The Bible is full of stories about natural food as well as spiritual food. Much of our life is circling around food. How we get the food is dependant on our culture. In my culture we go to the shops to buy the food. One needs money in order to buy food and what we buy is dependant on the price.
I am travelling a good deal and I have eaten a lot of different food and seen a lot of different “food-culture”. In some countries they eat out of necessity. Without food they would die.
In other countries food is the centre of a party with friends and family.
I, personally, eat almost everything. This has made many women in the world happy. To-day we talk about different diets and one can read a lot about what is healthy for you and what one should avoid. One thing that they have in common is variety.
We can read John 21. The disciples had been out fishing all night and Jesus asked them if they had any food. They answered no and He told them to cast the net on the right side of the boat. By obeying the Lord, they got so much that they could hardly draw it in. When they came back, Jesus had fried fish and bread and He gave them to eat. After the meal, Jesus asked Simon Peter: “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He answered Him:””Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Then Jesus said: “FEED MY LAMBS!” Jesus asks the same question three times and the third time Jesus says: “Feed My sheep.”
It is quite clear in this chapter that Jesus is concerned with natural food as well as spiritual.
When my children were small, I compared The Word of God with natural food. I said that we need food every day and we actually eat three or four times a day. If we abstain from food for a long time, we die. If we do not “eat” the Word of God daily, we become weaker as Christians. After a long time , we might choose to leave God or God might ask us to make a choice.
The Word gives us nourishment. It feeds my spirit.
We give a small child milk and it is breast-fed or fed with a bottle. It is fed with food that is fluid. You can look up Heb. 5:12 and read the rest of the chapter. The author says that they actually should have been teachers, but they must still drink milk. Milk is said to be the basic truths and is given only to infants. I repeat verse 14: “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” The knowledge of righteousness is used as an example of basic truths.
Jesus says to Simon Peter that he should feed the lambs. That means that he should give them the Word.
In countries where they are illiterate, one has to continue to feed them even when they have become sheep. They cannot eat themselves. That does not mean that they should continually be fed with milk. They will need solid food as time passes. In these countries they have a great need for teachers who can teach the lambs and the sheep. I know of teachers who are used to teach at universities. They are sent to small lambs in India and they have a problem in teaching since they are used to teach people who are used to eat, chew and even chew complicated food.
I knew a man who had fear when he read the Bible, but he trusted me. He called me when he had a problem and I could feed him with the Word as you feed a small child. I told him about the goodness of God and His grace. I read about His love and care and painted pictures of God as a good and just daddy Who was for him and not against him. I do not say that we should keep away the teaching about Hell and the devil, but the milk that we give to a newborn baby or a hurt child as it was in this case, consists of the love of Jesus and His righteousness.
I meet quite a few hurt people and they must be fed with pure milk. We can read from 1.Pet.2:2+3 “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” That means that we can get impure milk. When you are newly born, it can be deadly if you drink milk with poison in it. I have met people that are spiritually born into churches where they feed them with a mixture of milk that cause damages for a long time. What is pure milk? The teaching must be based on the Word of God. One should not add to nor subtract from the Word. What is taught must be true and be taught in a spirit of love, a love towards God and for the lambs. We can often find that the teaching is true, but is served with the wrong spirit. The milk is therefore contaminated. It is said that you have to repeat the truth many times in order to get rid of lies or mixed truth.
Many churches are holding Alpha-courses to-day. They are for those who are curios about Christianity. Quite a few get saved through them. A congregation should have teachings on different levels. After drinking milk, we start with gruel or porridge. Then we increase the choices with more solid food. I heard a pastor saying that if he talked to a 5th grader, the whole congregation would understand his message. I have read that even a fool should understand the Gospel, so I think we should preach it in a very simple way.
When we eat, we should have a lot of choices and eat all kinds of variety. I hear people say :”I hardly read the Old Testament and I do not get near to the Book of Revelation and some of the letters of Paul are so complicated.” The limitations can vary from person to person, but they do not want to “eat” the whole Bible. Children can also say: “I don’t like fish and I do not want carrots and not this and not that……… . They do not even want to try, but keep to the preconceived idea that they do not like. I think that God has given us the whole Bible. There are quite a bit that I do not understand, but I ask the Holy Spirit to help me and I do not explain to others if I lack revelation myself. As Christians, I think we should read the whole Bible. Then there might be some dishes that we eat more often.
When we eat good, solid food, we have to chew it and chew it well. In Joshua 1:8 it says that we should meditate on the Word day and night. If we act according to the Word, we will prosper and have great success.
When my daughter sat in the plane on the way home from India, a man asked if she had been in India to meditate. She answered: “Yes, I meditate on the Word of God.” He had been thinking about yoga, but her answer led to a long conversation about Jesus.
What are meditating on to-day? How to pay your bill? or On the Word of God? That says that you should not worry about the day to-morrow.
EAT THE WORD, CHEW IT AND GIVE IT TO OTHERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will continue this theme next time.