God and Salad Bars

“The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.” Exodus 34:5-8

I’ve never been a big fan of salads. I’m a much bigger fan of waffle fries and chicken strips. That all changed over the last few years when I was introduced to one of the world’s greatest salad bars.

We were at a (wedding) rehearsal dinner for a former Greystone counselor at Texas de Brazil. Their salad bar had all of the normal icky stuff like cauliflower, squash and zucchini. Well maybe not icky but certainly no match for waffle fries and chicken strips. Suddenly my eyes fixed upon something glorious—applewood smoked bacon! My theory is that everything is better with bacon. The only thing that makes bacon better is more bacon. I had the best (bacon) salad that night that I’ve ever had. Of course I had to add some of my favorite cheeses and breads to go along with the bacon.

All were there for the taking on the salad bar. I’ve learned that salads are always better at the salad bar because you are free to build them yourself. You have your own creative license to do as you please. You can leave off all the icky stuff and get as much bacon as you want.

There are all kinds of things that we read about God in the Bible–things that we like, and things that we don’t. Things that excite us and things that scare us. Things that make us happy and things that make us sad. Things that bring comfort and things that make us uncomfortable. We aren’t really sure what to make of God are we? So what do we do?

We approach God like we do a salad bar. We want our God with extra grace (like bacon), extra love, and extra mercy. We just leave off the holiness, justice, judgment and rules. Somebody else can have all of that. We want to custom build God to our liking. We want him to be tailor-made to meet all of our needs and desires. There are countless problems with approaching God that way.

Perhaps the most fundamental problem is that you’ve exalted yourself over and above God. You essentially made yourself God. The god of your creation is nothing more than a worthless idol. He’s nothing but a lie and no help to needy people.

God’s not like a salad bar. You can’t pick and choose the things about his character that you like and don’t like. You either get all of God or none of Him. There is a sense in which we are to fear God. After all, God is Holy, Holy, Holy.

He cannot ignore or tolerate our sin. Because He is holy, he must punish sin. Yet, isn’t it amazing, in light of all of this, that God loves sinners like you and me. Can you believe that the God who created the heavens and the earth desires to know you face-to-face.

Because God so loved the world (you and me) He sent His one and only son to free us from our sin and give us life in Him. That’s amazing! I hope that you will pour your life into knowing Him and all of Him.

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