Ever just crave something?
Hope I'm not making you hungry.
But it's all because
at some time or another
your appetite was whetted
by something you realized
was to your liking.
And being filled
by that something satisfied you
at just the right moment.
So now when you sense that
gnawing burn within,
your cravings entertain
What will satisfy?
And believe it or not,
people once had a craving
for plain old bread!
But it wasn't the flavor
that caused them to yearn for it.
It was the One who handed it out.
For just after
Jesus filled the appetites
of the five-thousand plus people,
they came back, craving more.
On the following day,
when the people who were standing
on the other side of the sea...
saw that Jesus was not there,
nor His disciples,
they also got into boats
and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
John 6:22, 24 NKJV
But Jesus knew that
they were not come coming to Him,
for the miraculous nature
of what He showed them,
nor the possibility that He was
in fact the Son of God.
Rather they returned because
He had satisfied their appetite
like never before.
And it awakened in them
a craving for more of the same.
Not that they could quite
put their finger on it,
nor define the taste or recipe
of what He served them.
Because they had certainly
eaten bread before, but
this was not the same.
They now had a new appetite...
a new craving.
So they came back to Him
for more of what He had to offer.
But Jesus longed to point them
away from earthly bread that perishes,
and toward a bread which
endures to eternal life.
And Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life.
He who comes to Me
shall never hunger, and
he who believes in Me
shall never thirst.
For I have come down
not to do My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me.
But the people struggled
to understand this.
They just wanted bread.
More of what He handed out
the day before.
They wanted that easy solution,
the same quick fix we crave today.
But Jesus didn't have a handout for them.
Instead He gave words.
Concepts that were hard to grasp.
Here was a Man,
born of a city nearby...
How could he be from heaven?
And here was a Man
who spoke of eating bread of life
like it was His body...
How does that make sense?
Which I have to admit
would be a big stretch to understand.
But we now have the rest of the Bible
to read what He meant by this.
We know this today
to be our communion.
Just a representation
with bread and juice (or wine)
to represent His body and His blood.
And it's how we remember Him,
His sacrifice, and the gift of His grace
for the forgiveness of our sins.
But in the middle of their confusion
Jesus wanted to assure them
that He only spoke truth,
and only spoke life...
It is the Spirit who gives life;
the flesh profits nothing.
The words that I speak to you
are spirit, and they are life.
Jesus wanted them... and us,
to know that it was't about
the filling we receive from the bread.
The reason these people
came back wanting more
was because Jesus had whet
their appetite on purpose.
No one can encounter the Savior
and walk away unchanged.
These people now knew an emptiness
of which they formerly were unaware.
And they now wanted the filling
that He provided not just once
But it was not in the bread.
It was in the Spirit,
in the indwelling that Jesus gives
in relationship with Him,
that fully satisfies emptiness.
Just like for us...
it's not in the going to church
every Sunday that make us Christians
or followers of Jesus.
It is the Spirit of God which dwells within,
filling us with true life and light,
satisfying our cravings so that
we don't lust for the things of this world.
It's not in the rituals,
the bowing and kneeling;
It's not in the prayers prayed,
the songs sung, the confessions given;
it's not in the acts of service,
the hallelujahs and amens.
While those are all good things
that worship God, encourage us
and keep us unified as fellow believers,
they are not what connects us to God.
Those are human efforts trying to do
what only God can do.
And they will never fully satisfy
our craving and fill us to the full.
That is why people get disillusioned
with "religion" and church.
They don't want another set of rules
they have to follow in order to earn God.
Nor does He want that for us.
God longs for us to simply receive Him.
He wants us to open our heart,
mind, will and emotions;
to yield to His Spirit filling us to the full.
Then and only then can we live
that satisfied life and realize
who He made us to be.
But the cravings will not stop.
In fact, they will increase.
Because then we become
incredibly addicted to the love of God!
And to be honest,
I'll admit full and total dissatisfaction
with anything that is not Him.
I will confess my God addiction
if that's what it takes to get some more
of His love, grace, compassion and mercy.
Word of God
train me today...
To understand my cravings and
give them fully over to You, Lord.
To know that my flesh is weak and worldly,
but Your Spirit is my eternal connection
to life fully satisfied and filled with grace.
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