In Between Sundays

Eating Bad Stew

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Genesis 25:29-34 tells about two brothers: Esau fighting with his younger brother, Jacob. I know your kids don’t fight, but these kids did! Jacob was a homemaker. He liked to be in house doing chores and cooking. Esau was incredibly hairy (think of a trimmed Chewbacca) and loved hunting. Needless to say, their interests and passions were exceedingly different.

In Genesis 25, Jacob caught Esau in a dreadfully vulnerable moment. Esau’s job was to hunt and he came home empty-handed. Exhausted and extremely hungry. He begged Jacob for some of his food. Jacob, seeing Esau’s desperation says, “give me your birthright.” Birthright back then was a HUGE deal. Firstborn, Esau, had the birthright, meaning he receives the inheritance when his dad dies. Jacob was jealous. Esau, being a bit of a drama queen, sells his birthright for some stew… STEW!

We have all made bad decisions when we were really hungry, right? We say things we shouldn’t. Our stomach feels like it is collapsing in on itself. Esau had a God given inheritance and it was his obligation to steward it well. Instead, he sold it for momentary satisfaction.

Aren’t we guilty of this? Instead of love, we choose lust. Instead of joy and peace, we choose worry and anxiety. Instead of honoring someone, we choose to disrespect them. We drink those bowls of soup. There are times in our lives where God puts us in situations so we learn to trust Him. To trust, despite the circumstance, we need to believe that He is for our good and loves us. During those times, are you trading the joy, faith, and trust that God has provided for you for bowl of stew filled with doubt, fear, and insecurity?

I’ve been guilty of drinking bad stew, as I know you have as well. Let us believe God, take Him at his word, and know that He is for our good. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power and self-control. Let us embrace what God has given us!

Posted by Clayton Havelka with

New Year. New You.

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There is a story about a farmer who was throwing out some seed. The farmer noticed that some of the seeds were immediately eaten up by the birds. Other seeds sprang up and blossomed rather quickly, but also died just as fast. It was clear to the farmer that the seeds didn’t have a root system deep enough to last when the drought came. Thorns grew up where some seeds landed. He was disappointed to see them choked and overrun by the thorns. Finally, some of the seeds were sprouting up from splendid soil. He began to notice that not only were the plants producing, but they were producing above and beyond anything he imagined - thirty, sixty, even one hundred times over.

Where do you find yourself in this parable? You might hear God’s word and reject it or see the same happen in the lives of family, friends, or coworkers.

Some people have a high school summer camp high, or even a new year’s resolution ambition. You are spiritually on fire, but when the proverbial fires of life comes (or the month of February) you are taxed and wither away.

You may find yourself being the seed among the thorns. You want to grow your relationship with the Lord, but there’s an awesome new show on Netflix. You have kids that have “umpteen” sporting events and activities. You have to file your taxes soon. You are trying to save a little bit more for that vacation this summer. Your job is hectic and life just doesn’t seem to slow down at all! The business of life and the cares of this world get to you and you find yourself drifting from God.  

Finally, there are seeds that fall on good soil. Now this is where it gets good. When we read, understand, and obey God’s word we bear fruit. Jesus says, “He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty” (Matthew 13:23).

Let that be you in this new year. Let God transform your heart and give you an ear to hear His words and eyes to see Him in the everyday. Be a light in a dark world. Watch God work in your life as he produces spiritual fruit, thirty, sixty, and even a hundred fold.

Posted by Clayton Havelka with