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Friday, February 8, 2013

Who Is Jesus to You?

John 6:35 (ESV) 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Nearly every sermon hits a human need. They speak of who God is and what He can do for you. When they speak of who God is, they rarely speak of who He is to you. Yet, this must be at the very core of our being if we are to go beyond the hidden selfishness of who we are. You see, if we don't have the answer of who He is to us, then we will always listen for what He will do for us. This is why I get so many more compliments on sermons which tell of His provision for His followers and get so few when I speak of the necessary commitment His followers must make.

If people can't answer who God or Jesus is to them, they will treat Him as Santa Claus. Santa only provides and never asks for any meaningful commitment. You only have to be good in your own eyes since he asks, "Have you been a good little boy (or girl)?" The qualifying answer comes from the one being asked. Which of us really thinks he is bad when it means we won't get what we want?

So, Jesus said He is the bread of life. This is who He must be to us not what He will do. Sure, He relates this in human terms. Those who come to Him will not hunger and those who believe in Him will never thirst. He obviously isn't speaking of physical hunger and thirst. He is speaking of who He should be to those who truly follow and believe.

I have fasted for forty days three times. These extended fasts taught me some things. I learned that fasting must be different for different people since my own experiences did not match those of people who had written on the subject. I personally didn't find that I lost all sense of hunger after a few days. I remained hungry throughout the fast with one great exception. I forgot all about my hunger when I worshiped.

Now, I am not merely talking of formal worship in the church building. I lost my sense of hunger when I earnestly prayed, clung to the Bible and sang (My singing didn't improve during the fasts. I sang privately.) spiritual songs to my Lord. Sometimes, during my prayers, I just listened for the Lord. He spoke and it filled me up. The hunger soon resumed once I left worship. So, I looked for the opportunities to worship all the time.

The fasts taught me who Jesus is to me. He is the bread of life. I actually did not feel hunger when I let Him fill my spirit.

Now, this is not about fasting. This is about who He is. You see, once you yourself know Him as the bread of life all other things which seem to be needs fall into a different perspective. You will be able to withstand the discomforts that a true commitment to Him requires because He is your bread. The other things may satisfy your body but that is nothing in comparison with Him filling your soul.

Thus, you may find yourself becoming a missionary or becoming a pastor or lovingly using your own athletic abilities  or scientific acumen to glorify your Lord. Some things you choose will bring you much less physical comfort. You may have had the potential to satisfy your every want but you choose to follow Him because He is the bread of life.

Sure, there are benefits to knowing Jesus as the bread of life. There is a freedom from guilt because you are forgiven. There is eternal life. But when He is truly the bread of life a new purpose in your life emerges. He becomes that which fills your soul.

Honestly, who is Jesus to you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All lot of us have head knowledge. I have a lot of head knowledge of the Word. I can tell you or I can write about this and about that, aspect of the Faith. I can write about what the Word said concerning God, of who He is. But I am far from living the Word. Operative faith means we have to live out the faith. Many of us, including myself have faith, but much of it, non-operative or what the Word said, dead faith or faith that is not alive. I don’t know about others, but I know how minute I am.

I am so minute in what I can understand; so minute in what I can appreciate; so minute in what I can persist; so minute in holding onto hope; so minute in faith; and so minute in loving. I know Jesus, He is the bread of life, yet I rarely can muster up enough faith to be abandoned to Him. Oh, how wretched I am, my Lord.

Lord, how I kept telling others we must NOT be lazy, but so very often I am yearning for an easy life, NOT to be pressurised by the need of money. Lord, how I have read of your provisions, like you provided to your children in the desert, in the days of Moses; how I heard of your provisions to the many around me in this time period that I am in, yet I cannot seem to trust you enough to provide for me and my children in the future, despite breakthroughs I have seen; oh how wretched I am.

I tell others, you are first of all, God; which means nothing is impossible with you; I tell others, you are also first of all, holiness, and so, always righteous and just, and I tell others, you, God, love them; yet I do NOT believe enough that you careth for me enough to provide for me; oh, how wretched I am my Lord.

I tell others, to be led by your Spirit; I could expound it from your Word, yet how much do I walk my talk; oh how wretched I am.

I tell others to resist sin, that we have NOT resisted sin to the point of shedding blood, yet how often have I done that; oh how wretched I am, Lord.

But one thing I know, and I hold on to:
Oh, Lord,
A wretch like me you save;
A wretch like me you work on;
A wretch like me you work with;
How gracious you are.
Oh, Lord,
Continue to save;
Continue to work on;
Continue to work with;
A wretch like me,
Because of who you are.
Oh, Lord,
I don’t want to stop hoping;
I don’t want to stop believing;
I don’t want to stop loving.
So, let me go, NOT.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions