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By Bread Alone

Deuteronomy 8:3- And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

A common mistake of man is that once the physical needs are met, we are in a good place. When we are not struggling for every meal and can pay the bills, plus a little extra for ourselves, we have nothing to worry about. That is not to say people in this situation are not well off but it does not mean they are satisfied. In fact, if this is all you are looking for you will never be satisfied. For one, you will be hungry again at some point. Our bodies absorb the energy food provides and depletes it, giving us a need for more. Also, this same food which provides nourishment can at the same time do harm to the body. I would also like to challenge you to think of one person who, though he ate often, did not eventually die anyway. You cannot do it. Then, there is the fleeting, dare we say fickle, nature of money. Though we may have thousands of dollars in our bank accounts there is no guarantee it will stay there for long. We may need to use it all for an emergency that arises or another may come and steal it. Either way, it is not something that lasts and has no loyalty.

So what will give us lasting satisfaction? The answer is simple really. As Moses said in Deuteronomy 8:3, “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (ESV). God is the true nourishment we need and provides for every need. We must remember though that this food is of a spiritual nature. It is something that, if we partake, leads us to everlasting life. In John 6:50-51, Jesus makes the statement that whoever eats of the bread of heaven will not die, following up with the declaration that He is that bread. Jesus is the one who provides for our spiritual nourishment.

This living bread and water, unlike their physical equivalents, can always be found by those seeking it. In Matthew 5:6, Jesus says that those who hunger for righteousness will be filled (some versions say satisfied). Our Lord does not hide it from those who need and desire it. Even when we do not want it, Jesus implores that we take it and gives us every opportunity to do so.

Throughout life, we must remember that only through God can we have true nourishment, only through Him can we be satisfied. This is not to say that we do not need food, water and money while here but there comes a time when they will do us no good. The spiritual food that Jesus offers strengthens us for eternity and only when we stop partaking will that cease. I implore every Christian to indulge their spiritual bodies with the food Jesus provides and cherish it more than anything else. Even to those who do not partake, I pray you will see your need for it and take the generous gift Jesus gives.

The Sin of Partiality

Racism has been a popular topic in our media over the last few years. Whether or not you believe it is as big an issue as some claim makes no difference, but it is a part of a much bigger problem that has plagued mankind since time began. Partiality, or showing one type of person favor over another, cannot be a part of the Christian’s life. It takes many forms; racism, favor toward the rich, praising the athletic over the scholastic and so on and so forth but regardless it is still a sin. Those who are caught in it will often try to justify their actions, often using stereotypes or the actions of only one person to say that group deserves it. The Christian on the other hand should treat all types of people the same, with love and respect. This is not to say that we accept any sins that they commit but we do our best to see them as God sees them, as individuals that need to be saved and we must therefore want to. Let us look more deeply as to why partiality is such a bad thing.

  1. It is not how God feels: If there is one thing that makes God the perfect judge is that He has no since of partiality. When it came to punishment in the Old Testament, even those close to Him did not escape His wrath. Look at Moses when he smote the rock instead of speaking to it (Numbers 20:8-12). Despite his being able to speak with God face to face, this did not allow him exemption from punishment. David was the same way. He was known as a man after God’s heart but after his sin with Bathsheba he too was punished. God does not allow sin at all. Then we look at passages like Colossians 3:11. In the kingdom of God, our race and our wealth does not distinguish us in God’s sight. We all can achieve heaven and will face the same judgment.
  2. It will hinder us in our work for Christ: Imagine back to the time before any of us were Christians. Now think if no one taught you the gospel because of your background. Just because you were white, grew up a Catholic or maybe grew up poor, no one thought you worthy for the kingdom of God. Even if they did teach it would only be because God told them to. Would you be very receptive of the gospel then?
  3. It makes us sinners: In James 2, the writer goes into great detail about this sin. He says that even if we keep everything else but stumble in this point, we violate the law. Granted, he makes a blanket statement and covers all sin but this would definitely fit as well.
  4. It causes us to feel no love: Many people who feel partial toward others still view themselves as loving. Let us think about this for just a moment. We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves and this includes all men. What does love entail? It means we look past the outward appearance, past the background to who the person actually is. Even if that person is a horrible individual we are still to love them (Luke 6:35). Love also means doing what is best for them, even if it personally costs us and they are ungrateful. After hearing this description, how does this fit with partiality? The truth is, it does not. We cannot be loving and partial at the same time.

Partiality is a awful thing. We must remember that God made every single person who walks on this earth, the bad and the good. Let us also not forget that Jesus died for every one of them, bad and good. If everyone is worth Jesus’s death in the eyes of God, then they should be worth our love and attention as well.

Follow the Word

James 1:22-
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Belief is a necessary aspect of being a Christian. We must have faith that Jesus came to this earth, was God in the flesh, lived the life of man, died for our sins and rose again to live forever more. Without this it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). All throughout the world there are those who believe all of these facts. Most of them even go so far as to say they love Jesus. However, for the majority of them this is where it stops. They here His words, believe that they are from Him but do nothing to change their lives. It takes much more than that.

If we truly love Him we will do as He says (John 14:15). As James puts it in the second chapter of his book, faith if it does not have works is dead. If we do nothing to change our lives and mold it according to His words we will stay in our sins. Obedience is expected of everyone and especially of those who say they are God’s followers. However, even after reading passages like James 2 and John 14 many in the world will ignore commandments that God has given. Yet, they still believe themselves to be saved.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23 that not everyone who believes themselves to be saved will be. Those mentioned here are those who did many works in His name but yet still did no make it. How can this be? The simple truth is that they in reality did not do as God directed. Submitting to His authority is vital if heaven is to be our home. In 2 Thessalonians 1:8 we are told that those who do not obey Christ will be punished for their actions, even those who believe themselves to be in the right.

Well, how can we know what we are suppose to do? It is simple really. We must “look in to the perfect law of liberty” and put into practice what we find there. It really is that simple. However, so many today read and hear the word but see no need to change any aspect of themselves. Let none of us fall into this trap and do whatever we can to serve the God of heaven as He would direct us.