Weekly message from Pastor Mike: What we crave may not be best

Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Our very sweet and precious granddaughter, Neah (short for Nehemiah), loves chocolate. It is her favorite. She would rather have chocolate than anything. Really, I’m not just exaggerating! It was lunch time and she asked if she could have some chocolate, and only chocolate. She knows that my wife and I love chocolate too, and we usually do have some in our snack drawer in the kitchen. Snack drawer?!? Yep!

Actually, we have a few, and a whole cupboard filled with snacks, including chocolate. So, it’s not difficult to find some kind of chocolate somewhere: the big Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bars, Costco’s chocolate covered mango, Hershey’s chocolate bars for S’mores, and let’s not forget the Lindt Lindor chocolates! Wow, my mouth just started watering and I am really craving chocolate right now!! So, now you know why it’s tough for me to lose weight!

Anyway, back to Neah and her craving for chocolate. One day, she had her mom call us to say she needed some peanut M&M’s. We assured her they would be here when she came to visit. She will forgo a healthy balanced diet to give into her cravings for chocolate.

Have you ever done that? I know I have. Sometimes out of necessity. Like the other day, I forgot to bring a lunch or healthy snack. I was so hungry I had to scrounge around my office and found… yep, you guessed it, chocolate. I also found peanut butter. So I made my own Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Oh, it was so tasty and hit the spot. Yet, only for a moment as it made me feel a bit lethargic and my stomach was a bit queasy. See, what we crave may not be best.

Actually, one of the wisest men that ever lived, Solomon (see 2 Chronicles 1:1-17 to know where Solomon’s wisdom came from) said that trying to fulfill our human cravings is a waste of time. As well, the pursuit of satisfying these hungers does not bring life fulfillment or real lasting satisfaction. Solomon wrote the Bible book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes is an interesting book where Solomon walks through all aspects of life to find what is meaningful. In chapter two, he reasons through the experiment for feeding his cravings and discovering that it does not bring satisfaction.

Ecclesiastes 2:1 I (Solomon) said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Then I considered all that my hands had done (See Ecclesiastes 2:3-10 for all he tried) and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Wow, those are some wise words to ponder and let roll around in our minds. Self-indulgence does not bring life satisfaction or fulfillment. Solomon does end the book with what does bring life stratification and fulfillment.
His answer:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 the end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

To fear God is to have a reverent respect of Him. To give God honor as the key leader of life and to submit to His will and way. Jesus put it this way:

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Life satisfaction and fulfillment does not always come from going after what we crave. What we crave is not always best. The key is to put our cravings in submission to and after God’s will and way. One way to do that is to take in the teachings and truth of Jesus. As we ingest who Jesus is and align our lives to His way, we live the life God created us to live.

Now sure, feeding our cravings for the little things like a bit of chocolate is not life altering, yet looking to Jesus as our ‘Bread of Life’ can be life changing!

Church can be a wonderful place to take in the great teaching about who Jesus is and His way of life. That’s why we created a new section on our website called “Revive your soul this week.” Housed here are a number of links to videos, emails, posts, and publications of biblical teachings that will revive your soul. These resources also help give greater insight to our Sunday teachings. Every Sunday we learn from the Bible and seek to know God more. Here is the link to our live-streaming services (see live.neighborhoodchurch.com) As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings visit our YouTube channel.