Devotional Thought

Jesus Says, “I Am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35)

We live in an age of enlightenment — and the time of the announced death of God. People simply no longer believe. Those who do are labeled as weaklings who need a crutch.

God is alive and well. One writer observed, “The most extraordinary thing about the twentieth century was the failure of God to die. The collapse of mass religious  belief, especially among the educated and prosperous, had been widely and confidently predicted. It did not take place. Somehow, God survived, flourished even.”

Yet many people continue to live without him. Perhaps you know someone in such a dilemma. He may be obsessed with his physical health, but he thinks he can get by on a spiritual starvation diet.

He hardly opens his Bible or attends church. He occasionally nibbles on the spiritual junk food of self-help books. Radio call-in shows, TV snatches, and the advice of his friends are about all the theology he gets.

God, who continually blesses the world with food for physical life, has a nourishing spiritual diet prepared for him and us. That’s why Jesus calls himself the bread of life.

The human conscience hungers for righteousness. Jesus gives it. The early Christians knew they had “been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

The heart hungers for love. God declares to his people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Jesus says that we do not live by physical “bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Jesus satisfies the human yearning for purpose and fulfillment. He fills us with hope and joy and confidence about tomorrow.

Are you hungering to learn more about Jesus?  We have been blessed with the bread of life, and we’re anxious to share him with you every Sunday!


Devotional Thought

Jesus Says, “I Am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:14)

In our world of abundance, the only scarce commodity is human attention. Families don’t communicate. Husbands work too much. Teens are in a world of their own. Even love is often self-serving.

Sometimes even the best human attention leaves us cold. In an hour of severe loss, it seems as if no one understands. Even family members and close friends aren’t able to help.

That’s one reason the Bible often pictures human beings like sheep. Like sheep without a shepherd, we easily become lost amid life’s heartaches and perplexing problems. Then we become easy prey for spiritual predators. No wonder the Bible says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).

This is as true in 21st-century America as it was in the ancient land of Palestine where Jesus lived.

We may hide our lost condition under a veneer of sophistication and self-sufficiency. Beneath the surface, however, lurks the awareness that we truly are like straying sheep. We have sinned against God. We are aimlessly wandering through life. We are headed for disaster.

Fortunately, there is a shepherd to guide the way. He is Jesus, and he is the Good Shepherd. He understands people. He wants to lead and care for everyone.

He says, “My sheep listen to my voice” (John 10:27). His followers know him and gladly follow. He seeks out the lost sheep. Most important of all, Jesus even lays down his life for all people.

The author of the wonderful 23rd Psalm puts it this way:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (vv 1-4).

Make it a habit — a good habit — to be in church every Sunday to learn more about the personal and eternal attention of the Good Shepherd.