This week devo is by Pastor Courtney
Consider the command Paul gives in Philippians 4:8-9 to think on what is good, true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or praiseworthy. Each of these things has come from God.
This week I invite you to practice with a simple exercise based on Psalm 34:8:
Taste and see that the Lord is good… Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.
I wonder if you are at all like me. Sometimes, I get to the end of a meal (can you still call it a meal if it’s eaten while driving or if you’re standing at the kitchen sink? But I digress…) I get to the end and I think, “I ate that so fast; I don’t even know if it tasted good!” Now don’t get me wrong, I love my food…in fact, my favorites are high in flavor. My all-time favorite is Thai food. It’s salty, sweet, hot…all at once. It’s like a party in your mouth!
Part of the joy of dining with friends is slowing down, savoring both the colorful company and the flavors of the meal. Yummy food is one of the simplest pleasures of this life! Imagine, the finest chocolate, melting slowly on your tongue. Don’t you want it to last? This is just how God feels about His time with you. He wants you to stay, to linger in His presence, just so He can enjoy you. You may be thinking, I’m no fine chocolate, no delicacy for God to enjoy. I challenge you to listen to God’s words to you.
I love you with an everlasting love. I invite you to listen to me, even when you feel alone and deserted. I will whisper tenderly to your heart. I rejoice over you, I can’t help but sing over you, my love. Come to me, fair and beloved. You, yes you, are precious from head to toe, beyond compare. You are mine. I, the God of grace, pour my grace over you this moment. I am the God of love and want you to spend time today resting in the depths of my love for you. I am your Father; you are under the protection and shelter of my wings. Seek me, be still, be still and simply sit with me. I savor and delight in time with you.
(Taken from Song of Songs, Zephaniah, Hosea, Psalms, and Jeremiah.)
PRACTICE: Take a few minutes and enjoy one of your favorite flavors; sipping your coffee, a piece of chocolate, a berry. Thank God for the gift of taste and His presence.
An insight (yes, pun intended) from science: having two eyes increases your angle of vision, helps you to judge depth and allows you to see 180 degrees. Simply put, having two eyes helps to expand your vision. I want to expand your vision, your vision of YOU. One of the most beautiful reminders of God’s love is YOU. Don’t scoff. Don’t be sarcastic. Re-read that line and let it sink in.
You, the Beloved Child of God, are a gift to those around you. You are noble in many, many ways. Your unique presence in your family and community is a gift to them.
Go outside and take a moment and look at a flower or leaf. Really look. Take in the depth of the color, the beauty of each and every petal, the detail of each vein in the leaf. You are this unique in the sight of your Savior. Now find a tree; see the brilliance of the fall colors, the many shades of green, gold, and red. God, who designed each one of these and called them good, designed you. Like the trees, your life takes time, water, patience, and careful tending by the Gardner in order to bloom. The Master Gardener knows just what you need. He looks at you and sees only your life perfected, through the blood of His Son. In you He sees excellence.
Taste and see, my friends; and give thanks.