July 28, 2019 - INSCRIPTIONS FROM THE HEART
31 "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." John 6:31-35
This weekend I am in Portland, OR learning about addictive behaviors and chemical dependency. A recent study found that 1 in 5 Canadians had addictions. Addictions are when the primary reason a particular behavior is engaged is to satisfy the craving of the behavior rather than the benefits of the behavior itself. For instance, in gamblers addictive behavior may be the need to scratch tickets (or the risk itself) rather than the reward/prize, consequently marketers of apps have built-in rewards to get you to keep playing. You see this in dating apps, Candy Crush, or even your streak on the Bible app. For others, it may be a craving for a certain relationship or type of relationship, this could be with a person, an idea of a person, an object, or even a screen. And for others, there are the traditional thought of forms of chemical or substance dependency, from coffee and moonshine to cocaine and marijuana. Many of us have addictions to something.
For the people in John 6, they were addicted to God's provisions, crying out for more 'bread from heaven' always. Like much of the truth of God's revelation, God has a better way. Where people desire companionship, God desires oneness. Where people desire glory, God desires sonship. Where people desire a king, God desires co-heirs. Where people desire the provision of bread of heaven, God offers relationship with the bread of life.
Addictions are difficult because they take the freedom of human desires and enslave us to them, however, there is a better way, God offers liberation and choice. What are your addictions today? Jesus said "“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." Belief in Jesus gives life, whatever your addictions are, will you put your hope in Jesus? You have a choice.
Pastor Tonyvic Tira