~~ By Pastor Jim Sole ~~
JOHN 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
God created us with the capacity, even necessity, to hunger and thirst. And neither is the result of the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the garden of Eden. However, something did change when sin came into the world concerning our hunger and thirst. The something was the attempt to satisfy our created hungering and thirsting with the wrong things. And such attempts continue today.
When God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26-27), He also created us to experience true happiness, inward contentment, and heart satisfaction in one place only – Him. It was not, and is not, the intent from God to allow any human being to find lasting satisfaction and contentment in anything or anyone but Him. The familiar saying by the early church father, Augustine, summarizes this truth well . . . “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”
Though sin has entered our experience leading us to the foolish attempts to satisfy our inward hunger and thirst outside of God, He has graciously provided for us to be satisfied again in Him. He has done this through the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ. Our Lord has become the “Bread of Life” to satisfy our hunger for contentment. And our Lord has become the “Fountain of Living Waters” quenching all our thirsts in this world – companionship, meaning, purpose, direction, and heart rest.
Fellow Christian . . . is this our current experience with the Lord Jesus? Are we eating of Him as the sustenance for our souls? Are we drinking deep out of the bottomless well of His always satisfying love? We were created to be satisfied in God alone, and in His incredible mercy, He offers us to find Him sufficient to fulfill all the longings of souls. However, there is a catch. Notice in today’s scripture Jesus identifies two conditions we must meet if He is to be our heart’s rest and contentment.
First, we must come to Him – “whoever comes to me.” What does this mean? A lot of things, but it primarily means we are convinced Jesus and He alone fulfills our deepest inward longings. The most miserable of Christians, those experiencing discontentment, dissatisfaction, and lack of soul rest, are the ones trying to be satisfied in the sinful pleasures or even the lawful pleasures of the world AND Christ. They try to have Jesus and the world. He will not be known or enjoyed on such compromising terms. All such efforts will produce inward turmoil; a storm of unrest. The only person who will know Christ as the satisfier of their soul is the one convinced He is the only one able to be such. They come to Him, and Him alone to fulfill them. The coming soul to Jesus must be an emptied, desperate soul coming to Jesus.
Next, we must believe in Him – “whoever believes in me”. This is not a belief of acknowledgement, but of total reliance. It isn’t the shallow confession of, “I believe in Jesus”. Unsaved people say this especially at Easter and Christmas. Even the devil states this confession. All through the Bible, true belief in Christ is characterized by confidence in who Jesus says He is and what He can do. To believe in Him to be our all and all demands a fight against unbelief seeking to question His love and willingness to be our all in all. Go back and read today’s scripture. Marvel over the love of Christ in proclaiming to us two great and wonderful invitations to come to Him, and believe in Him, but also be in awe at the promises attached to them – satisfied hunger and quenched thirst. And they become ours through faith, not feelings or sight. They are realized by confident trust and reliance, or belief in the One who promised. Let’s ask the Lord to help us win over our unbelief and enjoy the soul-satisfying goodness in Him who cannot lie.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to know and experience the fullness and satisfaction found in Your Son.”
QUOTE: “Christ will satisfy the soul who knows there is no other satisfaction outside of Him.”
Be Free in Christ thanks Pastor Jim Sole, and Quidnessett Baptist Church, RI for allowing us to reprint this message.
This post originally appeared HERE on October 30, 2017.