Monday, August 4, 2008

God and Apple Pie

My buddy, Tony, is preaching a great series on God's grace at his church. He's the pastor of Grace Community Bible Church in Venice, Florida. Michelle and I started listening to his series while we were on vacation last month. This past weekend, Tony used a metaphor about God that really made sense to me. I'm pretty sure he stole it from someone because it's too profound for him to come up with on his own (I owe you that, Tony!), plus stealing other people's stuff is what we pastors do.

Anyway, he was talking about how God can not simply be just a priority in the life of a believer - even if He's seen as number one. Instead, God must permeate every part of the life of the believer. He likened God to the apple filling inside an apple pie. No matter how you cut the pie, you're always going to get a heaping portion of delicious apple filling inside each piece. In the same way, no matter what relationship we're involved with or what situation we're in, God must permeate it all.

We're so quick to compartmentalize our lives saying, for instance, "God is first, my spouse is second, my kids are third, and my friends are fourth." That sounds good on the surface, but because we're so prone to compartmentalizing our relationships and life-sitautions, I'm not so sure this is really the best way of looking at things.

I like the apple pie analogy. Since there's apple filling all throughout the pie, no matter how you slice it, you'll get some apple in every bite you take. The same should be true when it comes to the way we see the Lord in our lives. Since He should take preminence in every area of our lives, viewing Him like apple pie filling is much better than viewing Him as number one. The Lord should permeate every relationship we're in and every situation we come across in our lives.

So...I like the apple pie analogy. I like it so much that I may use it someday, and when I do, I'll be sure to take credit for coming up with it myself, so don't say anything! While it's true that pastors are known for stealing ideas, it's only the good ones that can do it and convince people that they came up with the ideas themselves. Mum's the word.


Evonne said...

I think that if we could truly get a hold of the idea that our faith cannot and must not be compartmentalized, we would experience a greater sense of vocational purpose, greater contentment with our circumstances, and would live lives that are permeated with the understanding that worship is the privileged and daily response to a well integrated life.

Tony said...

Let it be known that I did not steal that illustration. When I heard it (about 23 years ago in the chapel at Cedarville University) the preacher used "peach" pie. If you will notice, I used "apple" pie thus making it original with me.
Furthermore, all good preachers do not steal, we appropriate.

James Carlyle said...

In Tony's series, does he offer any advice on how to not compartmentalize our life/faith?

Mike Potter said...

James...try listening to Tony's sermon called "Living Loved (6): Growing In Grace"

Here's the link...

Hopefully the transcript of the sermon will be there soon as well.