By E L Thornton
(Mat 14:15) “And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”
Let’s get something out of the way at the out set of this message. There are some foods we eat that has no nutritional values.
A rather older child was asked, “Why do you sucked their thumb? It doesn’t have any nutrition value, It doesn’t taste that good, It don’t even chew good.” The young child responded, “Yes! But it’s always there.”
I’ve been around those men, on jobs, that eat sun flower seeds. I ask one, What benefit did he get from those things. He said, “Well! There’s salt—.” But after studing the nutrition facts chart on a pack of sun flower seeds I find that there’s not enough food value in a pack to make it worth while.
Now you have to be well coordinated to eat those things. You put hull and all in your mouth at the same time, you hull them with your teeth and eat at the same time. To get the nutrients you need for daily living you would have to eat five or six pounds of them. I believe I had rather suck my thumb.
People are good at doing things, in the work of God, that bring them no spiritual nutrients. They can work all day long doing good deeds, all day long at helping people, all day long in civic organizations, but when it comes time for church all their energies have been spent, they have nothing left to give God in praise and get nothing of nutritional value for the soul. Some people can’t understand why they feel so cold, indifferent, and weak while in church, and it’s because they don’t let the soul feed on the good things of God. They had rather suck their thumb.
Someone asked a man who had a rather sizable table blister, how he got that fat. He said, “I don’t know, it just snacked up on me.”
Most of us just snack when it comes time for God.
When I was a young man I ran a country wholesale milk route. One morning while visiting a country store a man, from a nearby road construction crew, was there buying, what he said was, his breakfast. I figured this mans weight would be in excess of five hundred pounds. His breakfast consisted of , one gallon of milk, two dozen eggs, two pounds of bacon, one quart of jelly. When it concerns spiritual matters why can’t we eat like that?
I. ARE YOU A SPIRITUAL GOURMAND (ONE WHO LIKES TO EAT):
If one of you mothers had a child that wouldn’t eat a good rounded meal. If at meal time it had something else to do, someplace to go, or was too busy to come to the table for a prepared meal, you would be concerned. If your child would eat a sweet snack, right before meal time, you would get concerned. The reason you would be concern is because you would know that your child wasn’t getting the nutrition they needed to survive. They would be weak, frail, sickly, and as a general rule, unhealthy. And you would do something about it.
It causes a pastor concern when he sees his charges act in that manner. When it’s meal time you don’t need another place to go. What are you snacking on that makes you feel satisfied when it’s meal time. Junk foods may be good for a snack, but they’re not good for your diet.
TV will never give you what you will get at church in worship. Pleasure will never feed the soul what it craves. (Ps. 122:1) David said, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” The soul will be revived, the spirit will be refreshed, the inward man will be renewed. Pleasure may be good for a snack, but it’s not good for a diet.
In the old house at Provencal there was a window in the kitchen that would slide open and it made a funny noise when it was opened. We had several dogs and a bunch of chickens. when these animals heard that old window opening they knew there was going to be morsels of food thrown out and they would come running from every part of that place to try and get a little part of what was thrown away.
I wish people were that concern about spiritual food.
When I start getting hungry for natural food, the next thing to come is a head ache. But we often let the inward man of the heart starve, never noticing the signs of hunger, never noticing the warning pains.
II. GOD WILL NOT FORCE FEED US:
A rich niggard (miser) sailed to a foreign land. He took three or four pounds of cheese and some boxes of crackers because he thought the food onboard would be too expensive. After many days, his cruise almost to an end, he became so tired of his diet that he decided, on the last day of the voyage, to eat in the ships cafeteria. When he finished eating one of the finest meals of a life time he looked for a place to pay for his excursion and found, to his surprise, that the meals came with the fare.
“Jesus has a table spread where the saints of God are fed, he invites his chosen people come and dine.”
Americans are weight conscious. Last year in the US there was $400 million spent on reducing drugs and reducing treatments.
God will not force feed us but neither does he require that we diet.
I figured out why Jesus had twelve baskets left over and it wasn’t because he made too much either. Don’t you think that if he could do this miracle that he would know how much to do? No it wasn’t Jesus fault. It was the people.
There’s the class of people that want to know how it’s cook, baked, brioled, fried. And if it’s not cook like they like it they want eat.
There’s the one’s that feels that it’s not sanitary, maybe not polished enough.
Then there’s those that just don’t like fish.
I heard one person say, “My pastor’s preaching just don’t feed me.” You are lying. You’re just not hungry.
III. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Mat 5:6)
The filling is the blessing. If you have a real hunger and a real thirst for the things of God you will be satisfied. If the hunger and thirst are acute enough you will do what ever it takes to gratify that feeling.
There are many things that will make the child of God happy for a while. But, like a baby with a pacifier, when it comes time to eat there’s nothing that will work but the real thing. A babies pacifier is like one of those exercise bicycles, you do a lot of peddling but don’t get no where.
Remember the plentyness of God. He will not run short. He will not get low.
He will not run out. (Luke 15:17) “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” Jesus said this in a parable, but meant it as truth.
I know what it is to perish with spiritual hunger. But I also know what it is to fed until I’m filled with the good things of God.
Ps. 23:5-6 “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
God’s prepared table. (spiritual blessings)
Right in front of the enemy. (to the surprise of Satan)
Pours oil on my head. (typical of Holy Ghost)
Fills me to running over. (to help others)
God help me to eat what’s set before me and say nothing.
( The End )