Free audio sermons: Get free audio sermons through this free Christan sermon podcast!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holidays

I think that I've mentioned before that this is my favorite season of the year. Mainly because it's the season that brings us Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holidays. I have a personal name for this season and I call it the "Food Season." Would you agree with me that there just seems to be an abundance of good things to eat during this time?
Plus, I've spent a lot of time and effort (not to mention money), lo these many years, at gaining experience at eating. And, I might add, pretty much all over this country and various parts of the world. I've told you all of this in order to tell you that, because of my vast experience (dast I say "expertise") I've read a lot of menus. You might just be asking right about now, 'What does this have to do with a scriptural lesson?' and I'll be happy to show you how we can take my "expertise" and end up with one.
The next time that you're dining out and are perusing the menu and making a choice from it, notice something stated on it, usually at the bottom. It's a little two word phrase advising you that there are "NO SUBSTITUTIONS!"
What exactly does that mean? It means that the owner of the establishment has decreed that those who dine there cannot mix and match foods different than they are listed on the menu. As an illustration, you cannot trade your "mixed vegetables" for a piece of Peach pie. When it tells you that there are NO SUBSTITUTIONS, that's exactly with it means.
You see, the owner has placed the items on HIS menu in the order he wants them and people dining there have no authority to change anything on HIS menu. Only the owner has that authority. And, if we take this thought a step further, one item does not equal another. IE: One thing is not as good as the other. Now, parabolically speaking, let's take a known and familiar thing such as a "menu" and see if we can't apply that to a spiritual aspect say, "The Bible" or "God's Word."
I don't know about you, but I have no problem seeing The Bible as God's Menu. And when we look at it in that respect, I think that there are a couple of areas we can consider here today. I suppose the most apparent one would be the substituting or exchanging of man's laws for God's laws.
Some of the things that man likes to do, as far as "being religious" can be what we might call "slight" in nature. As opposed to something of a "radical" nature. "Slight" might be something as simple as the way we praise Him in our song worship and "radical" would be seen as worshiping idols or including some paganistic ritual in the worship service. Perhaps we could even define this area as being of "minor" or "major" exchanges/substitutions.
I'd like you to remember this: the degree of substitution is not what matters here. The principle involved with "minor" or "major" is the same as a "little white lie" or a "big black lie." Either one is a lie. The degree does not matter with God. Thus, a "minor" substitution is just the same as a "major" one. We "diners" have no authority to change His "menu" in any way, shape or form. Remember the old saying: "It takes as much authority to change a law as it takes to make a law." When one takes it upon themselves to "change" one of God's laws, they are literally putting themselves on the same level as God. Bestowing on themselves the same authority as God. That, my friends, is a scary proposition to me.
When we look back at the Law given to Israel, we find that they were specifically told to not change anything the Lord told them to do in worshiping Him. Not to exchange (or substitute) one thing for another in the manner in which they were to sacrifice/worship Him. Check out Lev. chapter 27 and Ezek. 48 and see if I speak correctly about this.
But, we also know from our studies of ancient Israel that they made numerous "substitutions" in The Law and in so doing, basically made the Covenant with them of no effect. The Prophet Isaiah called them on this when he told them that the reason their "land" had become "defiled" was because the "inhabitants had changed the ordinance" and "broken the Covenant." (Isa. 24:5)
In actuality, what they did was the same as Paul talks about in the first chapter of Romans when he talks about "those who changed the truth of God into a lie." He goes on to say that, when "they" did this, they worshiped the "creature more than the Creator." When we extrapolate this on out, wouldn't the words of Paul there apply to those who "substitute" their own form of doctrine in place of that delivered by Christ. Would not they, in essence, be making themselves equal with God and then worshiping themselves. I see it that way.
Let's talk just a moment about another "area" of "substitutions." This area deals with people's propensity to "substitute" going to worship service for some other endeavor. And we see those "substitutions" falling into the realm of "charitable events" or participating in some "social organization" benefit of some kind. And these things, in of themselves, do not fall under the category of "bad" things and a lot of the time are really good and benevolent things.
They are things that have good causes like addressing tragic diseases or the relief of some calamitous event. People just seem to feel that being involved in these sort of activities is just as good as "going to Church." You see, they're doing something "instead of" what God tells us we are to do on the first day of the week. Did you notice that "instead of" is the same as "substituting?"
Yes, unfortunately, there are many people who believe that being involved in a social organization is equal to being a Christian. Is equal to doing what God commands that we do. Those people are doing nothing more than "substituting" what they want to do in place of what God says we are to do.
In closing: when God says on His Menu "NO SUBSTITUTIONS" that is exactly what He means. Revelation 22:18-19 tells us what the penalty is for assuming that we have the authority to "substitute" or "change" our laws for His. We have no more right to make "substitutions" to God's Menu than we do to get a piece of pie in place of stewed carrots. The café owner says "NO SUBSTITUTIONS" when it comes to his menu and God says the same regarding HIS!
Ron Covey
 Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary on the book of Romans through  There are also FREE audio sermons - and FREE sermon outlines -

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

How to be saved

Are you wondering how to be saved? Are you searching for information on how to be saved? Do you want to know what God requires you to do to be saved from your sins? Learn how to be saved from sin and have heaven you home by visiting today! There is also a good discussion on how to be saved at

Bible commentary search engine

Bible commentary on

Bible commentary listing and Bible blog posts on

Bible commentary listing

A great listing for my Bible commentary material is

On line Bible commentary

My Bible commentary books are now listed on, a VERY useful web site! Check out this neat web site and my profile there at this link:

naymz and bible commentary information

I just learned about and found this to be another great tool to advertise the Bible commentary and Bible study information from - check out my bible commentary profile at this link:

Commentary on the Bible listing has helped me promote the "Bible commentary" products from - my "yelp listing" is here: Bible commentary profile

I added my "Bible commentary" profile to flickr and it was EASY! Check it out at

I just joined, a very interesting web site! My "bible commentary" profile is here - - and I was able to include a link to my new "First Corinthians commentary" which is also part of Google books.

Blogs from

Are you interested in blogging? If you are looking for a "free blog" that is EASY to use, check out You can be up in running in just minutes - here is my first "Bible commentary" blog post:

Blog Archive