Bible Think Tank

This site is designed to help you interact with others about God's Word. I further some thoughts we developed during morning and evening gatherings at church. I have my NT translations from the original Greek to English. Also, I have book reviews and other current events.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sweet ... at First

The Text

Revelation 10:9-10

So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, "Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey." I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.

Some Thoughts

How would you describe your devotions today? this week? this month? Would you say they give you warm fuzzies all the time? Feeling close to Jesus is a good thing and I wouldn't want to rob someone of it. My belief is that sometimes, devotions need to hurt. Have your devotions ever hurt?

The saying goes: no pain, no gain. I'm not ready to buy it hook-line-and-sinker, but the axiom: pain makes you grow, I believe that is true. How does this relate to devotions? Sometimes we need the comfort and affection of Jesus in our one-on-one times with Him. But sometimes, as my dad says, we need a yardstick whacked over our heads. Sometimes it should be sweet to the taste. Sometimes it should be bitter in our stomach. Don't feel like you devotion times are no good when you feel far from Him. We are only ever far from Him when WE move far from Him. He always stays on course; we are the ones that meander all over the thicket on either side of the path. When devotions hurt, it's often because we are being convicted of wandering.

This is why, in general, I am not crazy about these devotional booklets. They certainly have their place in life, but when was the last time you read one and it said something tough to swallow? Too often, I fear, Christians stuff themselves on spiritual junk food (all fluff and no subtance) instead of truly craving spiritual meat (sometimes tough to chew, but always beneficial). I'm not indicting all devo books, I'm just throwing an idea out there.

When John ate the scroll, it tasted sweet at first, but became sour later on. Many times it feels good to start in on devotions and you're reading and all of a sudden, it hits you like a ton of bricks: I fall short. I don't measure up. It becomes bitter. Don't stop your devotions! This is the ministry of the Spirit in your life. He convicts in order to fix, He fixes in order make you like Jesus. This is His job. And you'll never end up like Jesus until you surrender to His convicting. Let Him work... He's a professional!



Blogger Tim Bertolet said...

Great thought. Hebrews 4:12 comes to mind. Devotions should hurt.

9/06/2007 12:11 PM  
Blogger Timothy Schmoyer said...

thanks for the comment!

yeah they should hurt. not all the time. There is room for uplifting, sweet-thought devos from time to time. But in general, we should strive to improve. The first step to recovery is confession.

Maybe its my German efficiency coming thru. J/K

9/06/2007 6:38 PM  

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