God and You: Bible Reading

photo of child reading holy bible

This year’s theme is “God First,” and this quarter we are looking at scriptures that reinforce our own relationship with God. Hands down, the best way to get closer to God is to spend time with Him in the scriptures. Hebrews tells us that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV). Because it is the living word of God, “no creature is hidden from his sight” (vs. 13) and we must all give an account before God.

The word of God is not meant to expose, but to direct us toward the heart of God. It shows us where we are wrong and points us to what is right. It instructs us how to treat our fellow man and care for those in need. It shapes our heart and marks out the course of our life, both on earth and our eternal life. God’s word points us to Jesus. Without regular reading, we not only become Bible illiterate, we also lose our connection with God.

Psalm 119:10-11 says, “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Wow! Do we read our Bibles every day with that much passion and conviction?

The Bread of Life

bread food fresh hands

Jesus, after feeding the 5,000, went across the lake (or should we say “walked” across the lake) to get to the other side. We all know the story. His disciples were exhausted. They went to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee to get away from people. Instead, they were met by thousands of desperate, hungry people. Jesus miraculously fed them, filling their cups for the day. While he retreated to pray, he sent his disciples ahead of him by boat at night. When a storm arose, they thought they would drown. They saw Jesus walking on water and he stopped to calm the storm.

When they got to the other side again, a crowd was waiting for them, hungry and desperate for food. Instead of food, Jesus gave them a speech about him being the bread of life. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:50-51 ESV). Sounds, um, interesting, but what does this have to do with getting a square meal? When the people became upset, Jesus doubled down: “Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (vs. 58). Not only did he say it, but he said all this in a synagogue!

Jesus told them that there were some who would not believe that he has the words of eternal life. He then said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the father” (vs. 65). John records that after this, many of his disciples turned and no longer walked with him. Jesus asked his remaining 12 apostles if they wanted to leave too. Peter asked where they would go, since he had the words of eternal life. Jesus really is the only way. We may think there are other ways to heaven, but we are only fooling ourselves. We need to keep feasting on the bread of life!