“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.” John 6:35
Beggars on the street corners in any large city make my heart sad. Like you, I often try and buy a bite for them to eat. I know it doesn’t solve their long-term problems, but hopefully, it will fill their belly for a few hours.
Never once have I offered a beggar food and had them turn it down because it was cold or not their favorite sandwich. They have always eagerly accepted the gift with smiles and gratitude.
For a long time in my Christian life, I was like the beggar. I would show up Sunday morning at church and gulp down whatever the Pastor has to share from the Word of God. Then I would go through the rest of my week sad, anxious, angry and just generally struggling with life.
John 6:35 says Jesus is the Bread of Life.
In ancient Middle East bread was served at each meal. It was literally their sustenance. It is still that way in many European countries today. The analogy may break down a little bit in our Western civilization where bread isn’t the center of the meal. But the idea is the same – Jesus is comparing himself to the very thing that gives us life. I love to eat! I think about it, plan for it and enjoy it every day. Not only because it gives me sustenance, but because I enjoy the tastes and flavors.
If you would have asked me a few years ago what Jesus being the Bread of Life meant to me I would have told you about the eternal life Jesus offers us when we believe in Him. That is true and an important part of Bread of Life -but I was missing the other important component.
Bread is meant to be eaten daily
That all changed in December 2016 when I watched the movie War Room and took the challenge to show up and meet with Jesus each morning. While my life looked picture perfect on the outside, inside I was a hot mess and I was desperate for change. Showing up first thing each morning over the last 15 months with my Bible and a journal has changed my life. I’ve found the Bread of Life that satisfies and brings life, joy, peace and healing.
But it’s so much more than that. My Creator meets with me and loves me, challenges me to grow and surrender that which isn’t good for me. He has become more important to me than anything this world can offer. In the beginning, I showed up out of determination or commitment. Now, just like you don’t have to call me twice for supper, I cherish my time with Jesus each day. He is more than just my sustenance. He is my very breath and life. He satisfies my deepest longings. That means he knows me better than I know myself.
There is freedom in Jesus
In a writing course I was talking a few weeks back they asked the question, “What wrecks me?” My answer was people who don’t know they matter, who don’t know they are loved. They live day in and day out just going through the motions, dry and empty. I think that wrecks me because I’ve been in that place and I am desperate for people to know there is a way out – it is possible to love fully and be loved fully, to live at peace with themselves and others.
Just like we can call a meal time by many names: supper, dinner, snack, bread, pizza, brunch, breakfast, our time with God can also go by many names: devotions, quiet time, Bible study, prayer, journaling, meditating, worship. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the key is to just show up.
3 Ideas to get you started:
- Proverbs 31 will email you a devotional each morning to your inbox
- Read a few verses each morning (I love the book of John) and journal about them
- Coloring book journals are a fun way to be still and think about the verse as you color.