Posted by: Heather | June 16, 2010

Eat Real Bread and be Nourished – Jesus!

Prov 4:20-22  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  21  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  22  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

There are many instances in life when we see the impoverished conditions of other countries.  There are many poor and malnourished in our world.  The avenues are many…radio shows, television, and missionary visits, just to name a few.   Pleas of help are made, and many of us heed them.  We want to do what it takes to help those that are less fortunate, especially when there are children involved.

In our desire to help others so obviously in need, we don’t very often take a good look at ourselves.  The United States is overflowing with what we consider abundance.  We have so many material blessings others don’t have.  In other countries, many struggle just to have good basic food, but we can go into a grocery store and choose from aisle upon aisle of items, based solely upon our wants at the moment .

The irony to this is that the majority of the items on our grocery shelves are doing little to nothing to nourish our bodies.   Bellies are full, but bodies are severely malnourished.  Disease is at an all time high, simply because we choose what tastes good to our palate as opposed to foods that offer real nourishment for the bodies God so lovingly created for us.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in bread.  In the original wheat kernel, before any processing is done, the germ contains 80% + of the nutrition found in the kernel.  Even though it only takes up 3% of the size, the majority of the nutrition is concentrated there.  Unfortunately, the germ is the most unstable part of the wheat.  It contains a great deal of oil, so it goes rancid quickly once the wheat is ground.   The bran is the tough outer portion of the grain.  Both the bran and germ are stripped away to make white flour.  Then the flour is bleached to make the beautiful, light white powder we get in the grocery store. Without the germ,  the bread baked with that flour will last quite awhile on store shelves without spoiling.   It’s light, airy, and very tasty.  But, the problem is, there’s little nutrition to be had from it.

In the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, only the wealthy could afford white flour, because servants would have to sift the bran and germ off to make it.  However, with the invention of commercial mills, it became available to all at a reasonable price…or so it was thought.  The health of the human body is a high price…degenerative disease came onto the scene in numbers like never before.  The trend has continued and worsened up until now.  As a society, we’ve given up our health for convenience and pleasant taste.

Speaking spiritually, there’s a movement in the Christian church today that tries to avoid preaching anything negative from the pulpit.  We don’t like to hear about sin anymore, and especially not the consequences of it.  We like things that are pleasant to our ears, and fill us with joy and delight.  Leaving the Sunday service feeling good about ourselves is the order of the day.  Not that it’s bad, but when that’s all we hear week after week, we become spiritually weaker and weaker.  Just like our physical bodies as a society have begun to deteriorate because of the low quality of food we consume, the church has become weak and impotent because spiritually we prefer ‘nothing too heavy, please’.

The Bible is full of many promises.  They are wonderful, and we love to hear them.  But, when our spiritual diet consists of nothing more than that, we become hearers of the Word, not doers.  I can see the Word of God compared to a wheat kernel.  There is all of this nutrition contained in it, but we’ll just take the promises, and not the commandments.  If the Bible were all commandments and no promises, it would be a very heavy life indeed…just like bread that is made with only the fibrous parts of the grain.  You wouldn’t even be able to chew it because of its density.  But, when there are promises with no effort to keep commandments, you get a light, ‘happy’ religion.  If repentance from sin isn’t preached, then when can conviction come, and when can people become saved?  We can’t be saved without knowledge that we’re sinners.

Deuteronomy 28 is an often-quoted passage.  It’s called the ‘blessing and cursing’ chapter by many.  We really enjoy quoting those blessings.  (By the way, I do too!)  The entire chapter consists of God telling His people what will happen if they obey His commandments, and what will happen if they disobey.  I didn’t even realize until I was studying for this message that there are over 3 times more verses concerning what would happen if they DIDN’T obey God’s commandments as there are verses about what would happen if they kept them.

This made me see once again that serving God isn’t all child’s play and quoting God’s promises.  There are things God expects us to do as well.   One interesting thing to note about wheat is when it sprouts, the germ is where the sprout is formed.   The sprout feeds on the endosperm (the ‘white’ portion of the wheat) until it’s strong enough to root itself and receive its nourishment from the soil.  True spiritual growth comes when we make an effort to keep God’s commandments.  We won’t always get it right.  As humans, we mess up, and trials come to test us.  But, while we’re going through those times of testing, those promises are there waiting for us to feed on until we become strong again, rooted and grounded in the whole Word of God.

To receive proper nourishment, we have to take all of God’s Word, the way He intended it.  Stripping away the parts we don’t like because they seem too harsh, or just forgetting about certain aspects of it is not acceptable.  There is sufficient ‘fiber’ and ‘sweetness’ contained in the whole to grow us into strong warriors for His kingdom, if we’ll just accept it, and set our hearts and minds to become nourished by Jesus, the bread of life!

May God bless you abundantly today!

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Responses

  1. Thanks, Joni…you’re so sweet! I’m glad you enjoyed the bread. I’ll be making more soon! Let me know when you can get together…I’m ready to do it. 🙂

    Love you too!

  2. Your blogs are awesome… they really minister to me where I am right now. Thank you for all the time you take to study, pray and put these blogs together! You are a blessing to me and many others! : )

    I really enjoyed the bread, milk and eggs from you too! They were tasty! Thank you for that! I’d like to put in another bread order for me and Doug, please, when you make more. Thanks!

    Hope to have lunch or supper soon… Let’s get in touch! Say hey to everyone for me. : )

    Love ya,
    Joni : )


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