What if I told you that I’m on a diet of bread and water for the New Year? Yes, that’s right – bread and water – by choice; and no, I’m not in a dark cell somewhere. It all started with these words, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
now that’s a diet I would like to be on, one that promises I will be filled; some translations say “satisfied”. Psalm 34:8 challenges me to “Taste and see that the Lord is good;” But I can’t do that if I am filling myself full of this world’s wisdom and ways, dulling my appetite for the Word of God.
The “diet” of social media, TV, books, magazines, music, radio etc. that I consume daily doesn’t fill me up or leave me satisfied for more than a moment. Then I am again craving something to sustain me. And if I were honest, I would admit that I don’t just want a “diet” that will sustain me (as in the bare minimum required to keep me alive) but I want a “diet” that enables me to grow and to flourish, to be healthy and to be productive.
So I am hungry and I am thirsty, but not for anything this world can give me. I need to “taste and see” what God offers. I find God’s answer to my need in John 6:48-51 where Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. . . . I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Jesus also said, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4) This makes perfect sense when I realize that Jesus is “the living Word of God”. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:1,14) Just as bread nourishes my physical body, God’s Word nourishes my soul.
I am aware of Jesus as the living, all-sustaining bread of life every time I take communion or the Lord’s Supper. It was on the occasion of Jesus’ last meal with His disciples that “He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ ” Jesus truly is “the bread of life.”
Jesus also told the people, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37-38) Jesus told the woman at the well who came to draw water every day, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
I love God’s promise in Revelation 21:6, “To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” I am like the deer in Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
Who could imagine a diet of bread and water to be so fulfilling? But when it’s living bread and living water that changes everything, including my life. I am no longer lacking but am filled full. God is able to provide. “He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; He brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.” (Psalm 78:15-16)
And as if that weren’t enough, God provides even more. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:5-6) I will eat at the King’s table forever!
May I continue to hunger and thirst after God and His ways, because on God’s “diet” He has promised that not only will I not go hungry – but I will be filled. I will be filled because His supplies are limitless and living. Jesus is the living bread and the living water. My cup really does run over! Thank You, Heavenly Father.
sincerely, Grace Day