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DO YOU HUNGER FOR GOD’S WORD?

July 31, 2015

 

Text: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight your selves.”  Isaiah        55:1-2

Have you ever had a “craving flung on you”?  (I think that’s a Southern idiom.)  Anyway, it means a sudden hunger for a certain food: fried chicken, fresh peaches, blackberry cobbler, pecan pie; etc. Is your mouth watering? Whatever your yearning, its probably not good for your heart.

Isaiah was speaking of spiritual food. In the kingdom of God this is spiritual food meant for our consumption. This spiritual food nourishes our souls, makes us stronger, changes our hearts to love and obey our Lord. Without this heavenly food we will not grow nor advance in service to God. Our souls will become emaciated. Of course, this food is the word of God.  “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” I Peter 1:23 

Isaiah poses a germane question here: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”  Let’s say you went to a restaurant and ordered a dish your friends recommended but your first taste was horrible. Would you order it again? Satan dangles delights of this world before us and entices us to pig out on them. These dainties could be any of the world’s pleasures or delights: good and wholesome  or bad and harmful. Among the harmful items there are: Illicit sex, coveting, gambling, alcohol, theft, etc.  The good things must be used with wisdom and moderation. The harmful should be avoided altogether. “Whoever desires to love life and see good days…let him turn away from evil and do good…” I Peter 3:10a-11a 

Jesus was sitting on the side of a mountain, having just come to the east bank of the Sea of Galilee.  A great crowd had followed him on land to have their sick healed and to hear his preaching. Mark’s account relates that Jesus assessed them as “sheep without a shepherd.” Mark 6:34  He fed the people (5,000+) and “began to teach them many things”. Mark 6:34b  When the sun went down he and his disciples sailed back across Galilee, landing at Gennesaret. When the people recognized him they brought their sick to be healed. But just as he had recognized their distressed and leaderless condition the day before, he realized their misplaced frenzy, and told them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” John 6:26  Jesus was pleased to feed the crowds, but he really desired that their hearts be filled with his word from heaven! “Jesus said  to them, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:32-33 

This is the perfect illustration of correct spiritual nourishment as prescribed by Jesus. Simultaneously, it is also a fantastic example of the way we humans sate ourselves on perishable and decaying items with no nourishment for eternity.

Here’s what you need to nurture your eternal soul.

1.   Open yourself to love and partake of the real food for your soul, the word of God. “Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!”  Psalms 119:40

2.  Let the word of God feed, cleanse and purify you.  “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.” Psalms 119:93

3.  Partake copiously of the entire scriptures of God.  “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalms 119:103

4.  Seek both comfort and strength from God’s word. (When we are depressed and/or sorrowful we often forget where our real comfort comes from.)  “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” Psalms 119:28

5.  Remember that God’s words are for sharing; it is seed, and seed needs sown. So, learn and share! “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.”  Luke 8:11;  “I planted, Apollos  watered, but God gave the growth.”  I Corinthians 3:6

A last reminder.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6

REM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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