“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” “ Mt. 4:4
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
“…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” 1 Peter 2:2
Over the course of several weeks, my appetite virtually disappeared. Stress. Anxiety. Some emotionally challenging stuff. Some physical symptoms induced by the combination of it all. Some would consider the appetite change good. Not for me. I have a long-time history of struggling with an eating disorder, and my weight was already on the low end. I couldn’t afford to lose weight. So I ate. And ate. And ate some more. Because I knew appetite or no appetite, I needed the nourishment, sustenance, nutrition, energy, health, and to please the Lord whose Spirit dwells inside me. People prayed for me, the Lord carried me through, and my appetite, though usually not very big but enough to get me by, returned. But this isn’t about my appetite. It’s about yours. And it’s not about physical food. It’s about God’s Word. The Bible. The source of the most important nourishment, sustenance, nutrition, energy, and health we all need, not to mention the source of life, of eternity, of love, peace, hope, joy, God’s promises, instructions for life, answers to our questions, knowledge about God, how to seek Him, how to hear Him, how to be fully alive and to thrive, to love and worship Him, to grow closer to Him, and on and on and on.
You might be shocked by how many people I meet who don’t read the Bible, many of whom call themselves Christians, others who do not. It seems lots of people don’t have an appetite for God’s Word, or they have an appetite for other things they consider more important. And some are like myself. Sometimes I have a ravenous appetite for the Bible. Sometimes I’m so excited to read God’s Word and learn and grow, and dig, dig, deep ever deeper into knowing the Lord and understanding His ways and growing in His image as I apply the Bible to my life and as, most importantly, God’s Spirit transforms me according to God’s Word. Other times I don’t have much of an appetite at all. Sometimes I am super hungry to study the Word. Other times, I’m just not in the mood. Or I get bored or intimidated or overwhelmed or discouraged because I forget the Spirit of God is my teacher and that He gives me the understanding of God’s Word I need and that I can’t understand God’s Word with my natural, human, fleshly mind.
Long ago, I made one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I read the Bible every single day of my life no matter what. Regardless of my appetite on any particular day when it comes to the Bible, I eat. I nourish myself. I partake of it. I diligently, daily, devotedly study God’s Word whether or not I’m in the mood. Just like when I wasn’t feeling so great and I had no appetite, I ate food anyway each and every day because I knew it was the right thing to do. This is what I do with God’s Word. Just like food helps keep our bodies alive, those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ need first and foremost to feed committedly on God’s glorious Word. If you have not yet made this commitment, or have made it and slacked off, please make the commitment today – and for always.