Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Soul Food

Then 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."

-- John 6:35

What's your idea of a great meal? For some folks, a grilled T-bone steak, baked potato and salad always hit the spot. Others love pizza, Chinese or seafood. And let's not forget those who crave vegetarian.

People's tastes and taste buds vary widely; it's their hungers that unite them. But there's another kind of appetite that has nothing to do with cheeseburgers and ice cream. It's the spiritual hunger that's hard-coded into our DNA. Inside, everyone has a gnawing desire to fill a gaping internal void. Some try in vain through negative pursuits involving drug use, alcohol, compulsive spending or gambling. Others attempt to fill it by becoming workaholics or escaping reality through television, video games or even travel. But after the thrill is gone, the hunger always returns.

And they're never satisfied.

Jesus addressed this universal dilemma by proclaiming (and proving) Himself to be the "food" that everyone longs for. When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior and become Christ-followers, He literally resides in us. And He does lead our lives when we're willing to ask, listen and then obey.

But it turns out that a little spiritual hunger isn't such a bad thing. In fact, we all need to have a drive - a certain level of intensity - to continue developing as Christ-followers. That's because the cliché is true: life really is a journey rather than a wide spot in the road. God has so many things for us to see, experience and comprehend during our brief existence on Earth. It's how we grow and mature into Jesus' likeness. How boring would our lives be if we already knew all the answers?

Unfortunately, too many Christ-followers experience stunted growth because they lack the intensity to continue seeking meaning in their lives. The solution is to grow by making the most of the people, places and situations that God puts before us every day. It's up to every Christ-follower to continue developing their spiritual muscles through regular Bible Study, prayer, worship, Gel Group participation and other positive habits. After all, there's nothing like a good workout to whet ones appetite.

So with all this talk about food, what's for supper?

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