Strength for the Journey: Part II


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“Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty . . . .”

John 4:15

Have you ever been really hungry or thirsty, but couldn’t have a meal right then?  Sometimes we have to work through the lunch hour, and are ravenous by 2:00-3:00pm.  When I get hungry, I become impatient.

Someone told me that sometimes spiritual hunger will mimic physical hunger.  We look for Wonder bread when we actually need the Bread of Life.  I’ve been spiritually hungry for the last few weeks.  I mentioned this feeling a few weeks ago.  Going to Sunday service was not enough.  So I visited one mid-week service to have a spiritual meal.  The church I visited last Wednesday is a well-known church with many social programs.  My take-away from the evening was that the pastor used the sermon as a platform to promote the church’s social justice programs and leftist slant towards helping the poor; and he used the Bible to back up his position.  I actually agree with the church’s politics.  If I had come for a political rally or a workshop, I would have loved it. Yet, on that night, I had come for Jesus.  I left hungry and angry.

When the sermon ended, it was the first time I’d ever seen a pastor get a standing ovation from (some) people.  I felt like the pastor was the star of the show, and Jesus was part of his supporting cast.  Years ago, my pastor related the story of Joshua’s encounter with an angel (Joshua 5:13-15).  Joshua asks, “are you for us or our enemies?”  The angel announces himself as the commander of the armies of the Lord who has “now come”.  My pastor said that if we think like Joshua, we got it wrong.  When Jesus comes, he’s not coming to join a side.  He’s taking over.

My word of wisdom for today is first.  Be wary of anyone who gives anyone besides Jesus first place.  Our Lord describes himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelations 22:13).  He’s the whole story.  If anyone tries to satisfy your spiritual hunger by offering you something else as the main course, with a little Jesus on the side, it’s a problem.

“I am the bread of life.  Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they have died.  But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

John 6:48-51

BOW is my first experience in blogging, and my writing has undergone an evolution since I started. I use If I Knew Then What I Know Now to think aloud about my Christian walk. When you read it, my hope is that WE (the BOW community & friends) then discuss how to apply God's word into our everyday lives in a practical manner. As Christian lay-theologians, we'll talk about our world, and how we can be in it but not of it. So whatever your thoughts are about what you read, PLEASE share.
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