“I am the living bread that came down from Heaven.” (Jesus; John 6:51)
Yesterday, we talked about God’s provision to take care of His people as they journeyed in the wilderness. God provided “bread from heaven” to sustain their daily lives – and He did this faithfully every day. But the people were also required to participate in God’s provision by going out each morning and collecting the “manna” they needed. If they didn’t go… they didn’t eat. We learned: God provides, but we have a role to play in receiving what He gives.
This is an important picture for us too. It is so important that Jesus drew upon that picture to make a vital point. In John 6, Jesus is having an intense discussion with His people (especially the Jewish leaders). The issue of God’s miraculous provision comes up and Jesus responds… He compares Himself to God’s provision of “manna” in the wilderness. He makes the claim that He is the “true bread from Heaven” and whoever eats of this Bread “will never hunger” and “will not die.” In other words… the key to true living is to BE satisfied and to have an eternal kind of life.
And the key to these things is just one thing… The Bread of Heaven. Jesus!
Jesus’ object lesson is clear. If any of us wants to truly live in this “wilderness” of life then we need to receive God’s provision for true living… every day!
How do we do that? Plainly stated… we need to “dig in” to Jesus every day. If our life is truly found in Him, then we need to get our fill of Him every day. He will satisfy our life’s hunger. He will energize our daily existence. But only if we “take Him into our selves.”
This whole idea often cuts against the grain of what the “old you” wants. The “natural you” wants free lunches (just as Jesus pointed out in John 6:26). We often want to give nothing, yet expect great things in return. The “old you” not only wants God’s miraculous provision, we want Him to put it within us too. We tend to like our meals spoon-fed.
But the same principle applies to us as it did to those Israelites wandering in the wilderness. God provides… but we have a role to play in receiving. If we do not do our part, God’s part lays unclaimed… and cannot help us.
Jesus told His disciples right up front… “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63b) If we want to have true sustenance in this world, we must feast upon Jesus and His words.
Yesterday, we spoke of the fact that the New covenant is based upon better promises and better provision. That promise and provision is Jesus! He has made Himself readily available to us each and every day.
The life of a believer in Jesus is really very simple. Fill up with Jesus each day… and let Him live through us each day.
Can we be blunt? One of our greatest struggles in faith is that we just get lazy. We want to live off of “old manna” instead of enjoying God’s provision for today. We may claim that we just don’t have the time – but we all have the same 24 hours in a day. The solution is not more time – but what we do with the time we have. There is no substitute for receiving God’s provision for life and vitality with each day.
To live for Jesus, we must be full of Jesus – and He offers Himself to us each and every day – to fill, to satisfy, to sustain, and to energize for His purposes.
Prayer Focus: God, draw my heart to You each day… deepen my desire to seek the “Bread” of Jesus, so that I may be spiritually nourished and prepared for each day.