Mixed nuts are supposed to be an opportunity for the consumer to enjoy a potpourri of flavor and nutrition given in a variety of nuts; however, for me the prospect of mixed nuts only means a scavenger hunt for the cashews. I will finger through the pile until I find the nut that I am looking for – the rest of the nuts are simply garnish! There is no rule against it, so I do it without apology. I am allowed to be picky about the food I eat or don’t eat. When it comes to the application of truth found in the pages of the Bible though I am not allowed such a liberty; and yet that is exactly what I find myself wanting to do. I want to pick through all the “nuts” that are not so appealing and grab onto the ones that seem more suitable to my palate. When I read Philippians 3:10 – “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Well I am all for knowing Jesus. I mean who wouldn’t want to know Jesus? He is the smartest man that ever lived…God in flesh…he loved me all the way to the cross…he gives me life and forgiveness of sins. Yes, I want to know Jesus Christ. And I want to know the power of his resurrection. I am a man so the desire for POWER has been built into my DNA! The very thought that I could know the same kind of power that conquered death, hell and sin is fascinating and very attractive to me. But then I come to the part where Paul says that we should want to know the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. I’ve got to be honest with you – I’d just as soon skip over that part. When I read through the pages of the Bible I see that Jesus was misunderstood, misrepresented, mistreated, and murdered – that is some serious suffering. My natural inclination is to avoid suffering of any kind so while I am quick to embrace knowing Jesus and his power I want to leave the suffering “in the bowl” with the other things I want to avoid. However, when I get in the habit of picking and choosing from the Bible I end up robbing myself of God’s heart for me and the blessings that he wants for me. Suffering will never be fun, but it is often through suffering that we grow the most and demonstrate the magnificence of God the best. Suffering refines me and helps me depend upon the Lord in greater ways. I will never be excited about suffering – that would be morbid; but if God leads me to suffering then I want to embrace it knowing that his grace will always be sufficient for me and that his strength will be perfected in my life. Submitting to all the truth of the Bible will keep us under the spout were the blessings come out. So today if you don’t like walnuts thumb them aside; but let’s determine to give ourselves completely to God without any exceptions.