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FEEDING THE CHICKENS By Britt Snyder

Read: 1 Timothy 4:1-16

Reflect: We had five new members of the family move into our house two weeks ago. They go by the names of Mrs. White, Mrs. Lapp, Sumner, Rose, and Abraham Lincoln. Each one has two legs, two eyes, one pointy beak and two full feather covered wings. Chickens. There are chickens living in my basement. (No worries – they are headed outside to the coop soon).

My oldest daughter would like to pack her bags and move to the closest farm as soon as possible. So, this was our compromise. We brought a bit of the farm to us. More so though, we saw this as a great opportunity for our kids to learn some responsibility through raising and caring for an animal.

Two weeks in and my husband asked her, “So did you remember to feed them and give them their water today?” He was met with a blank stare so he repeated the question. “Did you take care of the chickens today?” Her response: “Oh. Well, no, I didn’t but I did check to make sure they are still alive.”

Isn’t this just a bit like our spiritual life? How often do we do a quick peek into our spiritual life to make sure it’s still living but then neglect to nourish it on a daily basis? We can easily justify that one skipped meal won’t kill us (or the chickens) but what happens when this becomes our normal routine? For the chickens, it will mean an eventual death. Without nourishment there is no growth and eventually no life. For our spiritual lives, it means the same. When we neglect to feed our souls, we will fail to grow in Christ. And eventually, when we go down into the basement to do a quick check to make sure our spiritual life is still alive, we will likely be more than a bit dismayed at what we find.

1 Timothy 4:6 provides us the critical reminder of where we find our nourishment. “If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.” Our nourishment comes from the truths of the faith and our Lord’s good teaching. Our nourishment is not going to come from an obligatory quick fact check during a Sunday morning church service or an occasional five-minute devotional. Those can be helpful, but they really don’t dig into the pulse in our spiritual life to make sure it is still alive. Our nourishment needs to come from personal time spent in the Word and with the Lord where his truths can be found and his teachings can feed our soul.

Apply:  When is the last time you fed your spiritual life or have you been living like the six-year-old – cautiously hoping for the best when you do a quick check for life? Let us get back into the routine of nourishing our souls with the Word of the Lord. Spend time meditating upon the Bible. Be in prayer always. Take the time to actually feed your chickens.