Are You Hungry?

Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos, Creative Commons

Appetite can be a dangerous thing for those who lack discipline.   I love food and don’t make exercise a priority, so I’m overweight. No big shock there. I could eat less and exercise more, but that would mean I’d have to give up something I really like for something I really don’t want to do.

Do you find yourself in the same situation? How about other appetites? There is a cause and effect to all of them.

There are consequence for overdoing. Sometimes giving in just once has dire consequences. Especially if you hunger alcohol, drugs, or sex. (click to tweet)  

I understand the desire to come home and relax with a drink. But there’s danger in putting your trust in alcohol to bring a sense of peace and relaxation. Drugs can help us heal and ease out pain when used appropriately. Used illegally, or abused, we can grow dependent on their effects. Sex is beautiful in the context of marriage. Outside of that context, it can destroy.

I like the taste of alcohol. I will go even farther and say I like the way it makes me feel. But I had to stop drinking altogether for a couple of reasons. I have a long and terrible family history involving alcohol. Both grandfathers and a step-grandfather were alcoholics, my father was an alcoholic and killed two people, using alcohol as part of his defense. The other reason was that I was beginning to enjoy it a bit too much. It’s easy to fall in love with that which tastes and feels good.

Marijuana wasn’t a big deal for me to quit. Though I loved the smell and taste (yes, I inhaled), it made my stomach hurt. Acid, aka LSD, was an interesting experience. But I didn’t like feeling its effects 3 days later. Tobacco was my drug of choice. I still love the smell of cigarettes. Didn’t think I’d go there did you? Might as well be honest, right? I used to smoke a pack a day, sometimes more. I loved smoke break time at work, smoking while driving, after meals, the first one in the morning, the last at night. I loved smoking. This one I stopped because I’ve had asthma since I was a child. Smoking and asthma don’t get along. Another reason I stopped was that it controlled me. I didn’t just like to smoke, I had to smoke.

I could write about my personal experiences with sex, but I don’t want to and you don’t want to know. Trust me. I will just say that I know from experience that sex is easy to confuse with love. Sex can offer a counterfeit sense of closeness and relationship with other people. Uncontrolled sex can be addicting. It can cause children to grow up without fathers, break up families, bring disease and even death.

God offers so much more than temporal things can offer.  Through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, we not only have eternal life, but the presence and power of the Holy Spirit that offers everlasting comfort and strength.

In John 6:35 “…Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Trusting in the power of Jesus to save and help is safe. It is in His Words that we find true fulfillment. Drinking from the waters of eternal life, quenches our soul like nothing else on earth can.

Are you hungry? Don’t trust in things that can destroy your body and your life. Trust in Jesus Christ, the “bread of life.”

Live your lives as a song for God.

Don, donterry@ising4God.com

Photo credit: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos, Creative Commons

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Forever Food

How’s that for appetizing?  No one wants to eat spoiled food.  Yet, we’re so consumed with consuming things that don’t last.

We are a fast food culture.  It’s easier to focus on what we can grab and eat right now.  We want instant oatmeal, instant potatoes, delivery under thirty minutes, instant fulfillment!

Jesus encourages to be different.

“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” John 6:27

Jesus said this to people who had just experienced miraculous provision.  A few loaves of bread and two small fish fed thousands.  Now that is amazing!

This miracle is more about the provider than the provision.

It’s always a great thing to get what we want, when we want it.  Yet, God is more concerned with what we need, than what we want. (click to tweet)

There is more to life than our physical hungers and desires. (click to tweet)

God cares about your hunger.  He even spoils us sometimes.  But we need to watch our priorities.  Focusing on instant gratification is dangerous.

Their hunger was satisfied and they were hooked.  They were going to force Jesus to be their king.  They wanted to stick around Jesus because it’s great to know from where your next meal will come.  I can’t say I blame them.  I’m not sure I would have been any different.  But that kind of thinking is dangerous.

Grabbing what we want, when we want it leads to selfishness, greed, sexual immorality, and other forms of depravity.  But when we focus on the provider, our desires go deeper; our wants are more mature.

We need the power of Christ within, to change us into His image.  We need His nature and desires to be ours.  To walk as Jesus walked, and live as Jesus lived.  That’s the bread we should eat.

This is a process.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes dedication, determination and discipline to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Being a Christian requires surrender, faith and devotion.  True Christianity requires the right focus.

What will be your focus today?  What will you go after?  Will you look for that which gives you instant gratification?  Or will you seek after the Spirit of God to fill you and change you from within?

I hope you will choose that which will last forever.

Seek after a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Ask, and His Holy Spirit will fill you and change you forever.

Photo Credit: Ciar, Wikimedia Commons

What Do You Have To Offer?

Another Friday comes.  Another day to practice writing by doing it and to practice living by getting out of the house and living life the best we can.

We writers, artists, singers, actors, do it out of the love of the craft and we hope to reach some people to share a bit of ourselves.  Yet, I have to admit, there are times when I start to write and all I see is the enormity of task.  When I think about writing, or recording a song, I sometimes think, “What do I have that isn’t better expressed elsewhere?”  There are thousands of better blogs out there and at least as many, who are better song writers and singers.  Really!  What do I have to offer?

The same feelings of inadequacy pop up at work too.  Large, important projects with deadlines and others counting on me to deliver greatness.  Sometimes I think, “Who am I that I am entrusted with such a task?  How will I accomplish so much with so little to offer?

John offers us some answers in his Gospel.  in John 6: 5-9Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”  But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.  Philip answered Him,  ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.’  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

But what do I have?  What did the boy in this story have?  Just a few small loaves of bread and some fish.  Barely enough for himself, much less enough to feed several thousand.

Maybe we don’t have all that much.  But guess what?  It’s not about us.  It’s not for me to worry about how many I am able to help.  It’s not for me to worry about the number of followers, or likes I get; that maybe twenty people will read this post; that when I post my music on iTunes or YouTube, five people might listen; that there are smarter, more talented people than I.

It’s just up to me to do!  It’s up to me to give what I have, no matter how small in my sight, I still have to offer it up.  It really wasn’t mine in the first place anyhow.  God gave me what talents I have.

My life experiences are now for others to learn from.  They don’t belong to me anymore.  My writing and singing voice, such as they are, come from above for outward expression.

God takes what we have to offer and makes it great for His glory. (click here to tweet)

Keeping our loaves and fishes is not an option.  There are multitudes to feed.  So what if only a few take a bite.  Not your concern.  The need is what confronts us.  People need us to perform at work.  Still others need us to serve at home.  While others wait for God’s voice to speak through you in word, picture, or song.

Don’t keep the bread and fish to yourself.  Look past the enormity and your inadequacy to the need.

What do you have to offer?  Will you offer it?  I hope so.  We’re hungry!

Photo Credit: Lisa Brewster, https://twitter.com/adora, Creative Commons

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