Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Of Rice and Walnuts - (Food for Thought)

Last week, while talking to a friend, I was reminded of something I had not thought about for a while; Rice and Walnuts.

We were discussing the amazing faithfulness of God to always be there for us and we concurred about the importance of keeping God, and His Word, at the forefront of our hearts and minds.  Well, while talking, I  remembered a little "object lesson" I had learned from a long time ago that consisted of a little jar filled with a couple of walnuts, still in their shells, and rice.

I kept thinking of that little jar all week and what a great lesson I remembered that being.   Certain that I no longer had that old little jar... though I now remember making several and giving them away as gifts, I decided to make one again.   Here it is.

It  just so happens that I have some whole walnuts left over from the holidays and some rice too.   I also have a neat little jar, too cool to to simple throw away.

While there can be many applications for this object lesson... the best of all is to apply it to the words that Jesus said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)

What things?  You will have to read in Matthew to get the big picture.... but it is things like food, drink, clothes... all those importance things... even "life" itself.  We re to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  How do we do that?  We do that  first of all by making God the essential ingredient in our life.

God is represented by the three walnuts.  I have three because Christianity believes in one God, expressed in "three" persons, the Father, the Son and the Comforter... called also the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit)

The rice is representative of everything else in your life.

 The jar is you.... your life.  The lesson is how when God is the thing we seek... the thing that is first and foremost in our lives, and we put him in... then everything fits together nicely.  We are made whole, and all is safe ad secure when God is at the forefront of our lives.  When we put him first before all those other things we need and desire and even "do" for God.

God is. . Do you see the hand of God?  Consider the lilies of the field.... how they grow.... they do not toil or spin.  Look at what God does!   He cares for the fowls of the air.  He even cares for all the other animals... more than man can.  Look at nature..This is our God.   Jesus said, "Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." (Matthew 6)  How true.  This is our God who became man and dwelt among us.. Emmanuel.  Jesus, who lived and died and rose again   It's like, "No wonder!" that Jesus, said, "... before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58) 

So, to do this lesson you need and empty jar with tight fitting lid, rice and walnuts.  You will also need a paper plate to see the lesson in action.
Put the three walnuts into your jar.

Put the walnuts into the empty jar, noting how God must be first and foremost in your life

The only way to be complete in life is to be found in Him, to have His righteousness, not our own.  Knowing God loves you and sent a savior to die in your place, to give you life...eternal life and a real hope that can never perish, spoil or fade, should indeed help you to want to put God first, to love God and to then live your life with joy and a love for others, because God first loved you.

Now, add rice until that jar is filled to the brim.  Lock the lid on tight.  Note how everything perfectly fits!

Now, pour out the contents of the jar unto an empty paper plate.  remove the walnuts.  Set them aside but do not put them in the jar.  Pick up the paper plate, bending it slightly, and use the plate like a funnel to put the rice back into the jar.  When all the rice from the plate is in the jar, pick up the walnuts and put them in the jar with the rice.  Put on the lid.  You will see that they do not all exactly fit.  

Now my son, when I was demonstrating this object lesson for him, tried to point out that he could force the walnuts into the jar if they were left to the last.

Try it.

When you are done trying, empty the jar again unto the paper plate.  Put the walnuts in first and then the rice.

The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Put on the lid.

I put this label on my jar.  It is a card someone at a party gave me.  They had made it, but I cannot remember who it was that I got this from.  I love it thought.  I will show you at the bottom of this page what this card says when it is turn upside down....

Meanwhile, remember, that in the real world, in your own life, God wants to be first and foremost in our life, and for good reason.  God loves  and cares about me and about you.

 It's true.

When you  "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," Gods adds all those other things and it all perfectly fits!  We are sealed and safe... complete.  Whole is our life with him, and he will never leave us not forsake us.

 Consider, if God cares for little things like birds and flowers, will not God care also for you?

The world is not perfect, though that is what God desired when he created it.  Something bad happened to God's creation that brought sin and death.  Thank God, he did not leave mankind to simply toil and save up stuff in barns that spoil.  Thank God he did not simply set things in motion and forget.  You know, to let us live life anyway we want to, simply make the best of it, (lemonade) and die. Eat Drink and be Merry... The End.

Nope.  He established forever His Kingdom, which can never end.  He sent Jesus to live and die for that terrible thing that separates us from God and causes death and destruction of all that is good and right and true... SIN.

God, our father in heaven, sent Jesus.  He wants to give you his kingdom and His righteousness.  This is his earth and he redeemed it once and for all in the person of Jesus Christ.  So, Ask questions.  Seek truth.... Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Ask, God for help and for forgiveness for your sin, and for wisdom.  God is a generous and loving.  God gives to all who ask, generously... without reproach... without tying you up for daring to ask.... or needing to be clothed with His righteousness. (James 1:5)  He has demonstrated his love for us in this man, Jesus, who did not sin, and who willingly laid down his life.  The same, Jesus, is the one whom God raised from death to life.

In Jesus Christ we see  God's love and mercy poured out in his forgiveness for our sin. So... put God first and let Him be the anchor for your life, your heart, your mind and ultimately your soul. .

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matthew Chapter 6

The wages of sin is death....
Romans 6:23

JOHN 3:3... ROMANS 10:9-10
Food for thought.