FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Taste Buds

Taste Buds. Also known as gustatory cells. Sometimes confused with papillae. Filled with very sensitive microscopic hairs called microvilli.

Okay. More than you want to know or even feel that you need to know? I get that. Just glad to have them? I get that, too! Without them a ripe peach, a juicy steak, even the quiche that is in my oven at this very moment just wouldn’t be the same! It is our taste buds that allow us to experience the joys of things that are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.

Through the years my tastes have changed somewhat. As a child, I didn’t like okra; now, I love it. I used to like bananas; just don’t now, though. Beets, however? Never did and suspect I never will!

Why those particular tastes have changed for me, I am not sure. But guess what – God changes our taste buds. Probably not so much when it comes to things like okra, bananas and beets, but when the new life of the Holy Spirit resides within us and begins to grow His influence in our submitted lives, we change! Our tastes change! Again, not so much with regard to food, but certainly in regard to our desires, thoughts and passions.

Philippians 2:13 (NLT) teaches that “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” God’s work is to align our “tastes” (desires) with His “tastes” (will) for our lives. His desire is that our thoughts, will, emotions, attitudes and passions be progressively transformed to align with His so that we carry out the plan He has crafted for us – a plan for our good (Jeremiah 29:11), a plan to glorify Him.

When I was a child, my parents would put beets on my plate. Yuck! I didn’t like the smell, color or fact that the nasty juice from them spilled over onto the other good food on my plate! My parents would implore me to just try them; take a bite.  They believed my tastes would change, be renewed even to like beets.

When we “taste” God’s plan (accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives and submit to the Holy Spirit), we will see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8); the spirit of our minds is renewed (Ephesians 4:23).  Renewed minds begin thinking God’s thoughts.  Renewed wills begin desiring God’s ambitions.  Renewed spirits result in emotions, attitudes and postures that align with God.

Many times I was too stubborn to taste those beets (or any other questionable food).  Sometimes I missed out on good things because of that stubbornness.  Admittedly, I am sometimes too stubborn to submit to God and accept His Word and His plan.  How about you?  Oh what we miss when we think we know best!  The more we surrender to God, the more we are transformed and conformed to the image of Christ.

Oh, taste and see.  Indeed, He is good and His plan for us is good!


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TGIF!

“Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”  Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing…” (Luke 5:1-5a, NASB)

The last thing fishermen do is wash the nets and pack them up, and that is what Simon and the others were doing. It had been a long night. They had worked hard. And caught nothing!

Are you right there with them? Been a long day? A long week? Are you glad that it’s finally Friday? Feel like washing the nets, packing them up and heading home – or somewhere other than where you are? So did the disciples. But over walks Jesus and tells them to put out into the deep and let their nets down for a catch. Excuse me? Isn’t this omniscient Jesus who already knows that they’ve been at it all night? Doesn’t He see them washing the nets? Surely He understands the routine – washing the nets means we are quitting?

Yep, that’s Jesus. He waits until we get to the end – not of the rope, but of ourselves. Because as long as we believe that we are in control and that we can handle things, we don’t look to Him. We don’t listen to Him. We don’t seek Him. We don’t follow Him.

Let’s look back at the Scriptures. Luke 5:5-6 (NASB) says, “Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break.” How did the disciples go from packing the nets to breaking the nets with a heavy catch? Immediate surrender (of their own thinking), immediate acknowledgement (of the command) and immediate obedience (to Jesus). Jesus said, “Put out…and let down your nets.” Simon said, “I will do as You say.”

If things don’t seem to be working for you, perhaps it’s past time for you to surrender your thinking and look to Jesus. One more thing – look ahead at Verse 11 of this same text. “When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”

TGIF! Thank Goodness I Follow!