Bread of Heaven
“I am the bread of life.” John 6:48 the Words of Jesus
Every ten days I feed my sourdough bread starter whether it wants to eat or not. That’s the beginning process for making bread at our house. Forty-eight hours later, my family has three fresh loaves of the yummy-smelling bread.
Bread, a diet staple for man, contains a mixture of grain and water. The earliest forms of bread were baked on hot stones, while Egypt gets credit for the first leavened bread and brick ovens. Yesteryear’s coarse bread was nothing like today’s commercially baked, enriched, sliced white bread.
In the 1900’s in the United States, 95 percent of bread was baked at home. By 1950, commercial bakeries turned out 95 percent. When a child of 12 receives 75 percent of his calories from enriched bread, that amount supplies enough nutrition for sufficient growth.
However, the Bread of Life remains essential for good spiritual health. Jesus prescribed “daily requirements” when he said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
On one occasion, a crowd rushed after Jesus and caught up in the moment of chasing after him, only one in 5000 plus remembered to bring along food. As the day grew long, Jesus noticed their hunger, and a young boy donated his food to Jesus, who in turn prayed over the crusts.
In Jesus’ hands, several loaves became thousands, and the usual processes of sowing seeds, sprouting, maturing, harvesting, grinding, mixing, and baking bypassed the usual months of labor leading up to sumptuous bread. After the meal, Jesus tried to leave the crowd, but many still trailed after him.
He knew their hearts. “You are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” John 6:26 Not any different from people today, those crowds liked the quick fix for hungry bellies.
In this same setting, Jesus connected table bread and the bread of heaven to say about himself, “He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
In elementary school, my class took a field trip to Mrs. Baird’s bakery in Houston, Texas. I still remember the line of fourth graders with our noses aloft, sniffing the yeasty scented air. Enticed, we became instant Baird fans. After the tour, each student received a slice of hot, buttered bread. Melted butter on warm bread lingers in my memory and is probably the best straight-out-of-the-oven bread I’ve ever sampled.
As good as that slice tasted, it will never compare to the true Staff of Life, the Bread of Heaven, Jesus Christ.
Father, Jesus, often the quest to fill my stomach is stronger than my desire for you. Please reverse my appetites, for you satisfy like no morsel of food. Amen.
Are You Feasting on the Bread of Life?
By Lynette Kittle, crosswalk.com
“I am the bread of life.”– John 6:48
So much about life is focused on food today, of making sure you eat certain food to receive the most health benefits to grow stronger and to live longer.
Entire television networks, publications, websites, and festivals are devoted to food, instructing people how to buy it, prepare it, serve it, and eat it.
As well there are heated debates over which foods to eat and which foods to abstain from, similar to the discussions mentioned in Scripture between believers over which foods are okay to eat.
Yet no matter how much care you may take in putting food into your mouth, Jesus said not to put your focus on earthly food as your source of life.
Just like health organizations like to give their “Seal of Approval” on foods they believe are of higher quality, Jesus encourages to, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval” (John 6:27).
To help give a better understanding of what He is saying, Jesus refers to the Israelites time in the wilderness, “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” (John 6:32).
Psalm 78:24 describes how the bread from Heaven, called manna, was given to the them. “He rained down manna for the people to eat, He gave them the grain of Heaven.”
Scripture explains that, “Human beings ate the bread of angels; He sent them all the food they could eat” (Psalm 78:25).
As well, John 6:33 explains it like this, “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Jesus took great effort to teach this truth by comparing the manna from Heaven that sustained the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years, to how He is the bread of Heaven who will sustain you, so you’ll never go hungry (John 6:35).
Rather than focusing your life on earthly food as the sustainer of your life, Jesus asks you to look higher to Him stating, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48).
As God wanted the Israelites to look to Him for the bread of life, Jesus explains in John 6:51 how He wants you to look to Him stating, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Jesus is the bread that came down from Heaven and whoever eats His bread will live forever (John 6:58).
“I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” – Revelation 21:2 NASB
Frederick Edward Weatherly wrote lyrics to many popular songs, including “Danny Boy.” But perhaps his most important contribution resulted from a dream he had in 1892. The words inspired by this dream became “The Holy City.”
In this dream, he stood beside the temple in old Jerusalem and heard children singing. He also heard angels singing, “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Lift up your gates and sing, Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna to your King!”
Then, he pictured the day that Jesus was crucified. The hosannas were gone, “the sun grew dark with mystery,” and “the morn was cold and chill.” Yet the angels still sang “Hosanna.”
Next, Weatherly saw the new earth and the Holy City. But everything was different. “The light of God was on its streets, the gates were open wide.” This was “the new Jerusalem, that would not pass away.” It was a place filled with praises and with singing, “for the night is o’er!” All troubles were gone. Everyone was filled with praises: “Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna for evermore!”
If you serve Jesus, you can look forward to that great day. You will join the angels and all who have gone before you, standing in the new Jerusalem. All of life’s cares and troubles will be gone. There will be no pain and suffering.
Make sure you are ready, as “a bride adorned for her husband.” Live for Him. Trust Him. Worship Him. Sing hosanna to His name!
Walking in the Light of Your Own Fire – Streams in the Desert – March 30
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow” (Isa. 50:11).
What a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and yet who try to help themselves out into the light. They are represented as kindling a fire, and compassing themselves with sparks. What does this mean?
Why, it means that when we are in darkness the temptation is to find a way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him. Instead of letting Him help us out, we try to help ourselves out. We seek the light of nature, and get the advice of our friends. We try the conclusions of our reason, and might almost be tempted to accept a way of deliverance which would not be of God at all.
All these are fires of our own kindling; rushlights that will surely lead us onto the shoals. And God will let us walk in the light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow.
Beloved, do not try to get out of a dark place, except, in God’s time and in God’s way. The time of trouble is meant to teach you lessons that you sorely need. Premature deliverance may frustrate God’s work of grace in your life. Just commit the whole situation to Him. Be willing to abide in darkness so long as you have His presence.
Remember that it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light.
–The Still Small Voice
Cease meddling with God’s plans and will. You touch anything of His, and you mar the work. You may move the hands of a clock to suit you, but you do not change the time; so you may hurry the unfolding of God’s will, but you harm and do not help the work. You can open a rosebud but you spoil the flower. Leave all to Him. Hands down. Thy will, not mine.
God bade me go when I would stay
(‘Twas cool within the wood);
I did not know the reason why.
I heard a boulder crashing by
Across the path where I stood.
He bade me stay when I would go;
“Thy will be done,” I said.
They found one day at early dawn,
Across the way I would have gone,
A serpent with a mangled head.
No more I ask the reason why,
Although I may not see
The path ahead, His way I go;
For though I know not, He doth know,
And He will choose safe paths for me.
–The Sunday School Times