No 11: Food for Life!
“They were willing to take Him into the boat.”
The disciples had had one of their most exciting days yet following Jesus. They had seen the most amazing banquet in history and would have been so thrilled about being involved. That was one meal they would not have minded clearing up after! They needed a quiet evening to go over the events of the day and so they went out in the boat.
The Sea of Galilee is six hundred and fifty feet below sea level, one hundred and fifty feet deep, and surrounded by hills, so these physical features often lead to sudden windstorms, causing extremely high waves. So this storm, although part of life on this sea, was very frightening for the disciples. Even though they had just seen the most amazing miracle, they found that fear came more naturally to them than faith in the words of Jesus. He had already said to them, “Let us go to the other side.” This is in Matthew’s account in Matthew 4:35.
When Jesus came to the disciples during the storm, walking on the water, He told them not to be afraid. We often face spiritual, physical and emotional storms and feel tossed about like a small boat on a big lake. In spite of terrifying circumstances, if we allow Christ to take control in our lives, He can give us peace in the midst of any storm. We just have to be willing to take Jesus into our boat, which means making a decision of the will to agree with God’s Word on our situation and His report, not anyone else’s.
Look at miracles God has already done for you; read or listen to testimonies and keep your mind focused on the Word. Do not be so full of fear at your circumstances that you do not expect Jesus to come in for you or recognise Him when He does. Faith is a decision that expects God to act. When we live with this expectation, we can overcome our fears (2 Timothy 1:7). Take these steps from the Word of God to know how to tackle any problem you have.
Ten Steps of Faith
- Identify your problem – name it, do not hide it.
- Make a quality decision: don’t accept the problem, choose to tackle it.
- Meditate on the Word – (Joshua 1:8). Find God’s Word for the situation.
- Hold onto the power of confession – speak out God’s Word from your heart.
- Act on the Word. This shows faith in action. For example, keep giving if you need a financial miracle.
- Use patience – Hebrews 6:12.
- Wait for God’s timing – there is a season for everything. He is never early, never late.
- Expect the answer. Keep looking for it.
- Do not allow sin to have any hold. Repent and keep short accounts with Him.
- Hear the Word – not what the world says, but what God says.
Write it out. Learn it.
Jesus stepped out on His faith in His Father’s instructions and it worked for Him. He reached the disciples just when they were desperate. Are you in a situation where you need Jesus to come in for you? Then apply the ten steps now.
The Bread of Life
The people were chasing after Jesus, not because they saw God in His actions, but because He had fed them for free! We should follow Christ because we need the truth. Many people use religion to gain prestige, comfort, or position, but these are self-centred motives.
Jesus took this opportunity to teach them:
- who He was
- where He had come from, and
- how He was able to supply all their needs in abundance.
Jesus was showing them, just like the Samaritan woman, that if they came to Him and took His food, they would never be hungry again. He wanted them to see that it was Jesus alone who could fill the deep-heart hunger in their lives. They knew there had to be something more than just obeying all the rules and fulfilling the law, as they still felt so guilty and not at peace.
True believers follow Jesus simply because they know His way is the only way to live!
Jesus answered a question that still puzzles many sincere seekers for God: “What should we do to satisfy God?” The religions of the world are humanity’s way of getting to God and they try to answer this question. Jesus’ reply is brief and simple: “We must believe the One whom God has sent”. Satisfying God does not come from what we do, but from Who we believe.
The first step is accepting that Jesus is who He claims to be. All spiritual development follows on from this affirmation. Declare in prayer to Jesus, like Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) and embark on a life of belief that is satisfying to your Creator. We need this right relationship with Jesus Christ to satisfy our spiritual hunger and sustain our strong spiritual life.
No wonder He called Himself the Bread of Life
- Bread must be eaten to give life. Christ must be invited into our daily walk to give eternal life.
- Bread takes time to be prepared, so we should take time to prepare ourselves for our time with Jesus.
- Bread must be taken daily for strong life, so we must take God’s Word daily to stay healthy.
- Bread gives hope. Where there is no bread, there is no hope, so without Jesus there is no future.
- Bread must be in steady supply for our physical growth, so the Word needs to be regular for our growth in God.
- Bread intake must be balanced with physical action, so the Word, in excess without faith through action, is of little effect.
- Bread can come in various ways, so Jesus comes to us in different ways, such as prayer, the Word and worship.
- Bread can be left out of our diet for a few days. Jesus needs to meet us each day.
- Bread must be eaten for yourself. No one can do it for you. It is the same in your relationship with Jesus.
Bread tastes best when we are really hungry and it is fresh. Jesus is so exciting when we are really hungry for more of Him and we receive fresh revelation straight into our spirit. To eat “Living Bread” means to unite ourselves with Christ.
We are united with Christ in two ways:
- by believing in His death and resurrection and
- by devoting ourselves to living as He requires, depending on His teaching for guidance and trusting in the Holy Spirit for power.
Home challenges for Power Up! – No 11: Food for life
1. Read from the notes “They were willing to take Him into the boat.”
a. Do you have Jesus in your boat (in your life)?
b. Please share a time when Jesus came into your boat during a storm and there was calm.
2. Looking at the “Ten steps of Faith”, is there a situation in your life where you need to apply them? Please share with another Christian if you need encouragement to hold onto God’s promises.
3. Read from the notes “The Bread of Life”. Ask yourself why you are following Jesus Christ. Explain.
4. Speak out loud, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” now and at any time in the future when you need to fix your eyes on Jesus. If you do this little exercise, it will change your view of the situation. Remember that Jehovah God, is bigger than ANY situation or circumstance or name that is named.
5. From the ten points about bread, which did you relate to best?
a. Is your spiritual bread fresh every morning or is it a bit stale and mouldy?
b. What can you do about it?
Read John 6:60-71
6. What was the “hard teaching” the disciples were talking about?
7. What is the difference between flesh and spirit according to John 6:63? What are Jesus’ words, according to this verse?
8. What knowledge did Jesus have ahead of time? (John 6:64-70)
9. From your knowledge of Jesus and how He treated the betrayer (Judas Iscariot), how do you treat those who betray you?
10. What is the first step in our coming to Jesus? (John 6:65)
11. What happened to many of Jesus’ followers at this time? What was Jesus’ response?
12. Give Peter’s answer to Jesus’ question in your own words. (John 6:68-69)
Read John 7:1-9
13. Who is rejecting Jesus in these verses? Why is that? (John 7:7)
14. Describe how you would feel if this was you being rejected?
15. Is there a situation in your life where you have been rejected by friends or family and God has healed you? Do you still need help in this area?
Read John 7:10-31
16. What were the two sides of the story for and against Jesus, according to the religious people?
17. Who did Jesus remind them that He was working for?
18. What were the people judging Him by? (John 7:24)
19. Why could the authorities not arrest Jesus? Who do you think was in control in this situation?
20. What did you find most challenging from all these verses? Choose one verse to learn?