert J-E-L-L-O - What we read affects what we believe. When we feed the Scriptures in our spirit, faith comes alive and becomes a living force within you.
Assignment: Write about your favorite ‘faith food’. Tell about the books of the Bible that you read that help to build your faith. Nurture the seeds of faith inside you. ex: Acorns become Oak trees.
I've always had what I consider to be a pretty strong faith. I have never doubted the existence of God or the promise of eternal life at His feet for those who wear the name of Christ. But then again....Saul had a pretty strong (albeit misguided) faith before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, didn't he? Belief alone isn't enough, is it? When I read James 2:19 (You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.) and Matthew 7:21 ( Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.), it humbles me straight to my core. I do NOT want to be counted among the 'religious' who stand before the throne of the Almighty God as a stranger after living what I thought to be a nice, fluffy, Christian life. I don't want to wear the blood of Christ as a cheap garment, to be shown off on Sunday morning and taken off with haste as soon as the church building is in my rearview mirror. I want to LIVE it.

The intro to this assignment was interesting to me. Why Jell-O? But as I got to thinking about it, the idea of being spiritual gelatin really does fit in with what's on my mind. While we were in Germany, we noticed an odd thing--there are a LOT of things in Europe that have gelatin in them. Meat in aspic or encased in some clear gelatin is pretty popular. Gelatins are used to thicken, to make a nifty presentation, and....well, they're used in ways that my palate could just not comprehend. See, gelatin is kind of like tofu--it takes on the flavors and smells of the foods it's combined with. Even though there are just a few fruity flavors of Jell-O on the market at any given time, you could pretty much make any flavor of your own homemade Jell-O by mixing gelatin with whatever you wanted. Got a hankering for strawberry mango Jell-O? Cranberry white chocolate Jell-O? Mince pie Jell-O? Fish Jell-O? Well, EWW, but totally do-able if that's what floats your boat.

Same goes for our faith. God created us to be free agents in this world, and unfortunately, a weak and ungrounded faith can easily become spiritual Jell-O, taking on the 'flavor' of whatever it's around. That's why most of these false doctrine 'movements' gain speed so quickly and take in as many people as they do--they appeal to those of weak faith who are looking toward the temporal, the seen, the here-and-now rather than looking toward God and finding their purpose, their lifeblood, their zeal in what He wills. Spiritual Jell-O is wobbly, it melts easily under the slightest bit of heat, and it really can't stand on its own; it takes the form of whatever it's placed in. The most ridiculous form of spiritual Jell-O is the watery type. No flavor at all; no zeal for anything. I believe Laodecia had a bunch of them--lukewarm Christians.

The book of James has been my antidote to the gelatin in my life. James is the "hard" book when it comes to training in godliness. It's the curriculum in the School of Hard Knocks. It's the....okay, one cheesy cliche was enough. James teaches that faith lived out is the ONLY type of faith worth having. He writes about the tough stuff--taming the tongue, having rock-solid convictions, living godly life to the extreme. Having a lived-out faith means God's will is intertwined into every (EVERY) aspect of your life, and that's really not as easy to do in reality as it is to talk about in theory. Real Christianity isn't a college course. It isn't a philosophy. It isn't a touchy-feely, warm-fuzzy, mushy-gushy thing. Faith requires work. Lots of it. Faith that will please God requires that you surrender everything. Got plans? They're hooey. God has bigger ones. Got opinions? Well good for you, but they won't get you anywhere. Got clout? I hope you're prepared to endure stricter judgment. Got earthly wisdom? James calls it demonic. This is tough stuff, y'all. Not for the faint of heart, or the weak of faith.

Then again, I suppose there are reasons that you don't serve steak to someone who's sick. You give them Jell-O. Steak is hard to chew and hard to digest. Personally, I need more steak in my diet! Bring it on, James! I'm ready to be challenged!


Nancy said...

Hi Kris~

GREAT POST!!! I never thought about my assignment getting that detailed but I'm glad you took it to another level. It gives me much to think about. Thank you for the 'food for thought'. Now I'm hungry!!

Mrs. Nancy
BFS Teacher

Kathleen said...

Wow! LOVE your insight!!

Sheri said...

Nice post and very thought provoking. Hmmm, Germany huh? My daughter wants to come and visit you-her plans are to tour Germany and Switzerland and is taking German this year...have any room at your inn? Now I am hungry for jell-o...my mil has some great recipes for it-so perhaps tomorrow I will make some. Thanks for this great food for thought and blessings to you and your family.

Christmas Creations said...

Wow I loved your post and your insight that you took to the next level. Thanks for a great read.

Missy said...

Wow, talk about food for thought!! I LOVE James, so straightforward and no-nonsense! Great post!

Nikki said...

WOW! You totally nailed this assignment. James is an awesome book. No doubt about it , working faith is living faith. God's people should have that desire to be out spreading the Gospel and showing Christ to a lost world by being a Christian (Christ like) instead of just claiming to be one.Faith without works is dead indeed but faith that has us seeking to further the kingdom is a living thing for sure. Blessings! ~ Nikki

The Warf said...

Wow! I hope that you are a Titus 2:4-5 woman in your church. You sound like the Lord has given you much wisdom.

Darla said...

Faith is a quality that I've been focusing on for some time. I need to dive into James. That will be today's reading. Thank you!

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