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5.11.2005    |    It's not either-or
When some of us were young and foolish, we used to think that we could just live on love. You loved your wife; it really didn't matter that you didn't know from week to week whether you could pay the rent or buy groceries. Now that we're older, and some of us, at least, are wiser, we know that love is great, but you can't live on it. You can, however, live in the Spirit with it. A little bread along the way, however, is, shall we say, helpful.

Today's verse is Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Now Jesus surely did not mean that we don't eat bread (and the other foods that our pesky government is always telling us, in new and improved pyramids, that we supposedly need). What he meant is that bread will keep your body alive -- but his Word will keep you alive forever. And we need to recall who it was, exactly, that Jesus was answering.

Yes, good guess; it was Old Scratch his ugly old self, trying to tempt the Lord when he was, we presume, weakened in body and mind from forty days and nights of fasting. The lesson is that Jesus may have been weakened in body, but not in the Spirit. He knew, as we should also, that Satan puts a mighty fine table before each and every one of us.

We could find happiness, as such is defined by much of the world, dining and drinking at Satan's table. And even though we might become obese in body, in the Spirit we would starve to death. A permanent death.

So, eat, drink, and be merry...don't worry about getting right with God; that will take care of itself...after you're fed. it's what Satan would have you do. And what Satan would likely say to you, in a soothing announcer's voiceover, "Eat, drink, my children; it will soon be over."

Then you're Satan's. The good news is that the Good News isn't an either-or proposition with sustenance for the body. We each of us have a choice, and it is far better to go a little hungry in the belly than to starve in the Spirit.

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Blogger John said...

Amen JL, great post and one I totally agree with! Keep up the good work!


7:22 PM, May 11, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.