Sunday, August 2, 2009

Looking for Free Food

It seems that today there are so many people who are looking for things that are free, free food, free housing, something for little or nothing. But isn’t that just human nature you ask? It would seem so.
The people of Galilee came looking for Jesus because he had fed them the day before with just 5 barley loaves and two fish. And so they came looking for him to feed them with free food again. But Jesus said enough is enough.
Jesus told them to quit wasting their time looking and hoping for things that wouldn’t really satisfy them. And they wanted to know what they needed to do. Not so different from all of us today. Isn’t everyone looking for something to satisfy the cravings of their souls? Aren’t we all looking for something to make our lives more full and meaningful?
The problem is that we are all looking in all the wrong places as the country song puts it. So where do we go you ask?
What did Jesus say? He said, “Throw your lot in with God. Work for food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever.”
But what do we do? What is required of us? Remember when the Pharisees asked Jesus what the most important commandment was. Remember the answer he gave. Listen, Israel. The Lord your God is one: so love God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy. And love others as well as you love yourself.
When we read and study the Bible we find the word “love” used quite often. And that, I believe, is what it’s all about. Love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We can’t love our neighbors without loving God and we can’t love God without loving our neighbors.
Friends, we need the Bread of Heaven for nourishment so we can love. We need this bread that Jesus provides us so that we can be filled with compassion for our neighbors who are suffering because of the poor choices they’ve made in the lives. Even so they deserve our love. We are commanded to love them, unconditionally.
And friends, the Bread of Heaven is free. It’s a free gift from God. All we have to do is accept it. There is no price put on this bread. It’s been paid for by Jesus.
So accept this free food provided by God for our nourishment and we will never again be hungry or thirsty. Trust in the Lord and you will be filled with the bread that never runs out.
Ask God to come into to your heart today. Believe in his Son, Jesus the Christ. And through the power of the Holy Spirit you will be convicted of your sin and God will forgive you and welcome you as one of his children. And friends, your life will be fuller than you’ve ever imagined.
Friends, God loves you and so do I. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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