I’m just going to say it: I love all things gluten. (Dear gluten-intolerant friends, please don’t hate me.) When Matt and I went to Israel a few years ago, I almost wept at the entire table full of different kinds of breads laid out in baskets for every meal. I dipped humus with a different kind of bread every day. And then we walked past open market tables full of fresh breads, right outside of the gates of Jerusalem. We ate shawarma and falafel out of fresh pita pockets–culinary heaven if you ask us.
I love to make bread. When I was in high school, I experimented with a recipe called “chili loaf” that I found on the back of a yeast packet. I’ve been kneading green chilis into that dough for 30 years now–letting it rise and then filling it with chili meat and forming it into a giant crescent shape. It smells so good coming out of the oven. Is there anything better than freshly-baked bread?
Today I’m home sick from work, so I turned on the TV and landed on a Tony Evans sermon. That man can preach, and he moved me to tears. But what was really filling to my soul was the fact that he kept walking back to his Bible and reading words straight from Scripture. It was better than eating shawarma from a fresh pita pocket outside of Jerusalem, and that is saying something.
You’ve heard me talk about how hard the last couple of years have been, and I know you’re shaking your head and saying, yes, yes, yes, the way Tony Evans’ congregation does when he preaches. A hard couple of years? Amen to that.
But one thing has gotten me through these trying years and that is the the word of God. Jesus says, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) What is even more satisfying than freshly baked bread? Scripture.
When I was in high school, I started memorizing Scripture verses methodically and doggedly. For decades now I have continued to hide Scripture in my heart. It is those verses that the Spirit has brought to mind over the last two years, when some new traumatic event has hit me. I can’t count how many times I’ve looked to the Lord and said, “I would die without your word.”
Today I got an email from my tax guy, who is a great communicator and sends regular informative news about finances. Today he said, “Procrastination can be costly. When you get a late start, it may be difficult to make up for lost time.” Dave Ramsey puts it more bluntly and says, “You can tell who’s been skinny dippin’ when the tide goes out.” These men are talking about financial investing, but the same is true for storing up the word of God in your heart.
In the last two years, the tide has gone out.
Man doesn’t live on bread alone. To get through these times, we need the words that come out of God’s mouth. Not cultural philosophies. Not opinions. Not feelings about things. But straight-up Scripture.
Now is the time to store up the word of God in your heart and live by it. Study it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Believe it. Obey it. Don’t procrastinate. This is how we will live through whatever comes down the pipe this year.
What verse of Scripture has kept you going over the last two years?