Summer is a great time for a laid back Bible study. A new friend from Massachusetts chose Hungry for her Summer Book Club Study. She has invited me to join them on June 15 via FaceBook Live to encourage the women from around the country who will be doing the study with her.
I can’t wait!
After I told her yes, I mused that this might be the perfect time to revise and republish my Hungry Blog Series that is meant to accompany each of the twelve chapters. Consider yourself invited to grab a copy of Hungry, a few friends, and embark on your own summer study.
The Bible Study Plan
Starting today, I’ll be offering help for those of you who’re interested in gaining tools for personal Bible study. If you’re like me, it can feel daunting to open your Bible when you’re not part of a structured Bible study. Instead we tend to snack, like teenagers before supper, grabbing a promise here or a blessing there. This “snack and go” method causes us to avoid the parts of the Bible we find confusing or demanding, leaving us with an unbalanced diet rather than the rich feast God intends for our soul.
If you resonate with the snacking approach, consider yourself invited to join us. Each week I want us to do three things:
- Open our hearts
- Open the Hungry book
- Open the Scriptures
Although a blog is no substitute for face-to-face conversation, I want these posts to stimulate your own discussion with friends, helping you to talk about your particular struggles and temptations in an setting of mutual encouragement. Virtual fellowship is no substitute for the real thing. but we’ve learned through the COVID adventure that it can be a good place to start.
Grab the book, invite a friend or two to study with you and join us for Chapter 1 next Wednesday.
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 became the first step to dealing with it.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. I’m hungry for…
- affirmation about my gifts
- appreciation for something I did today
- quick solutions to satisfy my impatience with a too-full schedule
What are you hungry for? Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to share.
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? Or maybe a mantra to ward off our evil hunger pangs?
Jesus fed 5000 families with 5 loaves and 2 fish to make his point, I am the bread of life. That’s what we’re hungry for. Life. But the things we reach for won’t give us that life–rich and pure and abundant and true. My own hunger for competence–if it were fully satisfied–still wouldn’t give me life.
Only Jesus’ 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 realized I was struggling with loneliness. That’s when I ask, Please speak to that hunger.
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 himself, my bread of life. One day at a time.