Eating Leftovers!December 26, 2017
…Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
— Matthew 13:52
Are leftovers a part of your after-Christmas holiday tradition? After you read today’s Sparkling Gem, you may never look at leftovers the same way again!
When I was young, we always enjoyed a smorgasbord of leftovers each year after Christmas — which included turkey sandwiches smeared with lots of mayonnaise, warmed-up meatloaf spread with ketchup, and mashed potatoes covered with melted butter. Of course, we also had an array of leftover biscuits, cake, pie, and other desserts to choose from that hadn’t been consumed on Christmas Day.
The truth is, we had all kinds of leftovers the day after Christmas — and we sometimes had them for days after Christmas! But we eventually got tired of eating the same old thing, and it became time to clean out the refrigerator and start eating something fresh and new.
Oh, how my mother prepared for Christmas Day! When I was young, I didn’t appreciate all the food she prepared each year for Christmas; I simply consumed it. But now that our own family has grown so large — and I see what it takes to feed a small multitude — I have such gratitude for all the cooking my mother did for us when we were younger. And I’m so thankful to Denise and our daughters-in-law for the luscious meals they prepare for our Christmas celebrations. Even my son Paul jumps into the fray, smoking a lamb that is given to us by a church member each year at Christmas.
It takes time and effort to feed people — and to feed them food prepared from both old recipes and new recipes makes eating more interesting. Most everyone appreciates eating food prepared from old, tried-and-true recipes as well as trying foods that are new.
This makes me think of Matthew 13:52, where Jesus said, “…Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
Notice that in this verse, a scribe — or a teacher — is pictured as “bringing forth of out of his treasure things new and old.” The word “new” is from the Greek word kaina, and it refers to something absolutely new and previously untried. The word “old” is palaia, and it refers to that which is old and has existed for a long time. Although this verse is talking about teachers bringing forth new revelation versus old revelation, I like the example of leftovers and new recipes to further make this point.
There are some teachings, like good leftovers, that are always tasty and enjoyable — and a common staple around the dinner table. But there also comes a time when you want to eat something new. The good news is that the Kingdom of Heaven is full of wonderful established teaching — and it is also overabounding with new, fabulous teaching that you’ve never heard or tried before. A good teacher — like a good food-preparer — will bring out new and old recipes for a family to enjoy! Good “leftovers” are always enjoyable, but your spiritual taste buds will eventually cry out to eat something new!
I know from personal experience that as we give our attention to the Word of God, the Holy Spirit adds new insights to the old ones and causes our understanding of God and His Word to be marvelously expanded. I relate well to the scribe described in Matthew 13:52. Many of the Greek word studies you read in this book are old to me; yet so many of them are brand new. Often I think that I have unearthed every gem that can possibly be found in a particular verse of the New Testament. But then I study that same verse again, and the Holy Spirit wonderfully opens my eyes and illuminates my mind to show me truths that I previously didn’t see!
So let’s keep our minds and eyes open for the Holy Spirit to provide not only great leftovers, but also new teachings that we haven’t learned yet. Let us remain hungry for new teachings and new revelation from the Word of God that we’ve never attained to before. The old, familiar truths of Scripture are always healthy and good, but there is a cry in the spirit of man to know more, to attain more, and to taste new levels of the Lord’s goodness. So let’s enjoy the leftovers, but let’s also press forward to attain new truths in the spiritual feast the Lord has waiting for us. We must never forget Psalm 34:8, which says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good…”!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I am hungry for fresh revelation of the Word of God. How could I be anything but thankful for the foundational truths that I’ve already received, yet my spirit is crying out to know You better and to receive revelatory truths that unveil aspects of Your character and Your ways yet unknown to me. I ask You to help those who teach me to be like a good scribe, knowing when to emphasize the old and when to introduce the new. Then You will equip them to bring forth new truths that my spirit is crying to hear and to know.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I boldly confess that I am grateful for every teaching I’ve ever received and that each one has added to the foundation of my life. But I am hungry for more of the Lord. I want more of His Word, more of His revelation. I want to learn new things, based on the teaching of the Bible, that will feed my spirit in a way I’ve never been fed before. I thank God for my pastor and for those teachers who teach me — but I purpose to keep an open ear and an open heart so I can also receive fresh heavenly revelation from the Spirit of God to feed to my spirit!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- What is the primary source of spiritual teaching for your life? Do you hear the same thing over and over again, or do you find that you are growing in your knowledge of the Word of God?
- Who is the primary person God uses to feed you spiritual food — whether leftover food you’ve heard before or new teaching that is new to your ears? That person works very hard to prepare spiritual meals for y Have you taken time to thank that minister for the spiritual meals he or she prepares for you?
- As I grow older in the Lord, I have realized the great impact people have had on my spiritual life when I was younger. I have felt the responsibility to communicate with them and thank them for the impartation they made in my life. Who are the people who have imparted spiritual truth into your life? Have you ever thanked them for all the time, prayer, work, and diligent effort they invested to spiritually feed you?