This week, my husband and I were at Officers' Councils - a time of spiritual challenge and rest for the officers (pastors) in our division. The theme for the week was taken from Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."
It was a good time together. It started off with a Christmas murder mystery dinner. I was a reindeer (no pic to prove it) and Gwyn was the head elf, Jingle. Little did we know that he would be murdered that night. You would've been proud of his theatrical death. (He was awarded with the Drama Queen Award. LOL!)
We also had a personal time of reflection which included treats to eat for each reading. I have shared some of those prompts here as I thought it might be helpful to you too. (Sorry no treats to give you at this time.) Credit goes to Major Jeanne Stromberg for her initial thoughts:
Human taste can be broken down into 5 basic qualities; they are bitter, sour, savory, sweet, and salty. And each of these also represents our spiritual walk and relationships. We are at one time or another, all guilty of any or all of the different qualities of taste:
BITTER (Dark chocolate) What does it mean to be bitter? Usually, we are bitter because we are angry and/or disappointed at being treated unfairly - whether perceived or real. When we look at the story of Cain and Able, we see real bitterness in Cain's heart because he felt underappreciated, unvalued, and less loved. And many times we do as well. Out of bitterness, he murdered his brother.
When my heart was brief and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward, you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:21-24
What in your life has made you feel bitter? A person, a situation, or a recognition not received? How will you release the bitterness and forgive yourself and those who have caused you bitterness?
SOUR (Sour punch twists) Sour can be a favorite taste. But not for many people. When the Bible talks about sour, it refers to something that is immature, unripe, unfriendly, or easily annoyed. And the immaturity becomes the countenance on our faces. We allow little things to rob us of our joy.
For the look on their faces bears witness against them: they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. The very look on their faces gives them away. Isaiah 3:9
When was the last time you felt immature in your walk? Was it when things didn't go well? Was it when you felt a lack of support from your friends? Did your actions reflect that immaturity through your behavior or conversation? How can you move from allowing those moments to sour you to allow them to grow you on your spiritual journey?
SAVORY (Slim Jim) Probably the most satisfying taste is something savory - well-seasoned and with an aroma that makes your mouth water. We are to make our lives a living sacrifice, a sweet-smelling (savory) offering to God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1
We are to strive to be like Jesus - holy in our thoughts, lifestyle, conversations, and relationships - with each other, coworkers, family, and friends. As you witness, pray that you will be a sweet-smelling sacrifice to those around you but especially to God.
SALTY (Salted peanuts) The Bible contains numerous references to salt. It is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value, and purification. For thousands of years, salt was a precious commodity; and to call someone "the salt of the earth" was a great compliment. As salt affects food for flavor, believers in Christ should affect the world by the way we live and act toward one another. We set the example of Kingdom living.
SWEET (Life Saver) How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103
We are to taste and see the Lord is good. That His mercy endures forever. The LifeSaver is not only sweet, but its circular shape shows the eternal nature of God's love toward us. God shows his love and mercy towards us daily. But it's not enough to experience it ourselves. we are to reach out to those around us to invite them to taste and see.
Who can you introduce to Jesus? How will you share God's love with each of them? What can you do to show them practically God's love for them?
TASTE & SEE!