Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Are We Feeding Our Spiritual Bodies?

John 6:35

Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

RayMcDSix guys from our church have joined together to lose weight. We support one another. We text and e-mail one another. We weigh in on Sunday mornings at church. It is working. As of our last weigh in the six of us have lost a combined 69 pounds. One brother has lost 17 pounds. Two others are in double digits. And reports from home scales indicate we will have a new combined total this Sunday – well into 70+ pounds.

We set goals of losing 5% of our body weight by Labor Day (we began on July 15th). We have additional goals of 8% by Thanksgiving and 10% by Christmas (for a man weighing 280 pounds that would be a 28 pound lose by Christmas). Two brothers have already met their 5% goals – and another is very close – they are working toward their 8% goal already with a couple of weeks to go on Labor Day. We may need to adjust the goals.

We have used different methods. Some have simply reduced or eliminated their sugars and junk food. Some have cut out fatty foods. Some are walking more. One that I know is on an eating plan (an online food supply company).

One thing a few have reported is hunger. The first few days and even weeks of our programs – when we were cutting out certain things – we hungered for them. Maybe it was that Snicker bar we use to get in the afternoon or sugar with our coffee. Maybe it was that second helping of dinner or the fast food connection we often made.

Hunger comes when the body craves something. I’ve found – that as I supplement the right foods and vitamins – giving my body the fuel it needs to thrive – my hunger for the junk foods has gone away. I turned down donuts the other day and ice cream – two of my favs. I have found that if I feed my physical body the right fuel – it will operate better – and I will lose the extra fat pounds – and I will feel better (I’m down 16.4 in just 4 weeks).

In today’s passage we see that we have a spiritual hunger as well as a physical hunger. Depending on what we feed our spirit – it can be healthy or sick. We can feed it junk food – just like the physical body and it will be sluggish and less productive (and fat). Here’s today’s passage in partial context. John 6:28–40 – 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, 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. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 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 them up at the last day.”

A group of guys bonded together to get in better physical shape and in four weeks they have lost nearly 70 pounds. How about – if we all bond together to shed spiritual fat and focus clearly on Jesus and see what might happen? What if we were to feed ourselves with the pure spiritual food of the Bible and listen to those who teach His Word rather than on fairy tales of vain philosophy that doesn’t depend upon Jesus? Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

How long have we been Christians? How long have we claimed to follow after Jesus? Are we maturing in our faith at the rate we think we should? What fuel are we putting into our spiritual bodies? Hebrews 5:11–14 – 11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Each of us has a spiritual hunger that can only be properly satisfied with the pure Word of God – the presence of the Holy Spirit leading and teaching us. We should hunger after righteousness – hunger after the bread of life – Jesus Christ. Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

August 16, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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