Eat Heartily!

William C. Brownson

Read: 1 Timothy 4:1-5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. (vv. 4-5)

In Paul’s time some were teaching that Christians must abstain from certain foods. The apostle would have none of that. “Everything created by God is good,” he wrote, and no food is “to be rejected.” As theologian Norman Wirzba put it, food is “God’s love made nurture for us” (Food and Faith, p. xiii). Never despise it!

This is not a call, obviously, to gorge ourselves or even to shun fasting. Paul speaks of his experience fasting (Acts 13:2-3; 14:23). And it certainly doesn’t declare all foods equally nutritious. It’s simply a celebration of the God who richly gives us all things to enjoy.

And it comes with a happy condition. Let every meal be received with thankfulness, hallowed by God’s Word and by our prayers. It is a blessed custom to hear afresh the words of Scripture at mealtime. It reminds us that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that God speaks (Deut. 8:3). Also, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). Thanksgiving rounds out the picture. Our prayers of thanks express the trust that all our daily bread comes from God’s fatherly hand. Every meal graced by the gospel and gratitude is a true feast. This is the height of eating pleasure. Enjoy! —Bill Brownson

As you pray, thank God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, for his incredible generosity to you, including your necessary food.