Category Archives: food

Come To The Feast

One of the great blessings of life is eating food! To be able to sit down at a table and partake of various foods that suit our palate is a wonderful experience. Corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, carrots, hot rolls and either turkey or ham or some form of beef, how delicious! I am speaking for myself, of course, but this is what I like and what makes my mouth water. Naturally, I am also content with a cheeseburger and fries or hot dogs, either cooked on a grill or from my favorite fast food store. I am also just as happy with a can of tuna on cheese crackers with mustard. I better stop because I am making myself hungry. The point is, eating food is a wonderful thing!

Eating is one of those rare activities that we not only enjoy but that we must also do to survive. It is both necessary and pleasant. And God has given us all things to eat if we receive them with thanksgiving (I Tim. 4:4). But while we have to have food to keep our physical bodies alive, we also need other food to keep our spiritual selves healthy. Many times in Scripture we find God’s word being spoken of as food. Notice a few passages.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil after He had fasted for forty days and nights, the tempter urged Jesus to make bread out of stones (Matt. 4:1-3). That would have been a great temptation to Jesus, as it would to anyone else, as well. But Jesus defeated that temptation when He responded by pointing out the simple truth that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:1-3). Buttered pancakes with molasses is good, but spiritual food, the word of God, is even more necessary and ultimately far more satisfying if we want eternal life.

In the beatitudes, Jesus said that the man is blessed who hungers and thirsts after righteousness (Matt. 5:6). Jesus here describes the proper attitude toward the word of God. Except, perhaps, in extreme medical cases or when a person is sick, there are very few people who do not like to eat. You hardly ever hear someone complaining about having to eat. Most are eager to sink their teeth into a good piece of food and savor the delightful tastes that go along with it (Ezek. 3:1-3). But how many Christians have the same attitude about going to Bible class or worship? How many Christians become excited when they are offered the opportunity to consume the word of God (Ps. 122:1). Who sits down at the dinner table and constantly looks at their watch to see when the dinner is going to be over? Who grows agitated if they have to sit and eat food for longer than fifteen minutes? But, sadly, that is what many do when the word of God is being served. As newborn babes, we should desire the sincere milk of the word (I Pet. 2:2).

I like to drink milk. I still drink milk often. A good nice, cold glass of milk sometimes just hits the spot. But I also like things like meat and potatoes, something with a little more substance and taste. Paul said that spiritually there is also a time when we need to be eating meat (Heb. 5:12-14). Some Christians never grow, they just feed on a diet of milk, never stirring the pot, eating only pablum. This is dangerous. Paul said the Corinthian brethren were not able to bear the meat and he still had to feed them with milk (I Cor. 3:1-3). That is what made them carnal and caused envying, strife and divisions in the congregation. It is not Bible knowledge or Bible study that causes trouble in a congregation or in the brotherhood, but it is the lack of it that does. Too many professing Christians do not want to chew on a piece of spiritual meat and grow uneasy when sound doctrine is presented for their consumption.

Another drink that hits the spot when the throat is dry is a good, cold glass of water. When you are weary from work, when you are exhausted from labor, there is nothing quite like it to quench the thirst. David longed for it (II Sam. 23:15). The rich man in the Hadean realm craved a drop of water from the finger of Lazarus to cool the tip of his tongue (Luke 16:19-31). Jesus craved it from the woman at the well in John 4. Jesus also told the Samaritan woman that He could give her living water which would keep one from ever thirsting again (John 4:10,13,14). God’s word is that living water. W should drink from it often (Acts 17:11; II Tim. 2:15).

Jesus said that we should not labor for the meat which perisheth (John 6:27). He did not mean by this that we should not worry about food, this is necessary for life, but He went on to say that we should labor for the meat that endures unto eternal life. Furthermore, He went on to say what this bread of life is, He said: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). While the Jews boasted of the manna that their fathers had eaten in the wilderness, Jesus showed them that those who ate it now are dead, but the bread which the Father gives brings eternal life (John 6:47-51). To eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood is to consume His teaching or His word, just as Philip began at the same scripture and preached Jesus (Acts 8:35).

Even our eternal reward is depicted in terms of food. “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2). John would write, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9). In portraying the kingdom of heaven as a marriage, Jesus said, “Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage” (Matt. 22:4). If we do not like the spiritual fare that the Lord offers here, we certainly will not like it in heaven, either.

Are you hungry? The spiritual feast is prepared. You are bidden to come. Now you must partake! To conclude, the words of Charles H. Gabriel’s great hymn seem fitting just here.
“All things are ready,” come to the feast!
Come, for the table now is spread;
Ye famishing, ye weary, come,
And thou shalt be richly fed.

Hear the invitation,
Come, “whosoever will”;
Praise God for full salvation
For “whosoever will.”

“All things are ready,” come to the feast!
Come, for the door is open wide;
A place of honor is reserved
For you at the Master’s side.


“All things are ready,” come to the feast!
Come, while He waits to welcome thee;
Delay not while this day is thine,
Tomorrow may never be.


“All things are ready,” come to the feast!
Leave ev’ry care and worldly strife;
Come, feast upon the love of God,
And drink everlasting life.

Eric L. Padgett

Seven Spiritual Foods

A hungry person doesn’t need to be told to eat. The hunger he feels drives him of necessity to find nourishment. If adequate nourishment is not found, the end result is death by starvation. Spiritual life is no different than physical in that respect. If proper spiritual nourishment is not found, the end result is spiritual death. The only difference between the physical and the spiritual is that most people do not feed their spiritual hunger, either because they do not recognize that particular feeling of emptiness for what it is or they feel the pain of spiritual hunger but do not know how to satisfy the need adequately. The Bible describes spiritual food in several ways.

First, there is the body and blood of the Lord (John 6:51-58). Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). Jesus was not here speaking of His Supper (which we will consider forthwith), for He had not yet instituted it. Nor was He advocating cannibalism here, which is against everything for which the Lord stands. The suggestion of eating His flesh and drinking His blood would have startled the Jews who were commanded not to eat of such literally, but Jesus was emphasizing that we have to assimilate all of Jesus into our lives. We must partake of and fellowship in His life and His death (Gal. 2:20; II Cor. 4:10,11). It is all or nothing with Christ.

Second, there is the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 26:26-29). Jesus said “Take, eat…This do in remembrance of Me” (I Cor. 11:24). Thus, this meal and its emblems is designed to focus our minds and hearts on the sacrifice of Christ. It shows our communion with the Lord (I Cor. 10:14-16). We are encouraged by this “meal” to examine ourselves, taking of it in a worthy manner, discerning the Lord’s body (I Cor. 11:28,29). While all meals should have a spiritual significance, it is especially true of the Lord’s Supper.

Third, Jesus describes Himself as the Bread of Life (John 6:47-51, 58). While the fathers had been sustained in the wilderness with miraculous Manna sent down by God from heaven, those who ate of it, afterwards died (v. 49). But Jesus declares Himself to be the Bread sent down from heaven which, if one eats, he shall never die (John 6:50,51).

Fourth, there is the living water (John 4:10-14). To a thirsty man, water is more precious than gold. Anyone who has ever been truly thirsty to the point of being parched understands the importance of water to the preservation of life. Jesus says that to drink of this water causes one to never thirst again (John 4:13). When we come to know the sweetness of the Truth of God, the refreshing nature of God’s salvation, we will never want to drink a drop from any other well. All other water is bitter and full of disease. And one day, if we are faithful, we will be able to drink of the fountain of the water of life freely (Rev. 22:1; 21:6).

Fifth, there is milk (I Pet. 2:2). Milk is for those who are young in the faith. But every child thirsts after milk, and cries for it when he does not have it. So should it be for the one has just obeyed the gospel. We ought to have the same attitude as that little baby who wants to be fed. We should desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (II Pet. 3:18). How many people have obeyed the gospel and never sought after any further nourishment? Or, how many times have we left a child in the faith starve to death because we never supplied them with the opportunities for feeding or gave them food that was not fit?

Sixth, there is strong meat (Heb. 5:11-14). At some point in our Christian lives we should outgrow the milk of the word and move on to that which is stronger and more fulfilling. A grown-up needs to outgrow childish things (I Cor. 13:11). But some Christians like to keep sipping on their bottle of milk all their lives. This does not prepare one for the bigger issues they will face as a Christian. Not eating meat means we are stagnant in our growth. It means we are carnal and not spiritual (I Cor. 3:1,2).

Finally, there is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23). As we grow in Christ, we will feast on the wonderfully delicious fruits of the Spirit, like love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We, ourselves then, will bear much fruit (John 15:1-8). As God’s word takes greater control of our lives, we will bear these fruit to the glory of God.

Ready to eat?

Eric L. Padgett