September 17

John 5-6, Psalm 105

The Word of God is our daily bread and necessary for our daily sustenance. During the time of Moses and in today's reading the bread from heaven, Manna, the gift of God during the desert wandering is mentioned. The rules surrounding Manna was very specific. Collect enough for each family each day, no more, or it would rot by the next day. Except, for the Sabbath when they could collect a double portion. This is a good reflection of our time in God's Word. We can't store it up on a Sunday. We need it daily if we are to abide in Him daily. There are those who prefer to remain in certain books or certain areas of Scripture, if that is the case you will suffer from an unbalanced diet. God knows how much of each subject we need to be a balanced Christian. Some question why they should read portions over again if they already know it so well. If we think we know it already and believe God can't teach us anything new from a certain portion of Scripture, then our pride will prevent us from approaching His Word with eyes to see and ears to hear. But if we approach all Scripture with fear and trembling, with humility and an openness to the Holy Spirit, it doesn't matter if you have read a portion 100x, the Holy Spirit will give you something fresh.

In John's Gospel, Jesus continues to present the same message and everyone is missing it. The woman at the well, his disciples and the multitudes are all focused on the horizontal or earthly things. Jesus is elevating the conversation to the vertical or heavenly things. In John 4:32-34, Jesus tells His disciples, "...I have food to eat of which you do not know...My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work." When the multitudes followed Him, Jesus said in John 6:26-27, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves of bread and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perished, but for the food which endures to everlasting life...". He then makes His first "I am" statement, referring to Himself with God's name, "I am"(Exodus 3:14), and calling Himself the bread of life in John 6:35. He explains further in John 6:51, what He means, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Many of His disciples didn't understand or like this message. We read in John 6:60, that many of his disciples considered this message hard and difficult and as a result we read in verse 6:66 that, "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." When Jesus asked the 12 apostles whether they also wanted to leave, Peter gives an answer we should all remember in 6:68-69, "...Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." As we continue in God's Word throughout our lives, certain points may seem difficult. Other points may seem in opposition to your world view. But the Word of God is from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if there is a disagreement between us and Scripture, we are always wrong and His Word is always right. Like Peter said, if you still struggle with something Biblically, ask yourself the question, "Where else can we go?" We have already learned that the world along with its many philosophies will turn out empty, has nothing for us, and can not answer life's most difficult questions. So if we stumble or struggle turn back to a steady diet of God's Word, trust in Him, and He will clarify things over time.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster