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"Hunger"

Gospel of John

Week 6 Devotional

“Hunger”



“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” 




I love food.  Beyond the fact that it keeps me alive, I really do get so much enjoyment, so much satisfaction, from food.  My whole perspective on food, on life really, changed several years ago when I traveled with several of my church family to the Dominican Republic to do mission work.  There was a huge food and water crisis at that time, related in part to an influx of starving Haitians that migrated there following the destruction of their already impoverished country in the devastating 2010 earthquake.  Masses of desperate people crossed the border from Haiti into the DR, a country who itself had its own share of troubles, including 72 million people who were already classified as living in extreme poverty.  I remember being a little confused the first time our mission leader mentioned us going to “the dump” to feed and share the gospel with people.  Was this a term they used for a “bad part of town?” Little did I know that he was referring to a literal garbage dump; a massive landfill, where around 110 men, women, and children, mostly Haitians, had resorted to setting up makeshift shelters of cardboard and plastic and were literally living in the middle of this unsanitary, fly-infested, disease-ridden garbage dump.  Each day, they anxiously awaited for the garbage trucks to roll in and dump “fresh food,” which they then proceeded to dig through in order to feed themselves and their children.  There was no fresh water for miles, only what they found in discarded water bottles or was brought in to them by mission groups.  I knew from that moment that I would never again become irritated or complain when a restaurant back in the states got my order wrong.  And I still rarely draw from my tap without thanking the Lord for fresh water.  


Food is so important for our lives….necessary. 

-It provides needed nutrients for our bodies to be able to do the work they need to do. 

-It gives us strength and energy to get through our days.

-It satisfies our hunger and thirst.

-It comforts us. 

-It sustains us, gives us life. 


In John Chapter 6, there is a lot of talk about food and water, and once again, Jesus uses a physical analogy to make a spiritual point.  We all know what it’s like to feel physical hunger….but what about spiritual hunger?


“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” 


Our souls have an insatiable craving that can only be satisfied by Jesus Christ.  He feeds us with His Word, giving us the “spiritual nutrition” we need to get through our days (Matthew 4:4).  He comforts us with a peace that is beyond understanding (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), satisfies us with His abundance (John 10:10), and He sustains us (Isaiah 46:4).  Our physical bodies will eventually be useless to us, no matter how well we feed them.  But the bread and water that Jesus gives brings nourishment to our souls, an internal and eternal spring that fills our lives and overflows to others. 


“...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


We have traveled back to the Dominican Republic several times since that initial trip, and the difference in the lives of the people there is overwhelming to the point of tears.  Through the work of the mission organization that we traveled with and others, the people there have had many of their physical needs met, but more importantly, they have received the life-giving nourishment of their souls that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  


Are you hungry today?  What are you waiting for? Come feast at His table! 


“And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’”


Reflective Questions:


-Are you feeling a spiritual hunger right now?

-What kinds of things are you “consuming” during the day?  News, social media, gossip, etc., or the life giving words of God?

-What ways can you allow God to nourish your hungry soul? 


Prayer:


God, we know that You are the sustainer of life and the giver of eternal life with You.  We pray that You nourish us daily with the richness of Your Word and through conversation with You and about You.  Fill us with Your love and grace until we overflow and help us every day to recognize the hunger in those around us, always pointing them to You, the only One that can sustain and satisfy.  In Jesus name, amen. 

 


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