Pastor's Corner

What is sweeter than candy?

by John Crotts

Candy is so yummy!

I loved it when I was a kid and I still do today. I like chocolate anything. If someone mixes in peanut butter, nuts, caramel, or even pretzels, that is fine with me too.

When it comes to hard candy, I really enjoy sour flavors dancing around my tongue. Even though candy corn is almost inhumanly sweet, in late October, I am willing to make the exception and gobble it up too, one color at a time.

Why is candy so good?

I mean, I have never eaten a vegetable that filled my mouth with the yumminess of my favorite candies. Have you? Be honest.

Growing up, my brother and I used to love Halloween, mainly because of all of the candy. We marched along throughout the neighborhood trying to fill our bags or plastic pumpkins. We worked hard to outdo each other in how much candy we got, but then we traded with each other to both get as much of the good stuff as we could. Even though our parents warned us not to eat too much candy, we always ate more than we should have. I can't even imagine how many calories we consumed between the night of Oct. 31 and the first week of November. Little stomachs and digestive tracts weren't made to handle the levels of happiness we inflicted upon them. We made ourselves sick more than once.

Have you ever thought about candy proving to us that God is good?

The Bible says that God made everyone and everything. He made the foods that we eat and the drinks that we drink. Even the ones not made directly by him are made by the people that God made with the brains God gave them to make them.

If God wanted to, he could have made everyone to survive by eating yucky gray paste everyday. Even if you have to eat some foods that you don't like, aren't you glad there is usually something you like in most all of your meals most every day? Aren't you glad there are times extra nice foods like candy too?

The reason many people bow their heads and say a prayer of thanks to God before they eat their food is because they recognize that every good meal and every dessert comes from God. They are thankful to God that they are getting yummy things to eat instead of yucky gray paste. Every time you eat candy you can think about how kind God is for allowing such a wonderful

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treat to exist, and that it is about to disappear into your mouth.

The Bible not only tells us about God making everyone and everything, it also tells us other things about God.

It tells us what he has done in history and what he likes and doesn't like. God made rules for his creatures to follow. When we follow his rules, we are happy and we make God happy, like when we eat a little candy with thankful hearts. When we don't obey God's rules, God isn't happy and we are miserable, like the sick feelings we get when we eat too much candy in a row.

We have all disobeyed God's rules.

Have you ever thought about how amazing it is that God gives good things even to people who have made him angry? In fact, most really bad boys and girls and grown-ups still get to eat candy sometimes. Why doesn't God doesn't make those people only eat that yucky gray paste?

The Bible has a word for God giving good things to bad people. It is called grace. The Bible has another word for when God doesn't give bad things to bad people. That is called mercy.

Even though bad people deserve God to punish them, he is filled with grace and mercy. He still gives them blessings like candy, even when they live like he doesn't exist.

There is a limit to God's patience, though. One day, he will punish everyone for his or her disobedience. God will even punish people for not thanking him for all his good gifts to them throughout their lives. Because God is completely fair, all of the bad things in life will be judged by him on that day. Everything will be made right forever.

Well, if we have all disobeyed God all through our lives, won't that Judgment Day be a terrible day for every one of us? Don't we all deserve God to be angry at us forever. As sad as that is, it is completely true.

There is hope, though. Perhaps the most famous sentence in the Bible is John 3:16, which says, 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life.' In his love and goodness, God didn't just give us yummy things like candy; he gave his Son, Jesus.

Believing in Jesus doesn't just mean that a person believes the facts about Jesus, like they believe the facts about George Washington being the first president of the United States.

Yes, Jesus was both God and man. Yes, Jesus never sinned one time. Yes, he died on the cross and rose again from the dead.

You may believe all of those things, but are you trusting in Jesus? That is the message of John 3:16. Everyone who trusts Jesus, instead of their own efforts to be good enough for God, will not perish, or be eternally judged by God because of their sinfulness. Instead, they will enjoy life forever in the presences of this loving, gracious, merciful, and good God.

You can learn more about God and Jesus in the Bible. I would encourage you to read it. Jesus' stories are found in books in the Bible like Matthew and Mark. Start there. You can also learn more about God's ways in a church that teaches the Bible. I hope you know a good one to go to. If not, I'd love to invite you to Faith Bible Church over by the Sam's Club.

Pleasing such a good God is the most important thing in your life. Please make the effort to figure out what the Bible really says about having peace with God.

When you eat your candy, be sure to say thanks to God. And don't eat too much candy in a row!

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