Feasting Upon the Words of Christ by Takashi Wada
We've heard the phrase "feast upon the word of God" before, and most of us probably have a pretty good idea of what it means and how it relates to our Gospel studies. But Elder Wada took this phrase further and really expounded on what it means to feast,
"I now know true feasting is more than enjoying a delicious meal. It is an experience of joy, nourishment, celebration, sharing, expressing love to families and loved ones, communicating our thanksgiving to God, and building relationships while enjoying abundant, incredibly delicious food. I believe when we feast upon the words of Christ, we ought to be thinking of the same kind of experience."
So close your eyes, and imagine yourself at a feast, THE feast of the century! What makes this eating experience different than any other meal?
SAVOR | As I picture this in my mind, the last thing I see is someone rushing through the meal, taking large bites, to get it over with quickly. More likely if we're at a feast, we're taking smaller bites, savoring every taste and texture, because we recognize just how delicious the food is!
Why can't our scripture study be the same? What if we focused on quality vs. quantity? Taking smaller sections and really pondering all the meanings, applications, and blessings between the lines.
CELEBRATE | One of the biggest difference between a feast and a regular meal is the reason. A feast usually means there is cause for celebration! And when that cause becomes the focus, the actual food before us becomes less of the focus. Rather we begin to see the bigger picture and our heart fills with gratitude!
"When we feast, we will also likely find that the amount or kind of food we have may not matter if our hearts are filled with gratitude."
What might happen if we approached our Gospel studies with celebration and gratitude in our hearts that we even have this knowledge before us! What a blessing!! That is absolutely a cause for celebration!! Can you feel the excitement in that?? Versus coming to your studies to check a box?
And finally, when we find ourselves at a feast, we will most likely be surrounded by loved ones. There will be laughter, conversations, reminiscing and connection. We're using this reason to gather to connect.
How can we use our scripture study as an opportunity to connect with God? Imagine He joins our table as we feast over the words, what might you ask Him?
"Feasting upon the scriptures is not just reading them. It should bring us real joy and build our relationship with the Savior."
Now when you hear the phrase "feasting upon the words of Christ", hopefully you will picture much more than eating a meal. Hopefully you will realize the joyous experience it can be!
Faith in Action
So we've discussed several ways we can improve and deepen our gospel studies, but none of it matters if we don't know WHY we want to improve it! Elder Wada outlined 3 blessings that can come from feasting upon the Word of God...
"First, the words of Christ can help us “increase [our] spiritual capacity to receive revelation” and safely guide us through our life."
"Second, when we struggle with our own identity and lack of self-esteem, the “pleasing word of God” in the scriptures will help us know who we really are and give us strength beyond our own."
"Third, we can lift the lives of others through the words of Christ. [They] will profoundly touch hearts and open the eyes of those who do not yet see Him."
Which blessing do you need most in your life right now? Then work your way backwards and decide what you might change in your study routine in order to truly feast! The Lord is bound when we do what He says, when we give Him sincere effort and sacrifice our time--blessings will come!
As we study the final events of the Savior's life this week, let this be your reason for feasting. Realize ALL that the Savior has done for you--the heartaches He has eased, the burdens He has lifted, the comfort and peace He has offered, the pain and suffering He endured ALL "that He may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
So how can we ever repay Him? Though we are ever indebted to our Savior, we can begin by learning of Him and feasting upon His words. We can sacrifice our time, dedicate our efforts, and offer more than just our eyes on the pages and instead engaging in their teachings.
Throughout your studies this week, pray beforehand with your ministering sister or brother in mind. Then as you ponder on the words you read, see if anything stands out to you! If so , send it to them! You don't need to bear a long testimony, simply send them a link or phrase and say, "I needed this today and thought maybe you might too!" Or, "Hope you're having a great week, thinking of you!"
There is no way to know if it will bless their day or not, so why not send it anyway? It might be nothing more than a casual text in their day, or it might be the very message they needed to know they are loved.
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