Summary: the eseential nature of right food in the christian life.
THE RIGHT FOOD
About this time last year I had to go and see my GP because my blood pressure was very high. One of the things he asked me about was my diet. Much to his surprise my diet was not that bad. To me it seemed quite balanced – a lot of rice and pasta, meat and vegetables. I took great pride in telling him I did not have sugar in my tea or coffee but fell down on the amount of salt I put on things. Anyway the result of the check-up was blood pressure tablets and an encouragement to eat a better diet. I still take the tablets but I am not sure that my diet has improved significantly, as you can tell from my waistline. We hear a lot today about dieting. It is a multi-million pound industry. I wonder how many of you have tried the Atkins diet. I was once offered the Daniel Diet – it was actually vegetarianism dressed up in spiritual language. Doctors encourage us to eat the right food. There are healthy eating programmes and healthy options in most schools these days. So the right food is important to us for our physical wellbeing. What about our spiritual food? What is the right food to enable us to grow spiritually?
In his biography Jack Nicklaus revealed his secret to staying at the top for so long as a golfer. At the end of each season he went back to his college golf coach, handed him a golf club and said ‘teach me to swing a golf club properly.’ He did that every year. Isn’t that amazing? The man who was the number 1 golfer in the world for many years went back to the basics at the end of every golf season. So this morning I am going to go right back to basics on this sermon. Some of you may think I do not need to hear this sermon. I know what the right food is for me spiritually. Well that might be true but it does us all no harm to be reminded of the basics every so often. You see the right food is more than knowing that your sins are forgiven and you are going to heaven. It is for those whose desire is to have a character that mirrors the character of Christ. It is for those whose desire is to be known as someone whose heart is after God. Listen to these words written by Paul to the young Timothy – 1 Timothy 4.6-8. Paul encourages the young Timothy to have the right spiritual food and to stay away from the wrong spiritual food. I think we all need to heed that advice this morning.
Allow me to list the Right Food for a Christian:
RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
I believe those are the foundational foods, the daily requirements of a balanced diet. Without each of them I truly believe that we become malnourished in our spiritual lives and we cease to grow as God intends us to. So let us briefly look at each one this morning.
RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
We addressed that a few weeks ago. Sufficient to say to you this morning that without a right relationship with God – which is found only in Christ Jesus and his finished work on the Cross – there can be no growth spiritually in your life. You may fool yourself into thinking you are a ‘spiritual person’ but without Christ you are not a Christian. So the foundation to the right food is having the right relationship with God through Christ.
Let me read you an illustration I came across the other day in a book. It is a dairy which was kept by a Bible.
January – busy time for me. Most of the family decided to read me through this year. They kept me busy for two weeks. I’m now forgotten.
February – my owner used me for a few minutes last week. He had an argument and was checking references.
March – grandpa visited us and he kept me on his lap for two hours reading 1 Cor.13.
April – I had a busy day. My owner was appointed a leader of something and used me. I got to go to church the first time this year…Easter Sunday.
May – I have a few grass stains on my pages. Had some early spring flowers pressed in me.
June – I look like a scrap book. They have stuffed me full of clippings. One of the girls got married.
July – they put me in a suitcase today. I guess we are going on holiday. I wish I could stay at home as I will be in here for at least a month.