Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Never Hungry

By Dennis Pollock


The people of Israel to whom Jesus ministered were mostly poor. They had very little, lived difficult, onerous lives, and often died relatively young. Their typical meals did not consist of a main dish, two or three sides, a couple of fruits, and a dessert with coffee. Meat was the exception rather than the rule, not because they did not like meat, but because it was too expensive to be eaten every day. No doubt, for poor people, a coarse chunk of bread, washed down with water or sometimes wine often made up a meal. Bread was so frequently the sole or major ingredient of their meals that food came to be known as "bread," and meals were called "taking bread" or "breaking bread." The Jews "broke" bread because it did not come in slices; it came out of the oven as a small round chunk, which was called a loaf. The bread did not provide a lot of nutrition; it possessed few vitamins, but it kept you alive and relatively full until the next meal. With bread in your stomach you were filled, you had strength, and you could carry on without gnawing hunger for several hours.


Jesus, knowing how much His Jewish brothers and sisters depended on bread for their lives and their sustenance, declared these words:


"I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)


Jesus, Our Nourishment


This is a powerful statement, and every Christian knows the reality of what Jesus is saying. Jesus is telling us that He alone has the satisfying nourishment that our souls need. But unlike normal food, He does not merely satisfy us for a few hours but forever. Imagine a meal like that – a food that would fill us so thoroughly that we would never need to eat again. By the next day we would still be full, strong, and energetic. And the next day, the same. A week later, we would have no need for food, nor a desire for any meal at all. And on and on we would go, day after day and year after year, never hungry, always full, always strong, and always possessing abundant energy for every activity of our lives. Any food which could accomplish that would be a truly "filling" food. You might call it "the bread of life," which is exactly what Jesus promised to be to all of us who come to Him and put our faith in Him.


Jesus said nearly the same thing to the Samaritan "woman at the well." He asked her for water, and she told him, somewhat rudely, that He had no business speaking to her, since He was clearly Jewish, while she was a Samaritan. Jesus told her that if she really knew who He was, she could ask Him for living water and He would give it to her. But He didn’t have a bucket. So she wondered how He could give her any water. He told her:


Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)


No Longer Thirsty


Jesus gives us water that is so satisfying and so divinely saturated that we never thirst again. No need for further trips to the well, drinking fountains, or big cases of bottled water. That one drink will do us for a lifetime – in fact for eternity. Of course, He is not talking about literal water, but about spiritual life, about the gift of the Holy Spirit who comes and lives inside us when we become children of God through faith in Jesus.


Now this can be a bit puzzling because nearly every believer, once they find Jesus, becomes almost obsessed with knowing Him better and experiencing more of Him. In one sense we hunger for Him more than ever before. We see this in some of the songs we sing. One song's lyrics say: "More love, more power, more of You in my Life…"


A famous hymn has the lyrics:


More about Jesus would I know

More of His grace to others show

More of His saving fullness see

More of His love who died for me…


These songs perfectly express what my attitude has been since I gave my life to Jesus nearly fifty years ago. And the Bible also has verses which speak of the believer's need to experience more of Christ and more of His grace in our lives. Peter tells us to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). And Paul writes: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).


These verses seem to imply that we who follow Christ will (and should) be filled with a sort of divine dissatisfaction with our present spiritual state. Although we are children of God, we want to grow in grace, to "press toward Christ's goal for our lives," to experience more anointing of the Holy Spirit, a closer walk with God, a deeper sense of the love of God, and so forth. The writer of Hebrews chides his readers: "you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food" (Hebrews 5:12). He suggests that these believers have not grown at the rate they should have at this stage in their lives. They should be eating solid food by now, but still they need milk. And typically, when believers are not growing in Christ as they should, it is because they do not desperately want more of Christ, as they should.


Seeking More / Being Satisfied


This clearly tells us that it is right for us to passionately seek more from Christ. So how can He tell us that once we eat and drink from Him, we will never hunger nor thirst again? I thought about this as it relates to my own life, and here is what I concluded:


Once I received Jesus, I was immediately endued with a longing for more of Him. I longed to know His word. I longed to hear more and more clearly from the Holy Spirit, I longed to experience a greater and stronger sense of His presence in my daily life. But there was another sense in which I never thirsted again.


In my "pre-Christ" days, I had no idea what life was about. I dabbled with various philosophies, I read numerous new age books, I studied reincarnation, I wondered if it would be possible to communicate with the dead. I was open to any and every spiritual discipline, but I was sure of nothing. And there were certainly a great plethora of religions and disciplines from which I could choose.


But nothing satisfied me. Some philosophies and concepts seemed attractive temporarily, but they could never satisfy my restless spirit. I read on and on and considered this way and that way, this religion and that philosophy. In some ways I was open to almost everything – except the evangelical Christianity of my parents. That was surely too uncool for a guy like me.


Our Bread and Water


But in God's perfect time, He moved me to actually read the New Testament, alone in my little college dormitory room. In less than three months I believed. I became a follower and worshiper of Jesus Christ. That has never changed. I have never looked back, I have never considered any other religion, I have never looked sideways. The refreshing living Water and life-giving Bread that I ate and drank while at Southeast Missouri State University in the winter and spring of 1973 has stayed with me ever since. I have made plenty of mistakes as I have walked with Jesus throughout my life, but I have never been tempted to make the mistake of walking away from Him. Jesus thoroughly and totally satisfies me.


I no longer need meditation or some esoteric religion to feel good about myself or to believe my life has purpose. I am satisfied with Jesus. He is my good Shepherd who comforts me, leads me, and prepares tables for me in the presence of my enemies. He has carried me and consoled me in my toughest and most gut-wrenching times and rejoiced with me in the exhilarating ones. He keeps me from the grasping, poisonous clutches of the evil one and preserves me until that Day when He will come for me. Even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (and I have been there before) I know He will be with me, and His mighty rod will comfort me. Yes, I will seek more of His grace and power and love in my life as long as I live, but I will never look anywhere but to Jesus, who is my Fountain of living waters. I am no longer restless. He is my rest. I need no other drink; I hunger for no other bread.




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