Lesson 4 -- third quarter 2007
June 24, 2007
© Copyright 2007
Do you know where to turn?
When people have a need, they carefully consider that need in order to determine where to go to have that need met. Generally speaking, when our sewing machine needs repairs we do not take it to the same place we take our vehicle when it needs repairs. By the same token, folks seeking out investment advice likely won't turn to a medical professional for that counsel. Even in a school setting, the odds are very low that a student will pull out a grammar reference book when he needs the formula for circumference of a circle.
The first verse of today's lesson underscores the importance of knowing where to turn in our time of need: If you're thirsty, go where the drinking water is; if you have no money, go where the free stuff is. But this verse is more than a statement of such obvious facts; it is also an invitation! Listen: "Come ye to the waters... come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." What an offer!
So I ask you, do you turn to the right place in your time of need? Don't make the awful mistake of depending on the wrong helpers and solutions. When you're struggling -- with dejection and rejection, with inadequacy and failure, with bitterness and temper, with loneliness and temptation, or with whatever else -- don't try to wing it on your own and definitely don't listen to the direction of the evil one. To do so would be even more foolhardy than trying to treat appendicitis with a squirt of Chloraseptic in your nose or a frenzied call to Microsoft customer support. Be sure to turn to the right Source to have your needs met! Turn to God, His Word, and His people.
Choose what is good!
Bread. For many the most essential of all foods. When that is gone from the larder, in all likelihood rock bottom has been reached financially. In a real sense, bread represents that which is most basic and foundational to survival. For many, the meal is incomplete without bread; for many more, the meal is bread.
I believe the above is just as true spiritually. No matter what all else you take in spiritually, nothing will ever be more essential, basic and foundational than the Living Bread. When the Living Bread is gone from your spiritual larder, you have hit rock bottom. Without the Living Bread, any spiritual feast is incomplete.
"Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."
In the Scriptures, bread often symbolizes that which is essential to life. "Give us this day our daily bread" is not only a request for that simple food you might put in a toaster. It is an appeal for all that we need to survive another day. In the same way, Isaiah 55:2 doesn't imply we should spend our money on buns, bread sticks, rolls, and loaves of bread. Rather, this verse asks a very difficult question: Why blow your money and waste your life on that which is neither essential nor fulfilling?
I know, defining essential and fulfilling can be as frustrating and fruitless as tacking down a shadow or tracing around a water droplet. That is why we need to hearken diligently to Him. Only with His direction can we determine when something is essential...as well as when it ceases to be essential (that does happen, you know!). Only with His help can we find fulfillment without subjecting ourselves to all manner of experimentation as well as trial and error.
Determine invest your life and your resources wisely. Commit yourself to choosing only the good. Then follow that determination and that commitment with the acknowledging of God in all your ways, allowing Him to direct your paths (Proverbs 3:6).
Let me ask you two simple questions. Last month, on what did you spend your money, and what did you pursue in your search of satisfaction? Today, are you satisfied with both your choices and the results? Oh, I guess I have a third question: Why, or why not? My friend, if we wish to be deeply satisfied...even long after we have made our choices...then we must labor for that which satisfies. That seems so obvious! To be satisfied, labor for that which satisfies.
So, have you chosen the Living Bread yet? Don't tell me you are quite content to blow your life on stuff that ultimately amounts to nothing! Look at the choice this way. I would much prefer an old, well-used $100 bill to a brand-new, crisp, counterfeit $1000 bill. At our mature age, we think it humorous and instructive that a small child would pick a big nickel over a small dime. But what do we pick when it comes to our own life decisions?! If you have not yet chosen the Living Bread, I must tell you that you are choosing nickels and counterfeit $1000's.
Have you had your Living Bread today yet? Jesus did not have in mind (I am certain) that we should survive on our single initial "bite" of the Living Bread. This meal, once begun, should never be allowed to end. Eat to live...and live to eat. This is one good application of that statement!
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