“Not by bread alone.”
A friend once remarked to me that he would love to go back in time and live in the Middle Ages. I replied that he must be joking unless it was his desire to join a chorus of misery. After all, for centuries the vast, vast majority of people in that time and every other era in history lived daily with various forms of oppression, want, hardship, sickness and often, early death.
Even many of the poor today live in far better conditions than most of the people who have ever lived. So, given the material and other comforts humans enjoy in our country and elsewhere on this tiny orb, why isn’t the world brimming over with happiness?
The truth is that while we need a certain level of provision and comfort to live, a satisfied life is not finally a result of these things. This should be obvious to us by now but we continue to make cliches of ourselves and look to those things that cannot satisfy. How many dreary stories have we heard of those who fill their bank accounts, or try to, only to discover, in a thousand ways, that full banks often reflect an empty life.
For all our complexities, certain things about human beings are quite straightforward. Our Lord Jesus had a way of putting a laser beam on this fact with words like this;
“Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
This is a statement of fact that cuts right to the bone. After all, how many of us in actual fact, do believe and live as if “bread alone” in all its forms is actually enough?
A full, abundant, satisfied – that is to say, authentically human life – was never meant to result from grabbing at the material. Another laser beam from the Lord put it this way;
“What does it profit a man if should gain the whole world and lose his soul?”
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added to you.”
In your daily pursuit of “gold and goods” these words of Christ Jesus are not simply a gentle reminder, a mild piece of advice. They are words of promise, a two-edged sword that cuts two ways;
Promise One: Seek your life through the material alone and an authentic life of love, joy and peace will elude you;
Promise Two: Seek your life under the promises of God’s Word in Christ Jesus and the love, joy, peace – and contentment – that are in Him will bring your anxious heart to rest. For when you have Him, you have everything. The rest is icing on the cake!
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”