Today Charlie preached on Luke 11:14-26, and discussed how we often run after things in the world, rather that the Great Giver. The epic analogy he used was that we value the cup of beer more the keg it came from.
Now, I like gifts. He also used a good analogy of eating his Mom’s cookies. They are defined as being his Mom’s cookies, and so when he eats them, and enjoys them, glory goes to his Mom. In the same way, when we get gifts and appreciate them, glory goes to the giver. Likewise, God our Father gives us good gifts, and we can enjoy them to His glory (I believe Charlie’s example was steak, whereas I really like chocolate). It makes me think of that quote “Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.”
It dawned on me today, that this could be more true than you think. Consider, God can work by crazy supernatural means, like sending bread from heaven. But typically, some farmer grows the wheat, and stuff happens, and it ends up as bread I go buy at the store. Still God’s provision.
And giving gifts is a way of expressing love. When I was home one Christmas, my mom took me to a chocolate shop, and pretty much gave me free reign. My thought at the time was “Oh what love the Father has lavished on us…” Chocolate can be proof that God loves us.
But let’s not put the cup before the keg. How often do I seek the gifts rather than the Giver – running to the chocolate, rather than the Cross. We’re addicts all of us – just not to the right thing. As the song I sought for “Something that would satisfy // But the dust I gathered round me // Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.” “Feeding on the husks around me // Till my strength was almost gone // Longed my soul for something better // Only still to hunger on.” How often do we starve ourselves?
Oh, that I could run to the Lover of my Soul as a druggie runs to heroin. Oh that I could cling to Him like a smoker clings to a cigarette, needing Him like a business person needs their daily coffee. May I be obsessed, like an artist to expression. May He be my addiction.
Hallelujah, He has found me!
The One my soul so long has craved
Jesus satisfies all my longs!
He is better, just as the keg is better than the cup, superior, as the giver is superior to the gift. In the words of the hymn “Thou and thou only first in my heart // Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.”