Lately, bread has gotten a bad rap. Many have opted for gluten-free, wheat-free, flour-free, sugar-free sort-of-bread. Recently, my husband has had an undiagnosed mystery illness and received advice to eliminate white flour, yeast, sugar, and dairy products. Trying to find “bread” that he could eat was a challenge because my hubby wanted a sandwich or a bun for his turkey burger. At one point, he wrapped his turkey burger in a lettuce leaf, but I knew we were going to have to keep searching for “bread” that he could eat.
Bread has been the “staff of life” since the beginning of time and the foundation for the American diet. Even when money is tight, families still try to put bread on the table. As a culture, we love bread.
This is not Love Your Body Monday, so I’m not going to talk about the pros and cons of eating bread. But I do want to focus on the real Bread of Life we can’t eliminate or alter. Jesus said:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” John 6: 47-51.
Feasting on the Bread of Life
Yes, Jesus is the “Bread” that provides a spiritually healthy earthly life and eternal life with Him. But many have discounted the value of this life-giving Bread or never tasted of it. If you knew someone was starving, I know you would reach out and give him or her a loaf of bread to satisfy their physical hunger. So why not offer them the Bread of Life that will satisfy their spiritual hunger.
Many people today don’t realize they’re starving to death…they look well fed, drive nice cars, live in nice homes, have nice clothes, great jobs, a good family, seemingly the American dream … but that’s just what it is a dream that could be over in a moment. Nothing they can hold on to forever; certainly nothing they can take with them when they die.
Preaching to the Choir
You may be saying to yourself, OK Janet we all know this so why are you writing about it today?
Here’s why: People need the Lord—they’re starving right in front of us and we have the gift of life, but maybe we don’t know how to share it with them. It’s not quite as easy as handing someone a loaf of bread. Handing a Bible usually isn’t effective either unless we can help them understand what’s in it and why it’s life-changing.
And to be able to help them … we need to know what the Bible says ourselves.
Jesus is the Bread of Life and He is the Word made flesh:
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.—John 1:1-5 NLT
We Have to Know Our Bible in Today’s Culture or We’ll Be the Ones Starving Spiritually
Today everything we as Christians believe and know to be true is coming under attack, including the Bible—especially the Bible. Many in the culture are trying to twist the Bible to mean what they want it to mean or are insisting that it doesn’t address issues of today. Of course, that means they don’t know the verse that says:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.—Hebrew 13:8
You’ll be a casualty of the spiritual battle unfolding around us if you don’t know the only offensive weapon you have, the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph. 6:17).
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.—Hebrews 4:12
The only way to know God’s Word is to feed on it daily. Not just read it, but study the verses, know where to find them in your Bible, commit some to memory or at best a paraphrase. Mastering your Bible is not just a good idea when you have the time; it’s essential if you are to make wise, God-honoring decisions, and engage in discussions to support God’s ways for the world.
But you, friends, are well-warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose-talking teachers. Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes!—2 Peter 3:17-18 The Message
Ways to Feed on the Bread of Life
- Have a daily Bible reading plan and make time for it. You can’t afford not to. YouVersion.com has many choices. I like Walk Thru the Bible’s Daily Walk.
- Get familiar with websites like Biblegateway.com. You can put in a word you remember from a Scripture or a phrase and it will give you a selection of Scriptures to choose from in different translations. I could not write without this free easy tool.
- Take your Bible to church and engage with it during the sermon. Even if they put the Scriptures on a screen or in a handout, make notes and read them in your own Bible. Not interacting with your Bible at church is like watching someone else eat “bread” or show you pictures of “bread” or read to you about “bread” and expect it to nourish your body. After a while, you become malnourished if you don’t eat the bread yourself. You’ll become spiritually malnourished if you’re not feeding on the Bread of Life for yourself from you own Bible.
- Know what the Bible says about the “hot topics” in today’s culture. For example, something I often hear is that Jesus never opposed homosexuality or gay marriage or that only the Old Testament bands homosexuality. Do you know how to counter that with the truth?
- How much of what others say or you read online or on Facebook do you take as truth without running it by The Truth in your Bible? Does God’s Word substantiate the message? Most pastors will tell you not to even take their word for what they say, check it out yourself.
- Know the context of a Scripture. Don’t get into a battle of Scriptures or take it out of context to make your point.
For example, many today are only focusing on the Scriptures that say to “love your neighbor” but the rest of that verse is “as yourself.” “Love your neighbor as yourself?” Do you love your sin? Do you love yourself even more when you’re sinning? Of course not, so why love your neighbor’s sin? Some are loving their neighbors to death instead of eternal life–into hell instead of heaven. Those are the only two options when we die.
Aren’t you glad you’ve been forgiven and by grace can go to Jesus for forgiveness of your sins and have eternal life with Him? The way to love your neighbor as yourself is to love them enough to share with them what you, yourself have found, freedom from the grip of Satan through a relationship with Christ.
I leave you with this thought: One of the devil’s tricks is to stop you from digging into your Bible and hiding it away in your heart. Satan knows that if you’re equipped with the Word of God in your heart and mind, he doesn’t have a chance of making headway in your life. But the reverse is true too—if you don’t know your Bible, you’re easy prey for Satan.
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