Eat yourself fitter

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Prepare

Take a moment to consider your spiritual diet. Is it producing the life and the likeness of Jesus in you?


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Bible passage John 6:25–40


Jesus the Bread of Life
 25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"

 26Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."

 28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

 29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

 30So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"

 32Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

 34"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread."

 35Then Jesus declared, "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. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."



New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


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The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).


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Focussed on food
My wife needs to eat regularly or she gets grumpy (don’t tell her I told you that!). She eats to live rather than lives to eat! Spiritually, we all need to understand who it is that will sustain our life and allow him to fuel us so that we will not only live but bear good fruit (15:8).

The crowd Jesus miraculously fed display a ‘live to eat’ mentality of living. Rather than recognising that the abundance Jesus produced from nothing signals the kind of relationship they could have with God, they see him as a resource for life, not the Source of life (v 26).

Gifts from God
Any gift God gives that becomes a greater focus than him is an idol, and cannot give us life. Even God-given manna rots away (Exodus 16:20)! Is there any gift, honour, ability or status that you have come to rely on more than its Giver?

The Jewish crowd fed previously on legalism expect to work for eternal life (v 28), but look at the way Jesus subverts the idea in verse 29. But while the bread of life is given freely it must be received (v 29). Each of us has to stand apart from the crowd and respond (vs 37–40).


Respond


The church is God’s bakery on earth! Pray for churches who will be meeting tomorrow, that they will bring the spiritually hungry to the only One who can satisfy them.

Phil Andrews


Deeper Bible study


‘We may fail to perceive life’s greatest meaning … be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God – and be content to have it so.’1

Perceiving spiritual reality requires open hearts and minds that go beneath surface issues. The crowds (still puzzled how Jesus reached the other side of the lake) view Jesus with secular eyes. Attracted by his feeding them they want him to do much more – on their terms. Though thwarted in their attempt to make him king, they still see him as a leader who will satisfy their own worldview. When Jesus speaks about ‘food that endures to eternal life’ (v 27) they assume it’s a product to be worked for. When Jesus replies that the ‘work’ is actually about belief in God’s gift of his son they ask for more evidence. They know Scripture and it seems they so revere Moses who fed and led the nation that Jesus falls short in comparison. And when they hear the great claim ‘I am the bread of life’ (v 35) they revert to thinking about bread to eat. They just cannot see beyond manna, Moses and bread.

In vivid contrast, Jesus claims to be the Bread of Life, the giver of eternal life from his Father by whom he promises to hold all believers close for their lifetimes and beyond. Patiently he explains that it was not Moses who gave bread but God – the same God who is now at work through him every step of the way. This calls for a completely different worldview – what Harry Blamires calls the Christian mind. He warns that ‘to think christianly is a very different thing from thinking secularly about Christian matters’. His first mark of the Christian mind is that ‘it cultivates the eternal perspective … it sees the natural order as dependent upon the supernatural order, time as contained within eternity.’2 Instead of ignoring reality beyond this world, Christians see the whole of life held in the hands of God.

Michael Quicke

 

1 Phillip Brooks quoted in Valerie Bell, A well-tended soul, Zondervan, 1996, p44
2 Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind, SPCK, 1963, p67


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2 Samuel 17,18

Psalms 52–54
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  • Song: Sabbath Song
  • Composer: Phil Andrews © 2009
  • Performer: Alastair and Abigail Wood


Speak O Lord
Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Thankyou Music
Buy this and other great worship songs at www.kingswayshop.com




Comments
  • Frank Collins | Friday, 12 May 2017

    Thank you everyone . It's Susannah and Theo for your prayers .

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    v30 All that they perceived was how good it felt to have their hunger satisfied. I know from experience that when we are full of self, we always miss God. They were talking to the greatest miracle that God had ever performed, but they were blind to that fact. Many times we are so intent on seeking God in one area that we forget the greatest miracle of all–the love and redemption given to us from God through His Son. Also today, speaking as one who struggled for years with weight problem until Jesus showed me all the wrong reasons why I would overeat, l loved the heart shaped piece of bread picture, it spoke more than words.

  • Elizabeth Sadler | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    HILARY ....."Pray Big" is by Will Davis jnr,published by Monarch.

  • Ruth Chisholm | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    V40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. May we be like Paul and "I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of Godʼs grace." News too important to keep to ourselves. He will never turn anyone away v37

  • Helen Humby | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." This is the Gospel message in a nutshell. If Jesus made it that plain and simple, why do we make it so complicated?

  • Adam Julians | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    From todays reading "the likeness of Jesus" is to tell the truth and say when people are looking to have hungers, what appeals to desires and what is wanted to be heard met. That there is a seeking not for the tings of heaven in that. And then to tell anyone who does so to not be like that but have their heart and mind set on heavenly things. And then when requests are made for miraculous signs or "evidence" that they not be met but Jesus be pointed to as the "bread of life" rather than producing bread form nowhere like a preforming seal to a demanding crowd. To what extend is my "spiritual diet" producing "the life and likeness of Jesus" in me? Well, God knows and those with the ability to discern can tell. For anyone without that ability to discern, Jesus is clear about giving instruction not to share pearls with swine or give what is sacred to dogs. I've learned that doing the latter comes at unsustainable personal cost, the to be able to love others you have to love yourself and care for your own needs. And the ugly truth is that the world doesn't care about you, it only cares about what it can get from you.

  • Angela Munday | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    Self-seeking is Godless and the appetite is only momentarily satisfied........"All the Father gives me will come to me." We do not need to keep asking, Jesus will feed and hydrate us each day; He knows His own. We come to Jesus and leave refreshed. We will be energy filled and the spiritual fruit within us will truly ripen.

  • Derek Forster | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    All the way my Savior leads me; Cheers each winding path I tread, Gives me grace for ev’ry trial, Feeds me with the living bread; Tho’ my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see; Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see; All the way, my Savior leads me; Oh, the fullness of His love! Perfect rest to me is promised In my Father’s house above: When my spirit, clothed immortal, Wings its flight to realms of day, This my song thro’ endless ages: Jesus led me all the way; This my song thro’ endless ages: Jesus led me all the way

  • Adam Julians | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    Angela - I agree with what you say about self - seeking with the caveat that seeking ones own needs is important and therefore there are times to be constructively selfish. For without that one is not empowered to serve others. You can't give away what you don't have.

  • Graham Barratt | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    'The church is God’s bakery on earth!' as we as individuals are 'The Church' that means that we are therefore all Gods Bakers!! - lets go and give the 'living bread' to all who need it. Amen

  • Angela Munday | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    I do understand what you have commented in my direction Adam; I see your comment is necessary from your viewpoint and where you are on your journey; your need to be "constructively selfish." I am celebrating my birthday with my frail, elderly parents and would value your finishing this; thank you. May you find peace this day. Amen.

  • Ruth Lewis | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    HILARY, There are no request for prayer too small. God is concern about every thing that concerns us!!! Psalm 138:8. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. I am praying for Mark as you requested, that he will be convinced that God loves and cares for him. I can empathize with you in your prayer request, because my grandson Jordan needs that prayer prayed for him also. Lets walk in faith together, standing on Ephesians 3:20, God is able to do Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us!!!

  • Hilary Dale | Saturday, 13 May 2017

    Elizabeth, thankyou, I found a second hand copy online and have ordered it! Ruth L, thank you, I appreciate the encouragement, and am glad to stand with you and prayer- battle for Jordan and Mark, what a relief that He can do more even than we dare hope! Angela M, I am praying for you specially on your birthday evening, that you will know the Lord delights in you, may he strengthen you at the end of your possibly hard day of caring for parents, I'm sure they have been blessed by your loving of them today! Happy birthday!

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