Food For The Soul

 

 

God’s Word is Food for the Soul     (closing hymn # 31)

 

Did you bring your appetite with you this morning?  And did you bring your food?

Jesus said in  Mathew 5, verse 6;  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”   Too often when we think of food, all we think of is food for our belly.   But Jesus says;  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”   Righteousness is food for the soul.  

And what is righteousness?  The bible tells us, in  Deuteronomy 6, verse 5;  “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.”   So then righteousness, is the keeping, and the doing of God’s word.

So is anyone hungry this morning?  Are you hungry for God’s word?  Jesus was hungry, and He said in  John 4:34;  “My food, is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”   God’s will is revealed, in God’s word, isn’t it?

Jesus said in  John 6:27;  “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him, God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”   

And then He said in  verse 35;  “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me, will never thirst.”  

The prophet Isaiah, talked about how God will feed His children.  He said in  Isaiah 25, verse 6;  “On this mountain..”   Many times in the bible, the kingdom of God is referred to as a mountain, that rises above all the other mountains.  And usually when you hear that analogy, it’s talking about the coming kingdom of Christ.  For example, Isaiah made this prophecy in  Isaiah 2, verse 2;  “Now it shall come about, that in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains;  And will be raised above the hills;  And all the nations will stream to it.”

So then, back to  Isaiah 25, verse 6;  “On this mountain, the Lord of Hosts will prepare a banquet, for all the peoples, a feast of aged wine, of choice meat, of finely aged wine.”   In other words, God will feed us richly and well, with His very own word.  

And again Isaiah talks about this nourishment from God.  He says in  Isaiah 55, verses 1 & 2;  “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;  And you, without money, come, buy, and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!”   Maybe you remember these words, from the hymn, Rock of Ages..  “In my hand no price I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.”  

“..Come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without cost!  Why spend money on that which is not bread, and your labor on that which does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of foods.”    It doesn’t get any richer than God’s word does it?  

And do you remember what Jesus told the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well?  He said in  John 4, verses 13 & 14;  “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;  (He was referring to the water of Jacob’s well)  But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him, will become in him, a fountain of water, springing up unto everlasting life.”

The invitation is given in  Revelation 22:17.   And here’s what it says;  “..And let the one who is thirsty come;  Let the one who wishes, take the water of life, without cost.”   

And just before that, this symbolic image of heaven, is given in  Revelation 22, verses 1 & 2;  “And he showed me a pure river, of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God, and of the Lamb.  In the middle of its street..” (and the word “street” there, really means “the broad way”)   So then;  “In the middle of the broad way of the river, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

God’s word heals us doesn’t it?  It does if we let it.  And of course the way that you let the word heal you, is to obey what the word tells you to do.  In other words, “keep the commandments of God”.   If you love God, you will let His word heal you.  We’re really saved by love aren’t we?  First it’s by God’s love for us, in giving us Jesus Christ;  And then it’s by our love for God, in keeping His commandments.  But it’s all by love.

Ephesians 2, verse 8  says;  “By grace you have been saved, through faith..”   I don’t know what there’s no verse that says;  “By God’s love you have been saved, through your love in return..”   I guess there is  John 3:16,  that says;  “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son..”  So that’s pretty close.

 

But let’s talk some more about spiritual food.   Job says, in  Job 23, verse 12;  “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips;  I have esteemed the words of His mouth (the words of God) more than my necessary food.”   How many times each day, do you eat?  How many times a day do you eat physical food?  Two, three, four times a day;  Plus snacks?   Job is telling us, that the word of God, is MORE important to him, than the physical food, that his body requires, just to live!  “..I have esteemed the words of His mouth, MORE, than my necessary food!”   

How “necessary” is God’s word?  Can you “live” without it?  You can live physically without God’s word, for a while;  But you can’t live spiritually without it, even for a minute!  God’s word is even MORE necessary, than physical food!   “My MEAT, (Jesus said) is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”

 

Consider this.. When you were first conceived, and as your body was developing, and growing, in your mother’s womb, your life was sustained through her blood, flowing through your body.  You know, the scriptures tell us, that “the life is in the blood”.   Leviticus 17, verse 11  says;  “For the life of the flesh, is in the blood..”   That’s exactly why Jesus shed His blood, for us.  Because His life, was in His blood.  And that was the price for sin.

And  Leviticus 17:11  goes on to say;  “..and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls;  For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.”  So then just consider the cross of Christ, the very cross that He was nailed to, and the cross that he died on, to be the “alter” upon which His blood was given.   The “alter” upon which the sacrifice for OUR sins, was made.

So I brought up the subject of how we are sustained while in our mother’s womb;   And concerning that subject, here’s two verses to always keep in mind;  The first is  Jeremiah 1, verse 5,  which says;  ” Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you..”   YOU and I, obviously existed, in some fashion, (and obviously that would have been spiritually, because it sure wasn’t physically)  But you and I existed, even BEFORE the Lord formed our bodies in the womb.  Now to me, that’s very, very interesting.

Now this verse was specifically addressed to Jeremiah, and the verse goes on to say;  “..and before thou came forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”  So then God had ordained Jeremiah, to become a  prophet of God, even before God formed him in the womb.   God had a very specific purpose for Jeremiah.  I wonder if God has a specific purpose for you and I?

 

But here’s the second verse to keep in mind.  It’s  Ezekiel 28, verse 15;  “You were blameless in your ways;  From the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.”  Until the day came, that you were old enough, and able, to understand what sin is, and until you yourself committed sin, you were blameless in your ways.  God didn’t create a bunch of sinners.  We’re the one’s who’ve sinned.  But you were blameless in your ways, from conception, an even before conception.

The phrase “in your ways”  refers to a road, or to a journey, or to a course.   God has put us on a certain course;  He’s set us on a journey through a physical life.  But remember, we existed spiritually, even before we were set on this physical journey, on this “course”.   But the point is, that from the very moment that God set us on this “course” that we call “life”, we are blameless.  No sin whatsoever, but blameless.   Don’t forget it, and don’t let anyone tell you different, because God says, you were blameless!    And blameless means blameless!  It means without blemish, and without defect, and intact, and whole, and complete, and sound.  That’s how we start out this life.  And that’s how God wants us to be when we finish this life, blameless.  And that’s how we can be, through Christ, IF we feast on His word.

 

But let me get back to our life in the womb.  At first, we were sustained by the blood of our mother.  But then what sustained us after we were born?  After we came forth from the womb?  What sustained us then?   Well, it was still our mother, but then, it wasn’t her blood, but rather, it was her milk.  It was the pure “milk of life”, that I suppose you could say,  God “designed” into the body of our mother.  Nature is an amazing thing isn’t it?  But then I suppose I should say;  God is an amazing God, isn’t He?  Sustained by “the milk of life”.

In the bible, the word of God, is compared to milk.  We’re told in  1 Peter 2, verse 2;  “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it, you may grow in respect to salvation.”   Long for, and crave, “the pure milk of the word” of God.  Because by that pure milk, and only by that pure milk, can we live spiritually.

In the bible, the word of God is also compared to honey.   Psalm 119, verse 103  says;  “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”   Milk and honey;  A good combination huh?   What kind of land did God promise to the Israelites, when He brought them out of Egypt?   God said in  Exodus 3:17;  “And I have promised to bring you up out of your affliction in Egypt, into the land of the Canaanites, and Hittites, and Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites;  A land flowing with milk and honey.”  

 

In  Psalm 55, verse 21,  the word of God is compared to pure, sweet butter;  “His speech is smooth as butter..”  And then in the same verse it says;  “His words are softer than oil..”   

And God’s word is compared to an apple, in  Proverbs 7, verse 2?    God says;  “Keep my commandments and live;  Guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.”  Apples are good food aren’t they?  We’re told in  Proverbs 25, verse 11;  “A word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold, in settings of silver.”  And whose words would more fittingly apply there, than the words of God?   

And don’t forget a verse that I mentioned earlier;  John 6:35,  where Jesus said;  “I am the bread of life”.   

So then the word of God is the bread of life;  And it’s good nutritious meat, and it’s smooth butter and oil.  And it’s as sweet as honey.  It’s like the “fruit” of the tree of life.  It’s like aged wine, and pure milk, and pure water, a well of water, springing up unto eternal life.  Nine “foods”, that are likened to the life giving word of God.

And once again, speaking of the kingdom of Christ, the bible tells us in  Isaiah 25, verse 6;  “On this mountain, the Lord of Hosts, will prepare a banquet for all the people;  A feast of aged wine, of choice meat, of finely aged wine.”   

All things are ready, come to the feast.   Hear the word of God and believe.  confess your faith in Him.  Repent of your sins, and be baptized for the forgiveness of those sins, and remain faithful unto death, and enjoy the feast.    

 

 

 

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