Don’t Stop There!

May 13, 2016

Psalm 34:6-10

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

Psalm 34:6 through 10:

      This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out
      of all his troubles.  The angel of the LORD encamps all around those
      who fear Him, and delivers them.  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is
      good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!  Oh, fear the LORD, you
      His saints!  There is no want to those who fear Him.  The young lions
      lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack
      any good thing.

Psalm 34 is a wonderful psalm, full of great truths.  And in verse 8 David presents his readers with a challenge:  “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good….”  In other words, “Take a bite! He really tastes good!”  But too many people stop there!  It is like they say, “Yup, that does taste good!  Thanks’ for inviting me to taste the Lord.  But I gotta go now.  Bye.

This Davidic invitation should be teamed up with what Jesus said in John 6:51 and 55 through 58:

      I am the living bread which came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of
      this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh,
      which I give for the life of the world….For My flesh is food indeed, and
      My blood is drink indeed.  He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood,
      abides in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent Me, and I live be-
      cause of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.  This
      is the bread which came down from heaven….He who eats this bread will
      live forever.

The first taste may be good – very good!  But Don’t Stop There!  Go on to consume the full meal!  And David tells us the same thing in the second half of verse 8:  “…blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”  After the first taste and see, go on and trust in the LORD – take in the full meal!

This was quite a controversial statement Jesus made about consuming His body and blood!  It even tells us in John 6:60 and 66, “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’  …From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

In a second century document called The Octavius of Minicius Felix, a conversation is described between Octavius, a Christian, and Caecilius, a pagan.  Caecilius throws out an accusation of cannibalism among Christians:

      You Christians are the worst breed ever to affect the world.  You deserve every
      punishment you can get!  Nobody likes you.  It would be better if you and your
      Jesus had never been born.  We hear that you are all cannibals–you eat the
      flesh of your children in your sacred meetings.

Octavius responds:

      That story is probably based on reports that we share together a meal of the
      body and blood of Christ.  That we do. But it is not human flesh we eat.  It is
      bread and wine we consecrate to commemorate our Lord’s death.  But the rumor of Christian cannibalism persisted!

What is the danger of only taking a first taste, and that’s all?  I have met too many people who have done just that.  Many of them have been members in the churches I have pastored over the years.  Having tasted, they think they are full-fledged Christians!  And it is so hard to reach someone who thinks they have already arrived!  It is like someone once said about such church members:  “They have been inoculated with just enough Christianity that they have now built up a resistance so they won’t ever catch the real thing!

In our John 6 passage, what is Jesus saying to His followers?

      Consume Me!  Get Me inside of you!  I am totally in the Father, and the Father
      is totally in Me.  So consume Me totally – both initially trusting in Me as Savior
      with all your heart, and then daily following and obeying Me as your Lord.

It is as He told “…those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31 and 32).  Abiding in His Word – the Bible – is what Paul admonishes his readers to do in Colossians 3:16:  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom….”  In order for the word of Christ to dwell in you richly, you must daily dwell in the Bible – reading it (see Isaiah 34:16), studying it (see II Timothy 2:15), meditating upon it (see Psalm 1:2), even memorizing it (see Psalm 119:9-11), and of course, obeying it (see James 1:22)!

So Don’t Stop There with just taking a taste of the LORD!  Go on and feast every day on the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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