Today, I think it would be a good idea to start things off with some words from old Moses. Moses said, “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3b NIV).”
It does not take rocket science for us to figure out that Moses was speaking allegorically and his subject matter was far more reaching than merely bread!
In fact, the Aramaic word for bread is LAKHMA; and, the meaning us understood to reference truth, justice, righteousness and understanding.
When Jesus was out in the wilderness wrestling with Satan, he spoke these same words to his tormentor. He was stating that material things alone cannot satisfy.
We must also have understanding and truth! We must also have right living.
You and I know that we could own all the tea in China and still have a miserably poor life. Abundant wealth without the Word of the Lord and the Lord’s understanding of things, always leads to chaos, fear, distrust and ultimately to violence and a disintegrating world.
Let’s put some rubber on the road now! Taking immediate action regarding the Word of the Lord is where we fail most of the time.
So much of the time we are quick to fire off to the general public what we say we believe. We talk about how important our church, family, marriage and finances may be but our actions do not line up with our talk. We want people to believe that we have all our ducks in a row!
We see these beliefs being touted on social media ceaselessly, but we know for a fact that some of these folks never hit a lick at a snake. In other words, it’s all talk and no substance.
Other times we hold on to private beliefs. There are matters that we sincerely feel we believe but for some reason, when we look behind in the rearview mirror, what we see does not match up with what we believed about ourselves.
For example, we tell ourselves there are wholesome things that we love to do such as working on a church project or spending quality time with the family, but we can’t remember the last time we did these things. So, maybe we do not love these things as much as we thought we did.
Lastly, there are core beliefs. At the end of the day, these beliefs are the only ones that really matter. These beliefs are backed up by reality because we see that we’ve actually taken action! We also can see some definition within our lives that movement has taken place.
An example of this is to state that we believe it is important to live within Jesus’ systems and definitions of truth and justice and we actually have some evidence to back this up.
I did serve on a Room In The Inn team. I did demonstrate to my children that spiritual formation is valuable by attending church with them on a regular basis over the past year.
I did make some steps toward sobriety by attending meetings regularly and obtaining a sponsor. I did spend time with my widowed mother. I did take my wife on an actual date and it was not a trip to Walmart.
Do not tell self about our beliefs and convictions. Walk into your children’s bedrooms at night, tuck them in and tell them that you love them.
Do not say we believe in spiritual formation for our children. Show them how we pray and teach them likewise.
Do not say we are concerned about the plight of our homeless neighbors. Call Urban Ministries and speak the volunteer services coordinator about things that they need done today.
Another idea is to log onto the World Vision website and sponsor a child. It costs $35.00 per month, less than one family meal at a lower end restaurant.
Speaking of spiritual formation and Jesus’ systems of truth and justice, imagine demonstrating to your children that your family will have a supper of pinto beans and cornbread one night per month so that a child in a Third World country can eat for a whole month.
There’s your sign!
Old Moses was right. “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3b NIV).”