Now, you know, one of the neat things about going to Israel, to the Holy Land, is that you get to actually see the places where some of the great events of the Bible took place. And when you come back, your Bible reading is almost like 3D.
You know what I mean? You read it, you visualize it, it's great. I want to show you a place. The name of the place is Taghfa.
It's an Arabic name. And it's right near the Sea of Galilee. And as you can see, it's kind of a desolate place, which is the way the Bible is going to describe it in just a few minutes. There was a church that was found there years ago and the church was destroyed. It was a church from the 4th century AD.
So it's what, over 1,500 years old. But when they excavated the church, they found underneath all the rubble, the original mosaic floor that had been preserved. And on this mosaic floor, there's all kinds of representations of animals and plants and birds that are all native to the Sea of Galilee region. And it's considered to be one of the most impressive and really one of the finest mosaics in all the world, but particularly in all of Israel that's ever been found. Now the focal point of that mosaic floor and the focal point of the church is this part of the mosaic right here. And if you look, you see what? Two fish and a basket full of bread.
Yeah. Now you probably wouldn't know that was bread if you didn't know the story, but you could probably spot the fish. Now this is the focal point of the church and the focal point of the mosaic because this is the traditional site where Jesus did the incredible miracle of feeding the 5,000 and the mosaic floor was built to commemorate the great miracle that he did here. Every year when we go to Israel, we visit this site. And every year when we go and I stand there and kind of survey this gorgeous floor, great piece of artwork, I always find myself thinking the same thing.
And that's this. You know, Jesus did not do this miracle so that we could make artwork out of it. Jesus didn't do this miracle so that we could make a mosaic floor out of it.
Jesus didn't do any miracle so we could paint a great painting about it. Jesus did what he did to change people's lives. And so when I stand there and look at this mosaic, I'm always asking myself, now really, what is the message of the feeding of the 5,000 that's meant to change my life? Not meant to make a mosaic on a floor and let it sit there, but what is in here that was meant even in the 20th century to change my life and make me different because of what Jesus did here?
And that's the question that we need to answer together that I hope to answer for you this morning and that I hope you can take out of here as you leave. Now let's look together at the passage. We're in chapter 9 verse 10. And when the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. And he took them with him and they withdrew themselves to a town called Bethsaida. Now remember, if you look back in verse 1, you'll see that the apostles, the disciples had been out on a preaching tour. They had been out taking the message of Jesus Christ throughout that whole area and now when they get back, they're exhausted. I mean, they're elated, but they're exhausted. Jesus says to them, why don't you come on and let's go get some R&R. In fact, Matthew chapter 14 says that they went to a desolate place as you saw on the slide to go get some R&R.
Now what happened? Well, verse 11. It says, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. Michael Jordan, when he retired last week, said that even though he was retiring, he knew he would still be a celebrity everywhere he went until at least the year 2000. That he wouldn't even be able to walk into a McDonald's without everybody recognizing him and wanting his autograph.
And that's true. And Jesus was a celebrity, if you will, in his day. Everywhere he went, people knew where he was. So when he started to slip off for a little R&R, people wouldn't let him go. They knew how to find him and they went after him. Now let's stop for a minute and think.
How would you feel if you had gone away for a little bit of well-deserved rest, well-deserved privacy, and all of these people followed you and wouldn't leave you alone? Every time I think about this, I think about the movie What About Bob? You know that movie? Did you see that movie?
You know it's the story of a psychiatrist who leaves the big city with his big practice and all of the stress to go find a little mountain hideaway with his family and get a little break. And then this nutty patient of his named Bob, played by Bill Murray, who's I think played in character, frankly, in that movie. But anyway, he comes to see him and he can't get rid of him. It's like Bob's made out of super glue. And no matter what he does, he can't get rid of Bob. Bob's everywhere.
Bob's all the time. You know the movie? And it chronicles basically the psychiatrist losing his mind because he can't get rid of Bob. Whenever I think about this passage and I think about how the crowds followed him, I think about that movie and about how that psychiatrist reacted. He reacted with anger and bitterness and resentment. He was cranky. He wanted to be left alone. And isn't it true that that's kind of how you would feel if your clients or your business associates or whoever it is followed you on your vacation, called you on the telephone, wanted you all the time?
I mean, you kind of find yourself saying, enough already. But that's not what Jesus did. Look what he did. Verse 11. It says that he welcomed them.
What a great word. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God and heal those who needed healing. Jesus could have said to them, hey, look, you guys, man, I've been with you guys enough already. I've been given to you and given to you and given to you nonstop. Now, look, enough is enough. Get out of here. Leave me alone.
Give me a little bit of time to myself. But the Bible says he welcomed them and he met their needs. Mark chapter six says the reason he did this is he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And Jesus Christ cared about these people.
He didn't see them as a bother or as a nuisance. These people mattered to him. He cared about them.
Even though they put enormous demands on his time and his energy, he cared about them. You know, before I was a Christian, one of the worst things about not being a Christian is loneliness. The feeling that nobody really, really cares. I mean, you know there are some people who sort of care. You know there are some people out there like a mom or a dad or a neighbor or a friend that if you're really in a pinch, they'll try to help you out a little bit.
But I think all of us secretly, way down deep in our soul, also know that if we push any one of these relationships too far, people are going to bail out. You know, if you become a nudge, you know the word nudge? Nudge is kind of a Jewish word.
Nudge is like what Bob was in the movie. If you become enough of a nudge, people are going to go, get lost. I mean, I got more to worry about than you. I'm not here on the earth just to take care of you. You know, it's too much. Back off.
Chill out. And you know one thing I learned, and that is that it's a pretty lonely world out there if the highest level of caring you and I ever get is what people can give. Because people can't give that much, and they don't. One of the greatest things about coming to know Jesus Christ in a personal way for me was that I, for the first time in my life, felt like I had somebody who was really interested, that I couldn't bother, that I wasn't a nuisance to when I went and talked to, that no matter how many times I brought my problems to him or my struggles to him or my needs to him, he never looked at me like I was a nudge. But he was always interested and always available, and I felt like I could never be so much of a nudge that he'd ever say, get lost, Solomon, I'm sick of you.
He would never do that. He didn't do it to these people, and he never did it to me. And if you're here and you've never had that real personal experience with Jesus Christ, one of the greatest things you're missing is a sense that somebody really cares, and you can't bother them enough to stop them from caring. They love you. You're valuable. That's the greatest part, I think, or one of them, that knowing Christ, because he's going to treat you and me just the way he treated these people. They matter to him.
Well, let's go on. He says in verse 12, Late in the afternoon, the disciples came to him and said, Lord, send the crowd away so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside and get food and lodging, because we're out in the middle of nowhere here, Lord. And so the Lord said to them, you give them something to eat. And they answered and said, well, we only have five loaves of bread and two little fish, which by the way, they took from a little kid.
I mean, there's a little kid who was willing to donate them. Unless we go and buy food for this crowd, where are we going to get anything to give them? For there were about 5,000 men that were there. And that's not women or children.
That's just men. So Jesus said, well, if you're worried about these people not having something to eat, you give them something to eat. The disciples throw their hands up and go, Lord, where do you think we're going to get enough food to feed all these people? I mean, we got two fish and we got five bagels, and that's all we've got, God.
And there's not a Taco Bell in sight. Where are we going to get the food to feed all these people, huh? I think Jesus was frustrated with them at this point. I mean, here he'd sent them out. They'd healed people. They'd done miracles. They'd proclaimed the power of Christ.
And they're saying, where are we going to get the food from to feed these people? I think he was frustrated with their lack of faith. Verse 14, he says, all right, have them sit down in groups of about 50. And the disciples did so, and everybody sat down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and he broke them.
Now, what did that look like? Well, he lifted them up, and I'm sure he said, Baruch atah Adonai, lehenu melech ha'olam, hamotsi lecha min ha'aretz, which means in Hebrew, blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth food out of the ground. And then the Bible says, he began giving the bread to the disciples to set before the people. And they all ate, and they were all satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 baskets full of broken pieces that were left over. Jesus, after he prayed, began taking the bread and breaking it and giving it out and filling up basket after basket after basket.
And it was kind of like a mechanical lead pencil, you know, where you kind of like click, click, click, click, click, click, click, and the lead just keeps coming. Well, this is like it was in the hand of Jesus. The bread just kept coming, no matter how many pieces he broke off and put in the baskets of the disciples. There was always another piece of bread to break off, and it was like mechanical lead pencil, but never run out of lead. And the Bible says he gave them bread until they would go up to people and they would say to people, here, have some more bread.
And the people go, I can't, I'm sick. He was kind of like the energizer bunny, you know, just kind of kept going and going and just more bread. In fact, the Greek word that used here in verse 17, it says the people ate and were satisfied is a Greek word that literally means to gorge yourself. It's used of animals who would eat so much that they would literally be bloated. They had eaten so much. And that's what it says these people did. They ate until they were bloated up. They porked out on this food.
I don't know how you are, but when the food I'm eating is free, my appetite seems to go up about six levels. Is that true of you guys? A few years ago, some friends gave my wife and me a cruise, a free cruise down through the Caribbean. Oh, we had a blast. That's really good therapy.
You ought to do that, guys. Take your wife on a cruise. But anyway, the food was all free and Wednesday night was lobster tail night and it was great. And I'm not a gambler, but I'd been on the boat long enough to know how almost everybody played blackjack on this boat. And so I knew what to say every single time the lobster on my plate ran out. I would just say to the waiter, hit me, hit me again. I had three complete lobster tail dinners and I finished my wife's second one because she couldn't eat it all.
And I walked out of there going $25 a dinner or more. And I thought, man, this is great. I beat the house tonight. This is great. I love it.
I'm sorry. I think like that's the way I was raised. I can't help it.
I beat the house tonight. Now you say, Lon, if you weren't paying for it, would you have ordered three lobster tail dinners and two for your wife? Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? There's no way.
But free? Hey, I would have taken one back to the room except I was afraid it would spoil because I didn't have a refrigerator. But I ate lobster tail till I couldn't eat any more lobster tail. And I'll bet you this is exactly the way these people were. I mean, Jesus offered them an all you can hold buffet. And he had food coming as long as they wanted to eat.
And these guys just gorge themselves. Listen, friends, the reason Jesus stopped making bread was not because he couldn't make any more bread. The reason he stopped making bread is because nobody could eat any more bread. He had 12 baskets left over as it was.
He could have fed 5,000 million people if he'd wanted it to. You say, well, Lon, one final question. How do you explain this? Well, folks, you don't explain this.
You don't explain this. This is a miracle. A miracle means that God suspends the natural laws of the universe to do something that can't happen. But it did. You don't explain a miracle. A miracle's a miracle. It just, God did it.
That's the only explanation there is. And if you believe that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, the way he claimed, and I believe that, then this miracle doesn't give me one bit of heartburn. I don't have any problem accepting the fact Jesus did this.
And I hope you don't either. If he can create the world, he can certainly create a bunch of bread for folks. I don't know how he did it, and I don't care if I know how he did it. God never asked me to understand how he did it, just to believe that he did. And I believe he did. Now, that's the end of the passage, but it leads us to ask the really important question, which is, so what?
Right. And there's a bunch of so what's we could get out of this. For example, we could talk about the little boy who brought his two fish and his five loaves of bread, which was a very small amount, and put it in the hands of Jesus, and Jesus multiplied it and turned it into a lot. And I could talk to you about the fact that you might not feel like you have much talent or you have much education or you have much ability or you have many resources, but you take them and put them in the hand of God and watch what happens. When I became a Christian at the age of 21 years old, I had hair out to my shoulders, was on dope.
I wasn't a college graduate because it's hard to graduate from college when you haven't been to class in two years, and I hadn't, at least not except for marginally. And I put myself in the hands of God and said, God, I don't know what you can do with somebody like me, but whatever you can do, I'm yours. And frankly, I think God has done more with me than really he should have been able to do with me. I think God's done a lot of things beyond what you could have expected to happen with me, and God will do more with you than you think he can do with you if you put it in his hands.
I love the song, little becomes much when we place it in the master's hands. Now that would be a great so what, but that's not the one we're gonna do. Or we could talk about Jesus praying. You know, when he lifted up the bread and he prayed, you say, did Jesus have to lift up the bread and pray in order to do this miracle?
No. Well, then why did he do it? Well, I believe the reason he did it is because he wanted people to make sure that they gave the credit to the right place. And that's an awful good so what, whenever God blesses your life or gives you some victory, I believe it's really important for you and me to make sure that the credit goes to the right place.
We don't have to be obnoxious about it, but we need to be outspoken about it. I was watching the interview they did on the radio the other day with Dave Stewart, you know, the pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, and he won the Most Valuable Player Award for the American League Championship Series. And he's a black man. He lives out in Oakland.
He was raised in the projects in Oakland, but he was raised in a very strong Christian family. And after they'd asked him about his pitching and he talked about his performance and he talked about how the game went, he said, one last thing I'd like to say, and he said, what I'd like to say is I want to thank God because it's because of God that I have the ability I've got and I was able to do what I did today. Now to me, that's sending the credit to the right place. And we can make a pretty good so what out of that, but we're not gonna do that either. The so what that I want us to focus on is the one that Jesus himself provides for this event. You know, whenever you can get a so what that Jesus gives you, that's always better than one I can think of. And so Jesus provides his own so what for this, you'll find it back in John chapter six.
And I'd like you to turn there. John chapter six. If you're using our copy of the Bible, it's page 755. John chapter six. And what we're going to see here is one of the greatest sermons Jesus ever gave.
And it comes the very next morning after the feeding of the 5000 comes right on the heels of that. It's a sermon about eternal life. It's a sermon about true saving faith. It's a sermon about what believing in Jesus Christ really means and the way in which God wants us to relate to him so that we really see results.
Okay, this is what it's about. And remember, it's an outgrowth of this miracle. By the way, this miracle is the only miracle that all four gospels mentioned in the whole Bible other than the resurrection. Of course, there's no other miracle that all four gospel accounts mentioned except this one.
And this is John's follow up to this event. Now let's look at verse 24. It says that once the crowd realized that during the night Jesus had gone on someplace else, they got in boats and they went after him. And when they found him, verse 25, they said, Rabbi, when did you get here? But Jesus said, I tell you the truth, you're looking for me not because you saw the miracle and you want something spiritual, but because you ate the loaves and you had your fill. You liked the bread I gave you. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him, God the Father has placed his seal of approval. Jesus says to them, look, don't be more interested in your stomach than you are in your soul. You need to work not for the food that feeds your stomach, but for the food that brings eternal life to your soul.
Well, they didn't really understand exactly what he was talking about. Verse 28, so they said to him, Lord, what do we have to do to do the works that God requires? How can we get this eternal life food? Verse 29, Jesus said, it's very simple. The work of God is this, to believe in the one he has sent.
Jesus said, you want eternal life? You need to believe in me. But folks, you know when I do too, that believe is one of those easy to misunderstand words.
You know what I'm saying? It can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. So Jesus goes on to try to define a little bit better the kind of believing that he's looking for. And he uses this miracle of the bread for the 5,000 and all this food they ate, they pigged out, right? He uses this as a backdrop to help explain to these people what the kind of belief that he's looking for is. So do you understand what we're going to do now? Jesus is going to explain the kind of believing he's looking for, and he's going to use the backdrop of all the food they ate to explain it. You with me? Now let's watch him do it. Verse 35, Jesus declared, I am the bread of life.
How appropriate, huh? He just fed them bread. I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. Now skip down to verse 47. Verse 47, I tell you the truth, he who believes in me has eternal life.
I am the bread of life. So now he's been talking about believing. Everybody see that? He's talking about believing in him, believing in him. Now he's going to switch and connect it up with what they did the day before, and that's eat.
Watch. Verse 49, your forefathers ate manna in the desert. Remember that's that bread God dropped from heaven for the Israelites, and they're dead. But here is bread pointing to himself that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat of and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
If a man eats this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves and say, how can this man give us his flesh to eat?
What is he, a cannibal? What is this nonsense? Now, folks, why would Jesus use that kind of strange language? Why would he talk about eating his flesh and eating him as the bread of life? Because he was trying to help these people understand what true believing is all about. You see, Jesus knew it's easy to misunderstand the word believe, to turn it into just a head word, okay?
To stand there and do your catechism. I believe Jesus was the son of God. I believe Jesus died on the cross. I believe Jesus was buried.
I believe Jesus rose on the third day from the dead. End of catechism. Do you believe in Jesus?
Of course I do. You just heard my catechism, didn't you? Jesus says, eh, wrong, wrong. This is not belief. Jesus said, if you really want to understand what believe is, then the kind of believing I'm talking about is like eating.
You say, what does that mean? Well, when we eat food, what do we do? Well, I don't know. We eat it. Yeah, but think, what do you do with it? Well, you ingest it, right? You take it inside of you, not just in your head. You ever see poor people just put food in their head?
Nobody puts food in their head. You put food into your whole being. You take it in. It becomes an inseparable part of you.
You assimilate it. It nourishes all the cells in your body and gives life to every part of you. Your relationship with food is not an intellectual relationship. Your relationship with food and mine is an experiential relationship.
Do you understand? Look, I love food. I do.
I love to eat. You say, but you look so thin. Well, thank you. Thank you.
Thanks. You know, I just lost 30 pounds about two years ago. Say 30 pounds.
Yeah, I did. I'd ballooned to 215. You say, all right, 215 minus 30, 185. Right. Very good.
183 actually. But you know, it's a fight to keep it off every day. It's terrible. And to lose that weight, you say, how was it? Was it easy?
Are you kidding? Losing weight is terrible. It's a terrible experience. I mean, you love the results, but it's an awful experience.
And the older you get, the worse it is. I tried all kinds of these things, like Slim Fast. You know those little Slim Fast shakes that you shake up? They're not all that bad. They go great with nachos.
The chocolate in particular goes great with nachos. And then you know those diets where you skip two meals a day and then you only eat for dinner and they tell you at the end of a week, you won't even notice you're hungry anymore? That's a lie.
That's not true. At the end of a week, I was hallucinating. I wasn't hungry. I was out of my mind. The telephone would ring and I thought I would go to the door because I thought it was Domino's coming to save me. And we had this girl scout come to the door, you know, selling cookies. And I said to her, ooh, I think you're going to win the trip to New York.
Let me get my checkbook. I was going crazy. You say, well, Lon, how could you let yourself get to 215 pounds? And how in the world could you put yourself through this? Because, listen, my relationship with food is not an intellectual relationship. Nobody gains weight off an intellectual relationship with food. You see, if you stand there and go, yes, I know this is food. Yes, I know that it will nourish my body cells.
Yes, it is tantalizing and will touch my taste buds way down deep. You don't gain weight from that. You gain weight because you what? You eat it.
That's right. And you eat more of it than you should. See, that's an experiential relationship. I took that food in.
It became a part of me, a big part of me. And folks, you can purchase food, you can prepare food, you can smell food, you can see food, you can touch food, you can sit at the table with food all around you, but it's no good unless you eat it, unless you take it in. And you understand what Jesus is saying? What he's saying is it's the same way with me. I'm spiritual food.
He said that, didn't he? He said I am spiritual bread that came down from heaven. I'm spiritual food. See me as spiritual food and eat me the way you eat physical food. Make it that personal.
Make it that experiential. I'm not a theological theory to be debated in some classroom. I am a personal savior to be ingested into your life and into your soul. Just the way you guys ate all that food yesterday that I made for you, by faith I'm to be taken into your life in that same way so I can nourish your soul and so that I can nurture every cranny of your being. You understand what Jesus is trying to get across to them? That what you do to food physically is what you need to do to me spiritually by faith in order to believe properly. That's what believing is all about. And that's why in the book of Revelation it says that what Jesus Christ is knocking at the door of our life and we need to open the door and what?
Invite him in. See that's eating spiritual food. Doesn't mean stand there and recite some catechism at attention. That's not believing. What Jesus wants is for you to invite him in the way you invite that chocolate donut into your mouth.
You know what I'm talking about. And you chew that thing up and you savor it and you swallow it and from that point on that chocolate donut it's part of you, friend. That's the way Jesus wants to be accepted spiritually by faith.
Invite him in your life and he becomes part of you. Look what he said. Verse 57. Just as the living father sent me and I live because of the father, so the one who feeds on me, here he is, listen, the one who feeds on me spiritually will live because of me. I am the bread that came down from heaven. Our forefathers ate manna out in the wilderness and they died.
But the person who feeds on this bread, me, will live forever. If you're here and you've never embraced Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior, if you've never ingested him the way he ingests food, then may I say to you that no amount of intellectual assent will do? That is not saving faith. See, it's not good enough to say Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. I know that.
No, no, no. You've got to reach the point where you can say Jesus Christ is my savior. It's not good enough to say Jesus died on the cross for the sin of the world. No, you've got to be able to personalize it, be able to say, no, Jesus died on the cross for my sin.
If I'd have been the only person in the world, he would have died for me. It's not enough to say Jesus belongs to the world. You've got to be able to say Jesus belongs to me. He's mine because by faith I've reached out and grabbed ahold of him and invited him in my life and ingested him as spiritual food and we're inseparable now like me and that donut.
You can't separate us. That's the kind of faith that brings eternal life. And maybe you've been going to church all your life. Maybe you've been saying catechisms all your life. Maybe you've been taking sacraments and doing things all your life. But friend, if you haven't done this kind of believing, then you don't have eternal life because Jesus doesn't grant it to anything but this kind of believing. And I hope God will bring you to the place that you see the difference and that you're willing to reach out and take him in your life.
Now, if you're here and you're a Christian, I think there's also a great message here for us. Jesus says he's living food. He's everyday living food. He didn't teach us to pray, give us our monthly bread, did he? Or give us our weekly bread. Or for some of us, some people give us our twice a year bread at Christmas and Easter. He taught us to pray, give us our what?
Daily bread. And you know, folks, when you went out, if you were an Israelite that lived out in the wilderness and God was dropping manna on you for 40 years, you know what's interesting? God would never allow you to collect more than one day's supply of manna.
If you did and you tried to cheat, he stole a little bit away so you didn't have to go out the next morning. You know what happened to it? It rotted. And the reason for that is God was trying to teach these people a lesson. He was trying to teach them you can't live off yesterday's manna.
And God's trying to teach us as Christians a lesson. You can't live off yesterday's bread of life. You can't live off yesterday's experience with Jesus Christ. There are a lot of Christians who try, but in order to be healthy as a Christian, we need to ingest a fresh supply of the bread of life every single day. I mean, we need a fresh filling by the Spirit of God every single day. We need a fresh touch by Jesus Christ himself on our life every single day, a fresh experience with God every day. If we're going to have the strength we need to love our husband, love our wife, love our children, live biblically, act righteously, hate sin, love righteousness, pursue holiness in our lives, friend, you can't run on fumes and do that.
You need a fresh experience of God every day. I think in the Old Testament of the guy named Samson, you remember Samson saying, yeah, I remember him. Let's see, who was he? Well, you remember he's the guy with the beard that Delilah cut off his beard and lost all his strength. Samson was a man who knew God. Samson had a problem though. Samson's problem was his diet, his spiritual diet. He didn't eat right. Samson had a few good spiritual meals here and there along the way. And in between, Samson tried to run on slim fast. Can't do it.
Can't do it. And as a result, his life was inconsistent. His spiritual life was unstable. And there was all kinds of sin in his spiritual life, even as a believer, because of the fact that he tried to eat spiritual food on a quarterly basis.
You can't do that and have the kind of Christian experience that God wants you to have. Now I know this is a fast paced world. I know we're busy. And I know many times the demands of the world as a Christian come in so bad that we skip time. We say, well, I had time with God yesterday. I'll skip it today. I had time with God Monday.
I'll catch him on Thursday. I do that. You say, you do?
That's horrible. You're a pastor. Well, I'm still a human being. And I have a schedule like yours.
My schedule is just as crazy. But you know what? When you start running on fumes like that, you begin losing the power and the vitality of the Christian experience. You can't maintain it any more than if I didn't feed you for three days, you could maintain the physical strength that you've got today.
You couldn't do it. You need food to stay strong. And that's true spiritually.
So I want to challenge you. Don't be a slim fast Christian. You can't make it that way. God never meant for you to run on slim fast. God meant for you to sit down every day just like these people did and gorge yourself on him. And then you can get up and then you can go about your business and live for Christ the rest of the day.
But don't try to make it on slim fast spiritually. Your life will show the very negative effects as a Christian of trying to do that. Well, whether you're Christian or you're not, I hope God spoke to you about something this morning.
And I hope it'll change the way you live. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the Word of God this morning. And Lord, I want to pray first of all for those of us here who are not Christians, who've never really had this kind of personal ingesting of Jesus Christ into our soul and into our life. Lord, maybe there are people here who've been to church all their life. Maybe they've been to sacraments and they've taken communion and they've been baptized and they've sung in a choir, but they've never reached out by faith and eaten the bread of life, ingested it into their soul. And Lord, I pray that you would help them this morning understand what the difference is. Enlighten their heart by your spirit. And Lord, I pray that they would opt not just to an intellectual belief in you, but to the kind of soul belief like eating food that you want them to have that produces results with God.
And Father, I want to pray for those of us here who are already Christians. We understand that concept. We've reached out and we've invited Christ into our life and we've eaten and ingested him as the bread of life. But yet Lord, many, many times we let our schedule crowd him out. So we're really fasting so many days spiritually, running on slim fast. Lord, I pray that you would challenge us today that if we're too busy to spend time with the living God each day, then we're too busy. We need to make some priority decisions that will allow us to draw on the bread of life every day so that our lives have the strength and the resources and the power that we need to live our lives as a mosaic for you out in a world that's watching. Lord Jesus, change our habit patterns and our daily schedule based on what we've heard here today that our lives might make a difference for Christ. And we pray that in Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 08:35:38 / 2023-05-20 08:50:42 / 15