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February 28, 2005

The Discerning Pallet

Greenville, SC

I enjoy cooking. In fact, as a young boy I would help my mother in small ways prepare meals for the soldiers we would host in our home throughout the week. For some reason, she would ask me to taste the sauce, soup, or gravy to see what they needed for better flavor. At first I was limited in distinguishing the need whether to salt or pepper the dish. But, as I matured in my taste I would discern the need for garlic or onion – or maybe celery. Then it was on to basil or oregano, tarragon, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg or clove. As I progressed, my own pallet became more discerning of what was in dishes that I would eat prepared at other places.

As I travel to other countries and taste their traditional foods, my mouth explodes with a variety of tastes that send my creative cooking exploits to new destinations. Through time, I have developed discernment for herbs and seasoning and can combine them to create culinary satisfactions that at least spark my taste buds if not other’s tasting fulfillment as well. I want for people to enjoy and be satisfied with a more discerning and sophisticated pallet.

It is hard to describe a home-cooked farm meal from Tuscany with all its the intricate flavors to someone whose only connection to Italian cuisine is the American Pizza Pie. But they can begin with the basic flavors. My desire is for them to go on and be taken to new placed of appreciation and understanding of food and quality.

Can you see that I enjoy food?!

But this also applies to thoughts concerning the riches of God’s Word. We start in a basic study of understanding the character of God, and we grow. We become more discerning in our pallet regarding God's truth and begin to hunger for sound doctrine. These should be natural progressions in our lives as hungry, growing believers in the rich faith we have in our Holy and Eternal God! There are times when as I am learning and growing in God’s Word, I share my heart while tasting so clearly the abundance of grace and mercy of my Lord. I long for the hearer to taste it too and hunger to taste and understand more. But in those times, I also know that I personally am only discovering a fraction of the fullness of my delight in my Lord.

II Peter chapter 1 describes how we have been given everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. This fulfillment of our need is found in God’s Word! We have the entire market available to us where we can explore and grow in a rich discernment of the Truth of the Glory of God. But so often we settle for the bland, pre-packaged TV dinner and never understand the bounty of the promises of God. God has called His children to these promises by His own Glory and Goodness so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.

So – "Add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, it will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus. But, if anyone does not have them, he is near-sighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." – II Peter 1:5-9.

"Grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." ~ II Peter 3:18