The 8 F's

Focused on Faith, Family, Friends, Finances, Freedom, Following, Fitness and Fun

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone

     Yesterday, my husband was telling me of a spirited discussion that he and his Men's Bible Study had during their weekly meetings.  They were discussing whether or not man needed the Word of God, or the Bible, to stay spiritual, or connected to God.  I found this very intriguing and have been meditating on it since hearing of it.  This morning as I was waking up, the Lord spoke to me in answer to the question and said, "Man shall not live by bread alone."
     I looked up this verse in the Bible, Matthew 4:4.  Jesus was lead into the desert by the Holy Spirit for 40 days and was tempted by the devil to turn stone into bread.  Where upon, Jesus replied, "It is written: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"  Jesus quoted from scripture, Deuteronomy 8:3, 'He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.'
     If we live by Jesus' example, we will see that he didn't just pray to God.  Anyone can cry out to the Lord.  But, we cannot truly live in Him without His Word.  Scripture repeatedly tells us we will never mature into someone who knows God, without His word (1 John 2:12-14).  Amos the prophet tells us that a day will come, when there is famine and drought, not for food and water, but a famine for hearing the words of the Lord, Amos 8:11.  The Lord can satisfy your spiritual hunger, if you "listen to me...hear me, that your soul may live", Isaiah 55:2-3.
     How are we to evangelize without the word?  How are we to carry out the great commission?  "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20  Without the word, how are we to teach the word?
     I have lived most of my life without the word, mostly in prayer, only hearing the word at church on Sundays.  Only in the last year have I truly dug into the word, and as a consequence, have started to mature as a Christian.  I have been a "Christian Child" most of my adult life.  But am now becoming an adult (1 John 2:12-14).  Without the knowledge of God, I am a captive of the world (2 Cor. 10:5)  I need to be washed daily with the word, to make me holy, just as Christ did for the church (Eph. 5:25).  I have grace and peace, in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2).
     Knowledge can only come through reading the word, listening to the word, praying about the word and applying the word.  We cannot hope to attain the knowledge of who God is, what God is, how we can be in relationship with God and how we can serve God without His Word.  Yes, we can have a relationship with God without reading the Bible.  But, to what level?  We can serve God without reading the Bible, but how effective will we be?  Without the word, I was just existing!  His word is my manna.  I cannot live on bread alone.
     Let me leave you with a prayer from John 17:13-17.  Jesus praying for his disciples, "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.  I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth."

Thanks to Carrie Rester and Angela Broussard for their fabulous Gulf Coast Blessings Bible study on the Love Letters of John, where some of the references in this blog came from.

Thank you Father for your Word!

Your sister in Christ,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Loving the Unlovely

First let me preface what I mean by unlovely:  people that are difficult to love, complaining, dictatorial, not nice, negative, loud, nosy, get the picture.  We all know people like this.  Maybe we are the unlovely ones.  I know I have my moments!

In Paul's letter to the Romans, Chapter 12:4-5, he says, "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."  We all belong to one another.  Wow, I never thought about you belonging to me, or me belonging to you.  It's like two body parts, let's say my hands and my feet.  My hands rarely meet up with my feet, only to put my shoes on or scrub them or massage them.  In essence, my hands serve my feet.  My feet appreciate and love my hands.  So too do I love and appreciate you as a fellow member of the body of Christ.

My feet on the other hand serve the whole body, by getting me where I need to go.  They make contact with the "world" every time I stand up.  They take such a beating by the "world" and are not very lovely.  So too are some of us in the body of Christ.  Some, take such a beating and are not very lovely, but serve the body day in and day out.  Does our physical body despise our feet just because they take a beating and are not nice to look at or smell not so nice sometimes?  We appreciate our feet don't we?  We love our feet, they are a part of us, a part of our body.

The unlovely or unloveable are a part of the body of Christ, thus, they are a part of us!  The unlovely are a part of us, they belong to us and we belong to them.  So we should be devoted to one another in brotherly love and honor one another above ourselves. Rom. 12:10  Love our neighbors as a part of ourselves. Matt. 22:39  We CHOOSE to do this in obedience to God's love for us and in us.  When we love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, we are in communion with Him through Christ.  ...."in Christ,  we who are many form one body..."  In Christ, we can love the unlovely.

Next time we will discuss ways to not be offended by our neighbor so that we can stay in communion with Christ.

Thanks to Carrie Rester and Angela Broussard for such a rich sharing of faith and inspiration through their "Straight From The Heart: Love from the Letters of John" Bible study.