By Rondi Lauterbach
The wedding was beautiful, but the reception was over the top. I was refilling my plate with baked brie when I noticed the full menu:
Right then three waiters marched past carrying silver trays loaded with assorted petit fours.
This was going to be a serious feast.
But is that the feeling I have when I sit down to read my bible? Or am I more like a tired housewife, staring blankly into my open refrigerator, wondering what in the world to have for dinner?
Where do I feed my hungry soul between sermons? After bible study has shut down for the summer? After I’ve given up on my “read through the bible in a year” program?
God once said, “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deut. 8:3). So I pick up my Bible and open it at random. A familiar verse offers a quick snack. A favorite passage provides some comfort food, as long as I skip the part that leaves a bitter taste. Then I grab a command or two for the road and charge into my day. Slim pickings, but it’ll have to do.
By contrast God offers us a serious feast. It is meant to be rich and satisfying. It is meant to be sweet. David exudes, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Ps. 119:103).
What Makes Scripture Sweet?
When you pick up your bible, do you only go straight from the page in front of you to your life? Moses spoke law, so I should, too. David killed the giant so I can, too. If we do that we’re leaving out the most important character, God himself, and the most important part, redemption.
It’s like trying to eat a bagel without the strawberry cream cheese filling.
What’s missing is the sweet taste of grace, coming from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to reveal the Father. He is the God we can see, hear, touch, smell, and yes, even taste. The good news about Jesus changes how I read my bible. It sweetens every page with the reality of his finished work and its power to transform us.
Let me give you an example. The charming book of Philemon tells the story of a runaway slave and his rightfully offended master. Paul steps in as the mediator. On the page in front of me are the people in the story. I notice that Paul is acting very unselfishly. He’s offering to pay for something he doesn’t owe. He’s in prison, too. Wow. What a great example. Then there’s me, my life. I need to be more unselfish, like Paul. I’m not in prison, but I do have three small children. I need to rise above my circumstances.
Dry as toast until you taste the sweet center. It’s Jesus who connects us, Paul, and me. His grace, mentioned at the beginning and end of this letter, is what Paul had and what I need. Our Savior paid for something he didn’t owe. He paid for Saul’s sins and turned him into Paul, the prisoner who acted unselfishly. He paid for my sins, too, and will turn me today from every selfish thought that makes my life a prison.
And it is seeing him on every page that makes scripture sweet.
Rondi entered the Ivy League full of personal ambition and left under a new Master. Her passion is to help women see Jesus in the Word and be nourished by him. She has been a pastor’s wife for over thirty years, a mother of three, and now a very happy grandmother. She and her husband Mark live in San Diego.
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