Stale Bread

Have you ever bought a loaf of bread and then somehow a small hole gets poked into the bag and all of the sudden you have a loaf of stale bread? I have done that several times, and it is usually when I am ready to pack someone's lunch and that is the only bread I have left in the house! Those are the days where my kids get crackers with their meat and cheese:) I was thinking about this staleness as something that can also happen to us as Christians. What can make us or our faith go stale? There are lots of things. If we do not stay fresh in the Word, it can cause us to become stale. So stale, in fact, that reading the Bible has become a chore that we try to avoid doing. So stale, that going to church or sunday school has become a chore that we try to avoid, as well. I know that there are many, many, many things going on in our lives, but when we put those things first and God last, it is like poking holes of doubt and discontent into our faith. These are some excuses that I have heard (and some of these sound a little too familiar to me:)) to justify what our choices are regarding God and church. "Sunday is the only day that I don't have to get up early, I deserve to sleep in." "Just because I don't go to church doesn't mean that I don't believe in God!" "I don't have time to read the Bible, I have too many other things on my plate right now." "God knows that I love Him, I don't need to sit around with other people in order to prove it, do I?" There are so many more reasons that some will come up with to convince themselves and others that they know what is best for them and not God. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is given by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work." Here is another one to think about; "Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you;you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect."
Romans 12:2
We are not meant to go through our lives unnoticed by God. He wants us to stay fresh and grow in our faith, but we cannot do that if we let others and this world come before Him. Going to church will not save you, reading your Bible will not save you , and praying will not save you-none of these things on their own will save you. But of you put them all together with "air tight" faith, you will be made new and feel "fresh" in your spirit. If we do not allow ourselves to grow and learn and stretch our faith then we will become stagnant and stale. I have been stale and I have tried to fill up the holes with every excuse I could think of. I justified my lack of faithfullness to make myself feel better, but then I got real and began looking at what I was allowing to take place of God in my life. I still did "good deeds" and I was still what some called a "good person", but my relationship with God was not what it should have been. I am proud to say that not only am I forever child of God, but I am also a forever student of faith and His word. I will leave you with this quote from author, Max Lucado;
"Growth is the goal of the Christian. Maturity is mandatory. If a child ceases to develop, the parent would be concerned, right? Docotors would be called in. Tests would be run. When a child stops growing, something is wrong."
Blessings to all of God's children,
Nicole

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