I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. - Jesus (John 6.51)
What gives you life and feeds your soul is having a sense of purpose and direction that only comes from Jesus, Pastor Troy Murphy said during his message on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Green Bay Community Church.
When we seek fulfillment in a job, money, security or any number of other things the world has to offer, we are destined for disappointment and disillusionment. Jesus offers so much more. Here are key points from Troy's message:
*Psalm 36.9 says: For with you is the fountain of life. God is the giver of life, something we tend to forget amidst the worries and troubles of this world.
*In John 6 we read the story of Jesus feeding thousands with just a few loaves and fishes. Afterward people seek out Jesus, and he calls them out for their motives. In effect Jesus tells them that they only want Jesus because of what he did for them or can do for them.
We often treat God that way. We go to him when we want or need something. Or we act as if God works on the merit system: If I do something for him, he will do something for me. In fact, God offers us grace and love and blessings whether we deserve it or not.
*Spiritual life comes from God. To put it another way, true meaning and a true sense of life-giving purpose comes from God alone. That doesn't come from anything the world can offer.
*To believe means to have faith and trust in God for everything. If belief means simply in your mind assenting to Christ's existence, it says in the book of James that even the demons believe that. The real question is: Do you trust Jesus? Do you count on him in the hard times, or when you don't have all the answers?
*Faith isn't faith until it's all you're holding on to. When we trust in Jesus plus other things, we are hedging our bets. That way, if your Jesus experience doesn't work out you feel like you have a backup. It's hard to fully trust when there are so many comfort options.
*Not having wealth can actually make it easier to trust in Christ. You find some of the greatest faith-filled people in some of the poorest countries of the world.
*We cannot take credit for life. We tend to slip into a pattern of doing good works and thinking it's about us, when in reality it's about God working through us and sometimes in spite of us. Spiritual transformation is a mystery we cannot take credit for. It is the work of God in us.
*Jesus is the bread of life (John 6.35). You need to sit at the feet of Jesus, and not just for an hour on Sunday. Re-set your life so you aren't pulled to and fro by the whims of the world, but you're grounded in the stability of Christ.
*Obedience does not create love. We obey because of our love. Love is the foundation for relationships. If you live by trying to follow a set of rules to please God, you are simply playing a religious game. The reason you do things for God is not to earn his favor, but rather out of love and gratitude for who he is and what he has done for you.
*We have life as we live in union with Jesus. "Life" doesn't come from bank accounts, vacations, job promotions, status or success.
*Our love relationship for Jesus must extend deeper than just mind and strength. It must find its seat in heart and soul of a person.