THE STUFFING WE ARE MADE OF
It’s Thanksgiving time in the USA. Time for great debates like: “stuffing or dressing?”; “pea-can pie or pea-con pie?”; “frosting or icing?” and “fresh cranberries or canned?”
I much prefer these debates to the political ones raging online and on TV. But, frankly, I’m going to eat my fill of the foods I like, whatever you call them. I like all the traditional foods of the American Thanksgiving holiday. My family has special dishes we only make this time of year. And we stuff ourselves with all the good and bountiful food that God has blessed us with each year.
On a whim, I decided to see what the Bible has to say about being filled and searched for the word “filled” at BlueLetterBible.org (a Bible Website I very much recommend).
I was reminded that the glory of the LORD dramatically filled the Tabernacle and Temple – which each were the House of the LORD, constructed according to His guidance, at the time.
Exodus 40:35 [KJV] And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
2 Chronicles 7:1-2 [KJV] Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.
Since we believers are the dwelling of God in the New Testament era, we too are to be filled with the presence of the LORD via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 6:19 [ESV] Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?
When building the Tabernacle, God filled many craftsmen with the talents, wisdom and skills they needed for the job. [See Exodus 31:3 (KJV) And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,]
He does the same for us today too – fills us with exactly what we need to carry on the work He calls us to do. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 [ESV] To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
If we need any of God’s good gifts, all we have to do is ask. Matthew 7:7-8, 11 [ESV] "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. ... 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
However, we are filled with all good things, not for the sake of having them, but for the sake of sharing with others. We are told that if we see anyone else in need of spiritual things or physical things, we are to share the abundance of good things with which God has filled us. Matthew 10:8 [KJV] Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. James 2:14-17 and Matthew 25:31-46 also compel us to give to others in need – to see that their needs are met, whether their bellies need filling, or it is their hearts, minds and spirits that are in want. God has given us, as His obedient servants, the command to do the work of filling others whenever and wherever we can.
We might worry about putting on a few pounds over the Thanksgiving holiday with the abundance of food on most of our tables. Let’s not forget, this week, nor any time of the year, that we need to be filled with the things of God. Let's remember to take care of those who, without our provision, will go hungry on any given day. And let’s also remember to freely give of the gifts of the Spirit, just as we have freely received them.
Not only should the Holy Spirit be the stuffing of our bodies, minds and spirits, but is should also be the thing that we share with others all year long.
May you always be filled to the brim and running over with the Spirit of God, sweet sisters.
Would you like to share a favorite family recipe – something you traditional cook for a holiday or gathering of friends and family? I’m offering my “Grandma Oren’s Cranberry Salad” recipe below. I also welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.
GRANDMA OREN’S CRANBERRY WALDORF SALAD
16 oz pkg of cranberries, ground
6 cups small marshmallows
1 cup sugar
3 cups chopped red apples
3 cups seedless red grapes, sliced in half
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups whipped cream (or cool whip)
Grind cranberries (works best if they are semi frozen) and mix with sugar and marshmallows. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, mix with the rest of the ingredients and serve chilled.