Jesus said, “Don’t bicker among yourselves over Me. You’re not in charge here. The Father who sent Me is in charge. He draws people to Me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. This is what the prophets meant when they wrote, ‘And then they will all be personally taught by God.’ Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Father, really listening and therefore learning, comes to Me to be taught personally—to see it with his own eyes, hear it with his own ears, from Me, since I have it firsthand from the Father. No one has seen the Father except the One who has His Being alongside the Father—and you can see Me.
“I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in Me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is Myself, this flesh-and-blood self.”
At this, the Jews started fighting among themselves: “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”
But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating My flesh and drinking My blood you enter into Me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent Me here and I live because of Him, so the one who makes a meal of Me lives because of Me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
Too Tough to Swallow
After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”
“Every Word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-Word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with Him.
Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Who formed the mountains by Your power, having armed Yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
God is the faithful and powerful Creator of the universe. He has power over all creation–and all suffering. Enough power to do anything He chooses! To transcend
suffering—to give grace to endure it, or comfort through it, or to remove it–the decision is His. He is Sovereign. He is Lord.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Lord, help me know You has the Supplier, the Provider of my needs. Give me the vision to recognize You as the Source of all Provision. I pray that I will bring all problems to You for help in meeting them. I am not my own, I am bought with a
price to glorify You in my human body with all its limitations—I belong to You
and I trust You as Faithful and True, Amen.
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
(Romans 5:3-4) Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31) Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name. Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (2 Corinthians 11:2, Acts 22:16, Hebrews 10:22)
Don’t Put It Off
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, His choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1:3-11)
For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.
(Hebrews 10:14, Titus 2:14)
Christ Brings New Life
Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him. (Romans 12:1-2)
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the Message concerning faith that we proclaim. Let the Message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
(Romans, 10:8b, Colossians 3:16)
Sanctify them by the Truth; your Word is Truth.