"You're blessed when you have worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat."
EXPLORATION "An Appetite For God"
"Hunger" - A strong craving or desire.
"What do I "hunger" for?"
"Like balloons, we are nothing till filled."
"And Jesus said unto them, ‘I am the bread of life: (she) that cometh to Me shall never hunger.'"
INSPIRATION In all the world, there was no one in my life who could make bread like my grandmother. Whenever she knew our family was coming for a visit, Grandma's hands were busy kneading dough. It always seemed like the minute we walked into her house, a fresh loaf of bread was being taken out of the oven - ready and waiting for some butter and jam smeared on the still warm slices. The memory of how Grandma's house smelled on "bread making" day is something that makes me hungry right now.
Not only did Grandma's bread taste good, it was healthy, too. She always incorporated some beneficial grain, nut or piece of dried fruit into her receipe. You could make a meal of her bread.
Isn't it interesting how Jesus likened the benefits we receive from "ingesting" the person He is into ourselves, to bread? I believe He did this because He wanted to make it easy for us to understand that if we make a daily choice to spend time with Him, just like we take time to eat food, His presence in us will nourish our lives and satisfy our hunger.
When we hunger after Christ's life in us, the promise is that we will be filled. Here's what the Bible promises we will receive:
1. Our appetite for His peace will be filled. "I leave you peace. My peace I give to you…don't let your heart be troubled. Don't be afraid" (John 14: 27, Everyday Bible).
2. Our appetite for His joy will be filled. "Don't be sad. The joy of the Lord will make you strong" (Nehemiah 8:10, Everyday Bible).
3. Our appetite for His strength will be filled. "I will get my strength from the Lord. He has told me" (Isaiah 49:5, Everyday Bible).
4. Our appetite for His love will be filled. "I will love (her) and show Myself to (her)" (John 14:21, Everyday Bible).
Peace, joy, strength, and love. Aren't these the nourishing ingredients you would like to be filled with?
As Jesus sat teaching a crowd on the side of a hill overlooking Galilee, we can imagine a breeze blowing through the trees. That breeze might even have carried the smell of bread being baked in the homes surrounding the sea. As the wonderful aroma floated by, wouldn't it have been natural for Jesus, in His simple, parable-like style to tell those gathered that if you take Me into your heart, just like you take bread into your body, "I will satisfy that hunger that nothing the world gives will ever relieve."
So often we think we can fill up some craving by getting the "item" or by finding that "person." However, the "things" we possess get old. They become used. They're common. Tarnished. Even broken. Or we find that the "person" whom we believe would fill us did not. And when they don't, we feel betrayed and alone. We wonder what happened to the satisfaction we longed for?
In 1875, Clara Williams wrote these words:
"Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone.
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.
Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy.
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul's sad cry.
Hallelujah! I have found Him
Who my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved."
These words reflect those of Jesus when looking into the eyes of the people around Him, who longed for something better, He said, "I am the Bread of Life, (she) who comes to Me will never be hungry" (John 6:35, Amplified Bible).
If you never want your soul to hunger again, then why not feast everyday on the nourishing Bread of Life Jesus gives each of us as His free gift.
"Break Thou the Bread of Life,
Dear Lord to me,
As Thou didst break the
Loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek
My spirit pants for Thee,
O living word.
Bless Thou the truth dear Lord,
To me, to me.
As Thou didst bless the
Bread by Galilee;
Then shall all bondage
Cease, all fetters fall;
And I shall find my peace,
My all in all."
Mary A. Lathbury
(1842 - 1913)
"My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. God's bread is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. The people said, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.' Then Jesus said, ‘I am the bread that gives life.'"
The Everyday Bible
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
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