October 30, 2020
Revelation 10:9-11
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”
New International Version (NIV)
            Have you ever tasted a book?  One of our dogs, Xena the Warrior Princess Dog has consumed more than her share of my paperbacks.  I have to be careful not to leave a book out or she will eat it.  She seems to have a “paper deficiency.”  In college, my roommate’s dog, Mindy ate Genesis 37-39 out of my Scofield Bible.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have devoured a good book on occasion, but not literally. 
Looking on my shelf I see Eugene Peterson’s title, Eat This Book.  Book eaters are in good company with the Apostle John and with the prophet Ezekiel.  John’s story has a touch of humor in it.  In his vision he sees a tremendously large and powerful angel straddling the ocean and the land, holding a tiny scroll.  John was told to go and ask for it.  Do we suppose he said, “Please . . .”?  Upon receiving the scroll, the Apostle was told to eat God’s words.  How do books taste?  Xena has never told me.  But the angel tells John it will be initially sweet and then sour in his stomach. 
            Anyone who has binged on dessert can tell you it is possible to have “too much of a good thing.”  But why did the scroll affect John this way?  First, God’s word to us is good.  One of our members whom God has brought from another continent, encourages me often by saying, “The word was good today,” as he pats his stomach.  God’s word to us is good because God is good.  But his word does not always make us comfortable.  As soon as we receive God’s word, we are charged with the responsibility of proclaiming it to a dying world.
             At the end of the day, God’s word is all we really have to offer to the broken, the struggling, the sinful and the ashamed.  Remember, Jesus did not come to make bad people good.  He came to make dead people live.  People who are dead in trespasses and sins will not suddenly start doing good things.
 Especially in this season, I have been reminded that God’s way of changing a broken world is primarily through the good news of Jesus Christ.  God did not save us by giving us better laws or giving us control of our lives or the world.  The good news is we were worse off than we thought, and more loved than we ever dreamed.  Jesus is making us and our world new, one life at a time as we place our complete trust in him.  Let’s take all of our intensity and energy and passion and put them to work sharing God’s love with the lost.  God’s word is transforming our lives by the power of his Spirit.  We change the world by sharing his loving word with a lost world.  
Pray with me:         
Father, your word to us is good.  Help us to share it with others today.  Thank you for changing us and empowering us to change the world with your good news.  Help us not to grow weary in doing good and sharing good news today.  We believe your promise that there will be a harvest some day if we do not give up.  Bring that day soon, we pray.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.      
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:11-12
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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