Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Hungry Bible Study: Introduction
I’m going to be blogging about my book for the next 14 weeks, to supplement the weekly Bible study discussions at our church. You’re invited to join us.
Every week I want us to do three things:
- Open our hearts
- Open my book
- Open the Scriptures
Face to face conversation about our hearts, the book, and the Scriptures will be the most beneficial for us. Virtual fellowship is no substitute for the real thing. However, I wanted to make this resource available to my online friends as well. So…
Grab the book, invite a friend to study with you and join us for a weekly Wednesday blog post discussion.
You’ll have to provide your own snacks, though. You can’t study a book called Hungry without food on hand!
What Am I Hungry For?
Have you ever had those days when you just couldn’t settle? You keep going to the refrigerator, staring inside, and then closing it again. You rummage in the pantry and nibble on something, but it doesn’t do the trick. You try to get back to the project you’re working on, but soon find yourself back at the refrigerator.
What am I hungry for? That is a relevant question for our souls as well as our bodies.
I remember a day when my husband was helping me with computer problems. It was a familiar scenario. He was trying to solve it as quickly as possible so he could get back to his work. I was trying to follow what he was doing so I wouldn’t need his help the next time. As usual I got mad.
Me: “Stop! You’re going too fast!”
He: “What are you so upset about? I’m just trying to help you.”
Me: “I don’t want your help anymore! I’ll just figure it out on my own…”
It was a familiar scenario–except this time his question stuck. What was I so upset about? I realized something that was probably obvious to others, but was a new revelation to me. I hate being incompetent. When I feel incompetent I get mad.
That’s probably not a good thing. But now was not the time to judge my hunger. It was the time to become aware of it. That awareness was the first step to dealing with it.
Others shared their own awareness of personal hunger:
- for affirmation about her gifts
- for appreciation about something she’d done that day
- for quick solutions to satisfy her impatience
What are you hungry for?
Jesus Is The Bread Of Life
The problem is sometimes we don’t know what we’re hungry for. How can we fix a problem we don’t understand? How can we satisfy our hunger if we’re not aware of it?
The One who came to feed us is the One who knows us better than we know ourselves. “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
In saying this Jesus is telling the crowd two things. First…that he is aware of their true need, even if they aren’t…They don’t need to become self-aware, because he is aware for them and is compassionate enough to tell them what he knows….
Second, Jesus is saying that he is ready and able to provide for their true hunger.” Hungry, p. 17.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. That’s a familiar phrase to most of us. But what does it mean? Is it a slogan to hang on our walls? Is it a mantra to ward off our evil hunger pangs?
Jesus fed 5000 families with 5 loaves and 2 fish to make his point. We are hungry for life. But the things we reach for won’t give us that life–rich and pure and abundant and true. My hunger for competence–if it were fully satisfied–won’t give me life.
Only his body, broken on the cross for my sin, can become my bread. He poured out his life to give you and me life. He came to both purify and satisfy our hungers for life.
How do you try to satisfy your hunger for life? What do you reach for?
Seeing Jesus In My Bible Feeds My Hunger, One Day At A Time
When I sit down with my Bible, I usually start by telling the Lord how I’m feeling. I scribble a few things in my journal. Father, I’m upset and I can’t figure out why. What’s going on with me today? Will you help me name it?
Sometimes that question sits on the page without an answer, but sometimes insight comes quickly, like it did the day I figured out I was struggling with loneliness. Either way I ask, Now speak to my hunger, please.
Do I then go on a bounty hunt through Scripture for a verse on loneliness or whatever I’m upset about? No, I turn to the next section of whatever I’m reading.
God is so good and his Word is so wholesome that he will feed me that day.
And the food I will receive is Jesus, my bread of life. One day at a time.