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Jesus Is... - The Bread of Life, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 15, 2024 6:00 am

Jesus Is... - The Bread of Life, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 15, 2024 6:00 am

Have you ever looked in your fridge or pantry and said, I’m hungry but don’t know what I want? In this program, guest teacher Ryan Ingram reveals how that feeling can be true for us spiritually, too! As he continues our series, Jesus Is, Ryan will talk about Jesus as ‘The Bread of Life’ and why He’s the only fulfilling answer to the emptiness of our souls.

Main Points

Significance of Jesus' declaration of "I AM"

  • Jesus is the explanation and revelation of God to the world.

The bread

  • Only Jesus can finally and fully satisfy the hunger of the heart.
  • You cannot solve a spiritual problem with a physical solution.

Life

  • Jesus is the source of meaning and purpose in your life.
Broadcast ResourceAdditional Resource MentionsAbout Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the refrigerator or maybe the pantry and you just say to yourself, I'm hungry, but I don't know what I'm hungry for?

You know, that's true of us emotionally and spiritually. Today, we're going to talk about satisfying your deepest, deepest hunger as we learn Jesus is the bread of life. Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We are a discipleship-driven ministry on a mission to encourage Christians everywhere to live like Christians. Now, in just a minute, we'll pick up in our series, Jesus Is, taught by Chip and his son, Ryan Ingram. Last time, Ryan talked about Jesus as the bread of life and what that name means to us today. In this program, he'll continue unpacking that idea and explain why Christ is the answer to our spiritual emptiness. But before he begins, if this is your first time listening to Living on the Edge, or you want to learn more about what we do, go to livingontheedge.org.

You'll find resources on tons of topics and countless programs to enjoy. Or if you prefer, the Chip Ingram app is also a great way to get plugged in with our ministry. Okay, if you're ready, let's join Ryan now with the remainder of this talk from John chapter six. John's writing to people in Asia Minor around Ephesus and when he's describing his interaction and writing about the story and the life of Jesus, he's writing to the philosophical, the Hellenistic, the cultured, and he's writing fundamentally so that we might not only know him but believe in him. And as he writes the account of Jesus's life, there's actually seven different places where Jesus says specifically who he is.

Like you don't have to wrestle with it. Like if you're sitting down with coffee with Jesus and you're like, Jesus, who are you? And he would go, I am. And he does this seven different times. And he says, I am the bread of life. I am the light of the world. I am the good shepherd. I am the gate.

I am the vine. I am the resurrection and the life. Jesus, who are you? You know, I actually think every single person on the planet should ask who is Jesus? Like who is he really?

I actually think if you have any intellectual integrity, you have to ask that question. Who is this man that literally divided history that is still intriguing, compelling to us to this day? Who is the person, this man, that was this carpenter turned rabbi who lived in a very obscure part of the Roman empire eventually was executed by the empire itself. And yet 2000 years later, we're talking about him and billions of people gathering around the world because of him.

Like at some point you have to ask who is this man? The first thing that he wants to reveal and tell us, I am the bread of life. When Jesus said, I am, here's what he is saying to his audience.

Jesus is the explanation and revelation of God to the world. See that phrase, I am is actually rooted all the way back into the Exodus story. Moses, he was wandering in the wilderness and he sees this burning bush and it doesn't burn up.

He's curious. He goes over to it and God speaks to him from amidst this burning bush that's not burning up and he calls Moses to be the liberator of the people of Israel. And then eventually Moses gets to the point where he's like, okay, but what's your name?

Like who am I to tell sent me? A name in the ancient day actually was a revelation of a person's character and who they are, their identity. And then God reveals himself and he gives Moses his covenant name three times. He says this, he says, I am who I am, Yahweh. I am who I am. It's ever existing one, uncreated, sovereign creator of all. And this is the very phrase Jesus uses seven different times to say, this is me.

I'm God. This picture of bread is the picture of the very sustenance of life. It's like we need food to survive and without it, we can't. And Jesus saying, I am the very sustenance of life. You ever noticed that as you eat, you're satisfied, but you're never fully satisfied because eventually you're hungry a little bit later, you know, today I'm going to have some lunch because I'm going to be hungry, but I ate breakfast this morning and yet later I'm hungry. I'm never fully or finally satisfied. And Jesus says, it points to the longing of our soul and heart that one day that someone might fully and finally satisfying says, I'm here.

I'm here. And I think part of the question and the tension that we have to wrestle with is if Jesus really only finally and fully satisfies, why aren't all of us craving him? Did you realize, I didn't know this until recently, 75% of the population in the US are chronically dehydrated. Three out of four of you are dehydrated. It was really fascinating because it's like, well, why if we're dehydrated, why don't we drink water? One article wrote this, you would think that our bodies would tell us we are thirsty, but the modern world's obsession for coffee, soft drinks, fruit juices and processed foods and additives, listen to this, has desensitized our thirst mechanism. We have forgotten what it feels like to be thirsty.

We mistake it for hunger or we reach for a coffee or sugary drink before reaching for water. Jesus says, you've been reaching for things that are substitutes and I'm the true bread. You've been reaching for things.

Yeah, it kind of quenches temporarily, but I'm heavenly, I'm eternal. You've been reaching for these things, but honestly, some of the things you're reaching for are just poison that are slowly killing you and I'm the life-giving, living bread. Only Jesus will finally and fully satisfy. And here's what we do. And here's the problem and what we have to realize. You cannot solve a spiritual problem with a physical solution. This is what we try to do. We try to fill our spiritual problem, the ache in our heart, the longing with some physical thing. You know what?

If I just was prettier, if I just had more followers, if I just was more popular, if I just drove a better car, if I had a nicer house, if I had a better job, then I'll finally be satisfied. Now here's another interesting thing. Spirituality in the U.S. is not on the decline, but it's on the incline.

It's growing. In fact, research from Barna that literally just came out said that 91% of Americans either believe in or are open to the idea of a spiritual or supernatural dimension. 77% of Americans believe in God or a higher power.

An astonishing 74% say they would like to grow spiritually. There's this Stanford professor, she was interviewed by their own internal newspaper, and she's doing her work on crystals and the history of them. She wrote, in the Middle Ages, people thought that crystals would bring a spiritual presence. People had this hunger to have something physical that embodies faith and spirituality. People still have that hunger now.

And that's why crystals are so popular. Hmm. Because we're craving for something to finally satisfy, to make sense of the world, to help us navigate and figure it out. Philip Yancey in his book, I just went blank on the book, never mind. He's a pastor and an author. He wrote, a society that denies the supernatural usually ends up elevating the natural to a supernatural status. Sophisticated moderns have not renounced transcendence, but rather replaced it with weak substitutes.

We've replaced it with keeping up with the Joneses, the American dream, having just the right person in our life. I am, Jesus is the explanation revelation of God to the world, the bread only Jesus can finally fully satisfy of life. Jesus is the source of meaning and purpose for your life. There's a few words in the Greek for life. The two primary ones is Zoe and bio. Bio has to do with the quantity of life, how much life you have. Zoe has to do with the quality of life.

Meaning, purpose, wonder, amazement. That's the Zoe life. John is using the word Zoe here. Like Jesus is offering Zoe life, eternal kind of life, life that's filled with meaning and purpose in life. In fact, he's not just offering it.

We got to get this. He's not just offering it. He's saying he is it. He is meaning.

He is purpose. In fact, a little bit later on, he would go and say this in John chapter six, very truly, I tell you the one who believes, let me get that word again, has present tense, eternal life. Believe to place your weight upon to put one's full trust in has eternal life. Well, what is eternal life? John chapter 17 verse three, Jesus defines eternal life. Now this is eternal life that they know personally know you in relationship with the one true God and with Jesus Christ. That's eternal life. Like eternal life isn't later on someday way out there. When I die, get my fire insurance. Hello.

And now I'm good. Eternal life starts today in personal relationship with Jesus. And the minute you step into relationship with him, he is meaning purpose and satisfaction and eternal life starts in the moment you say yes to him and you put your trust on him.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Our guest teacher, Ryan Ingram will continue his message in just a minute, but let me quickly share with you. God has called us to do incredible ministry work all around the world. And when you regularly give to a Living on the Edge, you're a part of what we do. So consider becoming a monthly partner today.

Then visit LivingontheEdge.org. We appreciate your generous support. Oh, that here again is Ryan. Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here right now in front of you is bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat, not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.

What is this bread? It's my flesh, which I give for the life of the world. My body, as he would say in another gospel, broken for you.

And the cross laid out and my blood poured out for you to welcome you in to life itself. John Piper, this pastor, he has this great line about this. He says that Jesus doesn't want to give bread, but to be bread. Jesus doesn't want to give bread.

And that's what the people were thinking about him. Could you give us some of this? I want to get a little something from you and go on my merry way. I want to get a little something from you and make my life better and then do my own thing. And that's what we want. And that's why crystals are kind of so popular is we want to get something from it to be able to do our thing, live our vision, have our way and pursue what we think will bring meaning and purpose and satisfaction. And we keep after it, keep after it. Jesus doesn't want to give bread.

He wants to be bread. I say this to Jenny every so often. And if you're married and a guy, a husband, don't do this.

But I do this. It's joking. It's tongue in cheek. But sometimes I look at Jenny and go, Jenny, you're my favorite wife. What's wrong with that? Do you see how odd that feels?

How wrong that seems? You're my favorite. No, no, no. You're my only. See, when we think about Jesus and we think about what He provides and the meaning and purpose, we kind of prioritize in hierarchy and go, you know what, Jesus, you're at the top.

You're my favorite. He doesn't want to be your favorite, by the way. He wants to be your only. No, He is meaning. He is purpose.

And everything else, everything else other than Jesus is just simply a fake, a substitute. It will never fully satisfy. And you can run after it and you can chase after it and you can search for it and you can build a career around it. You can build your life around your kids and your marriage and whatever else. And though those are good things, they will not finally fully satisfy.

They will not bring you meaning, only Jesus. Only Him. He is the bread of life. I have a buddy and he has everything that you would think about that would come to your mind that you go, if I had that, then I would be, you know, I'd be so happy. He's good looking. He's got a good looking wife. He's got good looking, smart kids. He's so wealthy. He can travel whenever he wants, go wherever he wants. He doesn't have to work anymore, but he still does. He's got a great house.

I mean, everything you could dream of. And because I've known him, and because we journeyed, what I know that no one else sees, because what we see is the substitute, we see the exterior that looks good, but isn't good on the inside that is all hollow and empty. We see that and go, you know what? I'm going to go after that. And if you just could peel behind and rip it open a little bit and see that, no, it's actually empty and hollow.

What I know is he's chasing after something else and other things because that doesn't satisfy him. In our hearts, in our souls, often are so victimized by the pursuits and the demands of what we think will actually satisfy. And it's Jesus. It always has been.

It always will be. The question is, what will we do with Jesus? How will we respond to who he is?

I think there's at least two responses. Maybe two words I want to give you, repentance and renewal. Repentance means to change your mind, which results in the change of direction. Repentance, you know, is this turnabout. It literally means to change your mind that results then in a change of direction. And especially for those in this room who've never began a relationship with Jesus, who have never stepped into this new life that we've been talking about, this eternal kind of life, to know him, it's to change your mind about what brings satisfaction, to change your mind about what brings meaning and purpose, to change your mind and going, you know what? That job, that career, that person never will.

That bottle, those pills, they never will. And I'm going to turn my face towards Jesus and I'm going to say yes to you, Jesus. And today, I place my faith, which is my trust in you, the full weight of my life. And I say yes to you. Would you come into my life and make me new?

And he longs to have a personal relationship with you. And that's repentance. And if you're in a place where you've yet to begin a relationship with Jesus, I want to invite you, as I give you time, just to process, to pray a simple prayer.

God, I'm tired of running after those things and they've never satisfied me. Today, I'm turning to you, Jesus. I believe you are the bread of life.

Would you come into my life and make me new? And when you respond and you call out, every single time he moves and he changes and transforms and the spirit of God comes and lives and dwells inside of you, bringing life. That's repentance. The other word is renewal. And I think many of us in this room, that's the word for us. It's renewal.

Renewal is an insistence of resuming an activity or a state after an interruption. Our hearts are easily adrift from God. We've gotten out of whack. We understand. We've heard the message before and yet we have run after those other things.

In fact, I was talking with another buddy this last week and he was just sharing. He's like, you know, Ryan, materialism is my thing. And right now is the heaviest and the hardest work for me. And you know what I had to do?

I had to go to small group out of an act of resistance to materialism in me. But just that recognition, like I need renewal. I need to pick back up what I've left off.

I need to return to my first love. And this moment will remember the bread of life. Would your prayer be one of renewal?

Here we go. God, I recognize I've been adding things to you. I want to get a little Jesus, but I want to go do my own thing. Today, I want you to be my everything. I'm picking it back up.

Picking it back up with you. You know, as we close today's program, I think one of the questions we all ask is how do you take hold of life that is truly life? This is the pursuit we're all on. We long to live a purposeful and meaningful life.

This is one of the significant things that sets human beings apart from the rest of all other creatures. We are meaning makers. Every single person on the planet is searching for someone or something that will fully satisfy our soul's longing. So let me ask you, how are you trying to fulfill that deep longing?

Maybe it's a relationship. When I find my person, they'll complete me. If only I was able to have kids, then everything would be right. Or my kids are my life.

They will fulfill me. My career is what makes me important. And so you work tirelessly to climb the corporate ladder. I need to be successful for my life to be good. The problem is these things satisfy for a moment.

They scratch our meaning making edge, but eventually none of them will finally or fully satisfy. The American dream acts as a siren that calls to us offering meaning and purpose, but ultimately leaves us empty and wanting. It's like my friend who was the youngest to make partner in his firm. He had the American dream, a successful career, beautiful wife, two kids, big house, going on exotic vacations. He was the picture of success. And yet he was empty, miserable. Eventually he turned to alcohol and almost lost it all to his addiction.

Years later, after hitting rock bottom, gaining sobriety, but still searching for that which would satisfy his longing, we sat at a diner early one morning. I began to share about Jesus, that Jesus is God who came for us. God who loves us. God who defeated the grave to give us life. That's truly life.

He looked at me and said, Ryan, it's like I've been climbing the ladder of success only to get to the top and realize it was leaning against the wrong wall. That morning in the diner, he gave his life to Jesus, experiencing the only one who can bring true life and purpose and meaning. You know, CS Lewis once wrote, if I find in myself a desire, which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world. We all have a God shaped hole in our soul that only he can fulfill. And right now, I want to invite you to ask Jesus, the author of life, to give you true life. He alone can satisfy the deep longing of your soul. If that's where you are, would you pray with me this prayer?

Lord Jesus, I need you. I surrender my life to you today. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I opened the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.

Take control of the throne of my life and make me the kind of person you want me to be. In Jesus name. Amen.

Amen. Well, if you prayed with Ryan, we have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands, uniquely created for new believers. This tool will help you understand what it means to trust in Jesus and what to do next. Request this free resource by calling 888-333-6003, or by visiting livingontheedge.org, then clicking the New Believers button.

That's livingontheedge.org, or call 888-333-6003. Let us help you get started in your faith journey. And as Chip always says, welcome to the family. Well, our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is with us in studio now. And Chip, before we go, you wanted to take a quick minute and share some encouragement with our listeners.

Absolutely, Dave. What I want to share now is really important. For those of you who support our ministry in prayer and in your generous financial giving, I just want to say thank you. You know, when we share the gospel like this, I can just tell you statistically, it's amazing.

The powers and the message, many, many, many people come to know Jesus, are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. And I just want you to rejoice with us, and I want to thank you for being a part of Living on the Edge and what God is doing. Thanks for praying. Thanks for giving. Let's keep pressing ahead together.

Thanks, Chip. Well, if you'd like to join us in spreading the gospel and discipling fellow believers, consider becoming a financial partner today. As Chip just said, your support can have an eternal impact on someone's life. To learn more, go to livingontheedge.org, or call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003, or visit livingontheedge.org.

Have listeners tap Donate. Before we close, would you stop for a minute and pray for Living on the Edge today? We've never seen a greater need for God's truth to go out than right now. And by God's grace, Living on the Edge has provided encouragement, teaching, and personal discipleship resources to more people than ever. So thank you to those who support us in prayer. God is doing amazing things. For Chip and the entire team here, this is Dave Druey thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-15 05:37:40 / 2024-03-15 05:46:48 / 9

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