Sunday, December 2, 2012

What is it that satisfies you? As Mick Jagger says, "I can't get no satisfaction."

What is it that satisfies you? 

It could be food--something like a Maine lobster, or maybe receiving recognition for all your hard work. It could be the purchase of a new car, or getting that 60-inch flat screen TV that you've been wanting.

The other night we saw the new James Bond film, "Skyfall." That was very satisfying. I left the theater thinking that this was the best James Bond film ever made. But here's the problem: As satisfied as I may be over receiving a big-screen TV or purchasing a new car or seeing the latest and greatest James Bond film, it doesn't last. After awhile, it leaves me empty and wanting something else to give me instant gratification or fulfillment. We're always looking for the next big thing--be it a video game, movie, car, sports event, party, sexual conquest, etc. We're never satisfied. I mean, do you really think Tom Brady is satisfied with his 3 Superbowl rings? Don't you think he'd like to add a 4th to his collection? As Mick Jagger says, "I can't get no satisfaction."

Pascal's God-shaped vacuum
Pascal's "God-shaped vacuum"

Maybe that's why Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher observed that "there is a god-shaped vacuum in the heart of man that can only be filled by God, made known through his son, Jesus Christ."

One of the names for Jesus is "Bread of Life." He declared in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

For most of the world, bread is a big deal. In Europe and elsewhere, bread is a main course at many meals. Jesus called himself the bread of life because he knew that he is the ONLY one who can satisfy our spiritual hunger and our quest for identify and worth. 

In John 6 where Jesus reveals himself as the "bread of life", Passover is near, and he is conveying the truth that he is the Passover lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It's with his shed blood on the cross that we have been restored to a relationship with God the Father. 

Earlier in John 6, we see Jesus feeding five thousand with just two loaves of bread and five fish. Jesus is not disabled by circumstances-they pose no obstacle to him. No matter how insignificant a resource may seem, he can multiply it to fully meet our needs. As the Bread of Life, He is the source and supply  of our daily needs. Whatever we bring to him, He can multiply it so that it meets our present need.  

Bread must be consumed to be beneficial:

Bread is beneficial only if it is eaten, consumed. We eat or partake of Jesus as the Bread of Life when we read His Words in the Bible--not just the words printed in red, but ALL the Bible. The entire Bible is His book. After his resurrection, Jesus appears to two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, and he (Jesus) took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:47). All the scripture is about Him. From Genesis to Revelation, it's all about Jesus.

Christ said it thus, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). In other words, if you don't eat Jesus' words (read the Bible and putting it into practice daily), there will be no satisfaction, no nourishment, no growth in your life. You will continue to look for the next big thing, the next thrill, the next party, the next big smash film, or new car. But whatever it is, it won't satisfy for very long.

Our prayer to God this day can be:

Dear Lord,

Thank-you for being to me the Bread of Life. Only You Lord can satisfy and nourish and meet my every need. You sustain me and supply all that I have need of. 

Forgive me for looking to other people or things to satisfy my life when only You can fill that god-shaped vacuum in my life. 

Lord, I want to feed on your Word daily. Teach me and shape my life according to Your Word. Give me a hunger for your Word even as I hunger for my favorite food or desert. Even as you feed me and nourish me, help me to bring nourishment to others and point them towards You and your Kingdom. 

In Jesus' name, who is the Bread of Life, Amen.

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