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Stale Bread - A Devotion

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Psalm 145:15-17 (NLT)
The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.

Are you satisfied today? Are you thirsty right now? Are you hopeful right now or downright depressed? Are you worried about today and all the burdens that will come with it? Have you even gotten out of bed yet? The eyes of all who look to the Lord by faith in confident hope will be satisfied and content. They will neither hunger nor thirst as long as they remain in right standing because the Lord is righteous in all that He does. So why has the Body of Christ become beggars of stale bread as the Children of Israel cried out for manna day and night? Why are we complaining about the Lord’s Care of His People if indeed our hope has not led us to fulfillment and contentment? The Lord is filled with kindness and compassion for His People. He gave His Life so that we could be justified. Justice for God’s People is righteousness. Those who hunger and thirst for justice (or righteousness) are promised satisfaction according to God’s Word. (Matthew 5:6) So why do we live in lack or at the very least fear of it? Why do we choose to seek God for stale bread rather than longing for the Bread of Life? Those who seek the Bread of Life will discover godliness that will produce contentment which is considered great gain, but those who do no will continue to live according to their sinful desires which cannot ever be satisfied except by death. Are you sick of stale bread today washed down by sour grapes? The Lord is offering to fill you with the Bread of Life (which is in remembrance of His Body broken for you) and wash it down with His Cup (which is the blood that cleanses our sin) so you will be satisfied. It is time to move from the crumbs under God’s Table to our reserved seat and undeserved privilege in a seat of great honor.

John 6:47-51 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

There is a homeless man who stands by the interstate exit with a sign that says, “Homeless, please help.” On the other side of his cardboard declaration are the words, “Why lie…I need a beer.” If someone passes him food or a bottle of water, he looks it over somewhat disgruntled then unceremoniously crams it in his ragged backpack or tosses it aside. But when he is given money, he smiles and stuffs it in his pocket. When he has enough money, he heads for the convenience store about a block away. It seems crazy that he ignores the food and personal items that he is given waiting for the money he needs to fulfill his heart’s desire. Ironically, what he loves most has robbed him from the life that he could have had with his family and friends. His life of carefree living is only a façade for his heart remains in bondage to his flesh. I only wish people could recognize that even in nice houses, riding in fine cars, wearing fancy clothes with a full pantry to choose their next meal from that we could see through the things of life to fully take hold of the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Nothing in or of this world will satisfy our soul. When our soul prospers, so does our life. It is in this place that we discover true satisfaction. Anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and accepts Him as Savior and Lord is given eternal life and the power to be satisfied and content now and forevermore. We can live on God’s Supplies and Provision but until Jesus Christ is our Sustenance who we depend on for everything in life, just like this beggar we will wait for the world to give us just enough to fulfill our earthly desires yet wake up lonely, thirsty and hungry in the morning. Are you seeking the Lord’s Hand or His Heart today? Those who choose to prosper in righteousness will be satisfied, everything this world has to offer will become nothing more than stale bread fit to be burned.

Mark 7:24-29 (NLT)
Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps (or crumbs (NKJV)) from the children’s plates.” “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.”

The people were hooked on the miracles, signs and wonders that Jesus was doing all except the people who He came to save – God’s Chosen People. When the woman sought out Jesus concerning her demon-possessed daughter, He made a point to those around Him by exemplifying her faith as a living color lesson to those who were with Him yet still did not believe. There are lot of people in the church today that want signs, wonders, and miracles. They want God’s Provision if it is financial but are not interested in what God calls wealth. God’s labels “wisdom” as wealth if you were wondering. People are dying every day from a lack of knowledge just like it says in Hosea 4:6. They do not want to see the Lord’s Face seeking only His Hand. They cry out for miracles yet do not have any faith to invest and hope to keep them confidently stable when the miracle is delayed or does not come as they want it to. This woman, however, was desperate. She believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that He would release her daughter from torment. So she continued to relentlessly pursue Jesus Christ, even when He pointed out to her that He had come first for the Children of Israel. She didn’t care she knew that if she had Jesus no matter what the circumstances of her life that He was more than enough! Her faith in Jesus moved her from the crumbs under the table to a place of honor at the Lord’s Table. God wants to move you from scratching the surface of satisfaction to finding the contentment God intended for your life. A life without faith is famine. But to find faith and allow the Lord to work it through our life will bring complete satisfaction.

Romans 8:3-5 (NLT)
The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

There are days when dissatisfaction and discontentment begin to form complaints that rise from my heart to my mouth. I must remember that these complaints are not against man but God’s Care for me. That’s right when I grumble and complain it is against Jesus Christ and God who are not providing what I think I need, want or deserve. Ouch! It’s true. Moses told the Israelites in the wilderness that their complaints were not a personal attack against him but a providential discord with God Himself. (Exodus 16:1-8) So God provided the people with manna. Each morning there would be an abundance of this bread-like dew on the ground. The Lord always provides more than enough for His Beloved Children not because of who we are but rather who He is. (Exodus 16:9-18) He is filled with unfailing love, compassion and kindness for His Children. Even when we are not living in accordance with His Word, Will and Way, God will always provide for us. Sometimes we just step over what He has given in pursuit of something else. God’s Greatest Desire is that as He sends good gifts to His Children that they will decide to come back home. However, the enemy promotes fear of lack and lack of faith which hinders us from seeing what God is doing right in front of us to pursue lesser things and remain disobedient. (Exodus 16:19-20) The things of this world will rot and decay. They will run out or never be enough. The only thing that will ever satisfy our soul producing prosperity is the Bread of Life Jesus Christ. If only we would pursue the Lord as we do all the other things that this world has to offer. Satisfaction is a characteristic of the righteous. Dissatisfaction can be content in the natural so it never moves to the pursuit of the supernatural. The Holy Spirit is evidence that you have been guaranteed every promise God has ever made to you and have the ability to have His Plan for your life including the future and hope. What are you after today? Are you tired of eating crumbs from God’s Table? Are you sick of stale bread? The Lord is ready to renew and refresh you and restore you with His Spirit so you will stop chasing lesser things and sit at His Table today.

Ecclesiastes 1:3-8 (NLT)
What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

Human desire is never satisfied. (Proverbs 27:20) This is so true in so many ways. I once thought that if we just had a little more money or a bigger house that I would be satisfied. Yet all the money in the world cannot cure our son from cancer. The house that I have would not produce enough money to pay for his treatment or shelter me from fear and doubt with each recurrence. There is nothing and no one in this world who can protect my heart from breaking or carefully retrieve all the broken pieces and put them together again but Jesus. The unspeakable joy and peace that I feel even in the midst of what seems impossible and such overwhelming statistics can only come from the Lord. He is what sustains me through this process of faith being turned into confident hope when all that I have to depend on is the Lord. God will allow you to experience famine to move you from the crumbs of His Outer Courts into His Presence. The prodigal son found himself face down in a pigsty eating their food when it occurred to Him it is better to be a servant in my father’s house than live like this. (Luke 15:16-20) God is waiting for you to come home, too. He has your inheritance that He has held tightly until you returned. He has carefully kept every promise just for you. You have not missed a blessing because He is ready to give it right back to you when you step out of this world into right standing again. God is ready to satisfy you. The Lord will bring contentment to your heart. His Spirit will fill you to overflowing. The test you must pass is called dependency. (Psalm 104:27-30) If you will trust Him enough to put all of your faith in Him, the Lord will grant the desires of your broken heart healing and restoring you. He will do more than you could ever think to ask for. When you are in fear of famine or think you are living in lack (Isaiah 49:3-4), the Lord is making a point. He is the Bread of Life and all that you need. He is preparing you to feast in His Presence. (Isaiah 49:8-11) God is moving you from beneath His Table to a place of undeserved privilege reserved by His Son, Jesus Christ who is the Bread of Life. Life is meaningless without Jesus. You will never be satisfied if you depend on this world. Money cannot bring love or happiness. Things will rot and decay. Only Jesus will satisfy you. Faith will complete you. Confident hope keeps you satisfied even in the famines of life you will have more than enough in the Presence of our Father overwhelmed by His Great Love overflowing in peace and joy that can only come from a satisfied heart and contented soul.

I Timothy 6:6-10 (NLT)
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

True god likeness with contentment is great gain. I am convinced that faith has kept me from dying of a broken heart over the last two years. Satisfaction that comes from a thriving dependency on Jesus Christ has allowed laughter to come through sorrow and tears. The smile on my face is not because things in the natural are great but because I do not live on natural things but fully trust in the supernatural Love of God working in my life. I am confident beyond a shadow of doubt that the Lord is healing our son from the inside out. I am not moved by natural things or restricted by man’s obstacles, God is indeed perfecting that which concerns me. He will never let the righteous fall. I must only daily live on the Bread of Life to be satisfied and content and leave the rest to the Lord. I do not want stale bread anymore. No more cheap substitutions or counterfeits, all that I desire is in You Lord! Have your way in my life! I know that you are preparing a feast in the midst of our enemies! Thank you Lord that I am full of your Spirit with a satisfied soul! I do not lack a single thing. I do not fear what man can do to me. I am filled with the Abundance of God and soon it will overflow in my life! Keep the stale bread! I only want you Jesus – you are the Bread of Life!

Philippians 4:11-12 (NLT)
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

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