The Pork Chops with the Peanut Butter by Jennifer Waddle

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The Pork Chops with the Peanut Butter
Series: Haggai - A Careful Look at the Way We Live
Jennifer Waddle
Haggai 2:10-14

I've always been a bit of a germ-a-phobe. Even when I was young, I remember getting upset when my little brother would put his gross, sticky hand on my arm.

So recently, when I got home from the grocery store and saw that the bagger had put the pork chops in the same bag as the peanut butter, I wanted to march back in there armed with hand sanitizer and a motherly lecture. Even though I cleaned the outside of the jar with antibacterial wipes, I couldn't help but feel it was contaminated.

As we near the end of Haggai, we will be reading about some Levitical laws that governed the people of that day. ''Defilement'' is one of those concepts that is often mentioned in the Old Testament. Let's take a look.

*Please read Haggai 2: 10-14

From a ''germ'' perspective, we can see how touching something dead and then touching food would be a BIG no-no. But there is a much deeper significance here. The Lord declared, through Haggai, that everything the remnant had been doing was ''defiled.''

The definitions I found were these: contaminated, disgraced, stained or tarnished. Think about those descriptions for a minute. I don't know about you, but those words sound so…familiar.

Once-upon-a-time, we were disgraced, stained, and tarnished…but while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

In God's great and unfathomable love for us, He gave His only Son to die for our sin and shame! Isn't it wonderful to know that the Lord doesn't leave us in our defilement? He provides a way…a perfect way. Perhaps this is a poignant lesson for us as we reach out to non-believers. If we can get them to see their sin for what it is-separation from God, then maybe we can point them to their need for a Savior.

I still remember the day I accepted Jesus. I was seventeen years old and a pastor had come to visit my family after we had attended his church for some time. We were sitting at the kitchen table, and he simply shared the Gospel and pointed out the need for a Savior. Then he asked the most important question I would ever hear. ''Jennifer, is that what you want? Do you need the Savior?'' I don't think he even finished his sentence before I gave a big, resounding, ''Yes!''

You see, I had been living the typical American teenager life. I was steeped in the culture which included dating the wrong guys, partying, and basically living a very self-centered life. When I heard that there was a better way, that all my sin and shame was washed clean by the blood of Jesus, you couldn't have kept me from embracing Christ as my personal Savior!

Although we rarely use the word ''defilement'' in our culture, we see it in action every day. News headlines remind us of the evil which proceeds from the hearts of people and reaps destruction ...


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