Last week, we had a guest teacher on Sunday morning at El Camino. The theme of his sermon was "How's your appetite...for the Lord?" I don't know that I've ever thought about it that way before. Hunger? yes. Desire? yes. But appetite, never. He was talking about how we "fill up" on other things- television, social events, magazines, porn, drinking, other people- the list could go on and on.
But in Matthew 22:37, Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your mind." or as my favorite version, The Message, says, "Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence."
I had to stop and think as he had us ask ourselves, "What are you filling up on BEFORE you go to Jesus?" Because when we fill up on anything other than him first, in our hearts, or in our minds, or with our strength, passion, intelligence, etc., our appetite for HIM becomes less and less. How true this is in my life. And of course when God tells us important little things like this that knock us back into place, it continues to tap you on the shoulder. But what a great reminder to keep coming back again and again. I pray for myself and for you that our appetites for the Lord would continue to grow and may they be fully quenched and satisfied only by the Lord, in our hearts, minds and strength.
Last night, the youth of El Camino had their first Saturday gathering. What a great turnout for an evening of worship, teaching, fun games and small groups! This is a huge step for the youth ministry as they move towards small groups and focusing in our discipleship relationships. Despite the fact that we played games that required sitting on the (very) wet ground and dunking your head in a bucket of water if you lost (which of course, I did- hence the hood) I am so glad I got to be a part of this very special night. I am so excited about the things to come and what God is going to do in and through this gathering time every Saturday night. Please join me in praying for the leadership, Jera & Eddie, for Hayley, as she teaches some girls on discipleship over the next few weeks, and for all of the students.