Life-giving Words

I love food. This includes shopping for food as my wife and I love going to new grocery stores to see what unique and exciting varieties of all-things-food they might have. I love thinking about it, preparing it, eating it, and breaking bread with friends, family, co-workers; even strangers. Unplanned meals, holiday meals, leftovers, popovers, quick snacks, slow snacks, low carb, high carb, grilled, fried, baked, raw, simple, or complex concoctions; all of it. Food is really one of the most incredible things on the planet. Can I get an amen?!!

As wonderful as food is, there is something else we cannot live without, and that’s God’s word.

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)

Without God’s word we die, it is a separation, we are apart from him when we are not being fed with his word. It is our choice, our sin as we stray and ignore him, refusing to obey to his commands. Not only does his word give us proper instruction for living, he also spoke the world into motion, giving us life; all in seven days.

In our reading today (Amos 8) God has had enough. He’s a God full of mercy and love; he is also serious about sin and will not tolerate it forever. The time came for the people of Israel and one of the punishments was that the people would not hear his words:

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
    “when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
    but of hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11)

In some recent struggles, I was brought to tears, and brought to my knees in prayer, seeking God’s voice, meditating over his word, and asking for forgiveness, mercy, and grace. He was there. I felt his presence, almost like a whisper. He didn’t “make my problems go away”, he revealed himself in mighty ways giving me peace and perspective. I cannot imagine the hardships we go through in this life without Jesus. And while it would be awful in this life not to hear his word, the next life without him is unfathomable. With him, or without him, for eternity. As Jennifer said yesterday, the stakes are too high.