Are you having a lingering hesitation to give up or sacrifice some things you have long depended upon to satiate your appetite? I understand that struggle. I share the following personal experience to emphasize how God faithfully fulfills our needs and daily sustenance, has our best interest in mind, and will provide everything we need to achieve our best health. He is our loving Saviour. He is the Bread of Life.
"But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."
"Remove from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
My roommate, Melanie, and I decided to host a small fellowship luncheon at our apartment. We invited friends and asked them each to bring a dish to share. The day arrived and instead of seven people, over twenty came to fellowship in our little apartment. Though crowded, the group was happy and joyful to accommodate to the situation. I took one look at the food and knew immediately there was not enough for everyone. We called the group into the kitchen (the biggest room in the apartment) and prayed over the food asking God to multiply it so everyone could have their fill and be satisfied. The result was a “little loaves and fishes” experience.
“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick. And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him saying, ‘This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘they need not depart; give them food to eat.’ And they said unto Him, ‘We have here but five loaves and two fish.’ Jesus said, ‘bring them to Me.’ And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to Heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did eat and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained; twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”
I love how this story begins; Jesus sees the multitude and He is filled with compassion for them. He loves and cares for them as a mother cares for her children. He is concerned for the suffering ones and calls them to Him that He may heal their sicknesses. “God, be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause Your face to shine upon us; That Your way may be known upon the earth, Your saving health among all nations.” God is so merciful. He is concerned not only with our spiritual welfare but our physical needs as well. He has a saving health plan! He longs to heal us in every way that we may experience total health and salvation.
As the day begins to close, the disciples see the crowd is not interested in leaving and they ask Jesus to send them away so they can get something to eat in the nearby villages. But Jesus has another lesson to share: He wants to give us the bread of life that will not only physically heal but heal spiritually also. For this purpose, “God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Yes, sweet, tender Jesus cares so much for you, that He desires to direct you into a better way!
Jesus replies to his disciples, “You feed them.” “What? How can we possibly do that? Half a year’s wage would not be sufficient to feed this crowd with even a morsel.” Andrew finds a lad with five barley loaves and two small fish, but exclaims, “What are they among so many?”
The compassionate Healer uses what is at hand to provide for His children. “It was by a miracle of divine power that Christ fed the multitude; yet how humble was the fare provided…only the daily fare of the fisher-folk of Galilee. Christ could have spread for the people a rich repast, but food prepared merely for the gratification of appetite would have conveyed no lesson for their good ... [Jesus was teaching a] lesson of simplicity. If men today were simple in their habits, living in harmony with nature’s laws… there would be an abundant supply for the needs of the human family. But selfishness and the indulgence of appetite have brought sin and misery, from excess on the one hand, and from want on the other.”
The simple fare was an assurance both of Christ’s power and tender care for us in the common needs of life. Jesus lived a simplistic life. The simpler our life is, the more freedom we will enjoy.
When Jesus saw everyone had a sufficiency, He asks His disciples to pick up the leftovers “that nothing be lost.” Jesus had many reasons for doing this.
To give the people a token of the miracle to share with others as they told and retold the story.
To teach that even when there is an abundance there is no need to be wasteful.
To use wisely the resources God has provided, neglecting nothing that would benefit others.
To teach a deeper spiritual lesson. In John 6:27 Jesus says, “Labor not for food that perishes, but for food that endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him has God the Father sealed…This is the work of God that you believe on Him Whom He has sent.” He continues this thought in John 8:31: Jesus said unto those who believed on Him, “If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
According to Jesus, to believe is an action word, not just a mere assent of acknowledgement. When we truly believe in Jesus, we will walk, talk, act like Jesus, by His grace being manifested in us. When we discover and love Truth, we will be quick to adjust our life to bring it in harmony with that newly discovered Truth of God. This is not a “have to” situation. This is a loving desire. David expresses this beautifully in Psalm 119:57-60: “Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep Your Words. I entreated Your favor with my whole heart, be merciful unto me according to Thy Words… I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies. I made haste and delayed not to keep Thy commandments.”
Jesus is the Treasure Bread of Heaven. He says, “I am the bread of life…this is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world…Doth this offend you?...It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Jeremiah 15:16 helps us understand this concept, “Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by your name, O Lord God of hosts.” By every Word of God, we are to live (see Matthew 4:4); we can eat up every Word and it will be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts. As we internalize it nothing will be lost.
After the meal with our friends, everyone was honestly fully satisfied and like the Bible story we had food leftover. As my friend, Nicole, and I began cleaning up, Nicole exclaimed, “Dana, look!” I quickly turned around. Nicole was pointing to the food that had all been put away into containers, and she started counting, “1, 2, 3….10, 11, 12! We have 12 containers of leftovers!”
We called everyone into the kitchen to share the experience. We felt very blessed and paused to thank God for the bountiful blessing we received that day. Yes, God is the same miracle-working God today, He has not changed.
May God give us a new revelation of Himself, through His Word, our Daily Bread, today, and every day, and may we be quick to eat it and follow Him withersoever He leads us. This is my prayer for each of us as we read and reread the stories and promises in God Holy Word.
Would you like to learn more about God?
Join us Wednesday evenings at 5:30 pm CT at
Abundant Health Wellness Center, 240 Huntsville Rd., Eureka Springs, AR 72632