Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from CTA’s latest women’s retreat theme, Living the Sweet Life. The retreat uses all the sticky-sweet fun of baking to remind women of Psalm 119:103 (ESV): How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! CTA offers everything you need to plan a women’s re-treat this spring: a leader’s guide, a participant’s workbook, and plenty of FREE resources!
Before you begin, search online for a video clip, using search terms like “kids eating cake” or “kids eating ice cream.” Choose the funniest, messiest one, but keep the length to about two minutes. Cue it up so it’s ready to show as you begin your presentation. Be sure everyone will be able clearly to see and hear it.
What’s your favorite food? All kinds of polls, worldwide, have come up with all kinds of answers to that question. Pizza tops many lists, followed closely by chocolate, spaghetti and meatballs, and, of course, ice cream.
It’s almost unbelievable, but in one survey, kids in the nation of Pakistan named vegetables as their favorite foods. The kids in the clip you’re about to watch probably would not agree. (Show the video clip.) If we needed proof that kids love sweets, this video surely settles it. Most kids know how to dive right in. (And, truth be told, we adults know how to do that, too - though usually in less messy ways.)
All this reminds me of a verse from the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119. Verse 103 of that psalm goes like this:
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103).
As you think about God’s Word, does the adjective sweet come to mind? Sadly, for many people in our world, it does not. Many think of God’s Word as “dry” or even “bitter.”
It’s true that if we read the Bible as “God’s Rulebook for Life,” what we read there can quickly become discouraging. If we read the Bible honestly, we can’t help but realize we have not loved the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We have not loved the people around us with self-forgetful, self-sacrificing love. If God is just (and he is), he must judge—and punish—our sin.
This is not sweet news. So was the psalmist mistaken? How can these words possibly be true? (Reread Psalm 119:103.)
Here’s the difference. As the psalmist read, he admitted his sin - and turned to his Savior. For the psalmist, the coming of this Savior lay centuries in the future. For us today, the coming of this Savior lies centuries in the past. But in both cases, that Savior is the same sweet Redeemer, Jesus Christ! Jesus is the one who makes the sweet life possible for all God’s people, past, present, and future. Jesus is the one who carried our failures - all, each, and every one of them - to his cross. Jesus hung on that cross in love for us, dying there for us in our place.
When we keep that cross, that Savior, front and center, it transforms our Bible reading. In fact, it transforms our lives!
As long as we live here on earth, God’s Law will reveal our shortcomings, our sins. It will remind us of how far we have fallen, of how deep our need really is. But those reminders need not be bitter when we remember that God has, in fact, provided a sweet Savior for us! We can cling in faith to that Savior and in doing that, find renewed joy and courage.
In fact, trusting Jesus, we can study God’s Law with joy, looking for fresh ways to honor our Lord. We can study the story of our faith family as the Bible records it, finding more and more reasons to praise God for his love and grace down through the ages. Buoyed up by God’s gift of faith, we dig ever more deeply into the Scriptures, learning more and more about his love, the peace it creates, and the power it gives.
Remember Jesus’ promise - the Holy Spirit is our Teacher! (Read John 14:26.) He will lead us deeper and deeper into the sweetness of his Word. We need only ask.
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