Anne Graham Lotz: Eating Right to Stay Fit

I love junk food! Every fall, our family goes to the state fair, where we eat our way from one end to the other. Fried onions, fried potato chips, fried pickles, fried Oreos, fried dough … I love anything fried! Then there are candied apples, cotton candy, roasted corn, hush puppies, funnel cakes, homemade ice cream, homemade fudge … the list of culinary delights is endless! By the time I get home, I actually feel sick … but still look forward to the next year’s fair!

Sometimes as Christians we have a consistent diet of spiritual junk food. Our main staples are things with no real nutritional value—political agendas, social issues, books about God’s Word, musical videos and marketing strategies for the local church, along with myriad conferences, retreats, dramas and special events. None of these things are harmful in themselves, but when substituted for the nutrition of daily Bible reading and prayer, they make us spiritually sick. 

What does your spiritual diet consist of? You may be an active church member and a committed Christian, but could it be that you are feasting on junk food while starving for the Bread of Life? It’s time to start eating right.

Read John 6:30-40 

Jesus has just fed more than 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. He now explains that the physical miracle has a spiritual meaning.

I.  THE LIVING BREAD (JOHN 6:30-33)

  • From verse 30, what did the people ask for? Why did they ask?
  • What proof do you require from Jesus before you will fully commit yourself to Him?

A.  The Bread Is Not Earthly Manna

  • On what Old Testament story did the Jews base their demand? See verse 31.
  • When have you made a demand of God? What was it?
  • What is the difference between making a demand and claiming a promise? 
  • How do Christians today confuse their demands with God’s promises?
  • From verses 32-33, how did Jesus correct the people?

B.  The Bread Is a Heavenly Man

  • Read Exodus 16:1-21. Describe the manna, giving verses for each answer:  
    • When was it gathered?  
    • How often were they to gather it and how long could it be kept? 
    • Where did it come from?  
    • What difference did it make in their lives?
    • What did a person have to do to benefit from it?
    • Who does the manna represent? See John 6:32-33. 
    • Apply each aspect of your description to Jesus Himself.
    • What earthly manna is substituted today for the heavenly Man?

II.  THE LASTING BENEFITS  (JOHN 6:34-40)

  • What do you think the people were really asking for in verse 34? 
  • How is the request in John 6 similar to that of the Samaritan woman in John 4:7-15?
  • Apply the request to things people ask Jesus for today.

A.  Satisfaction—verse 35

  • Define the hunger and thirst that Jesus speaks of in verse 35. Compare Matthew 5:6. 
  • How does He meet these needs in your life?
  • What does Philippians 4:13 say about this lasting benefit?

B.  Acceptance—verses 36-37

  • When have you experienced rejection, and by whom? For comfort and encouragement, see Isaiah 53:1-5 and Hebrews 13:11-15.
  • Describe the acceptance Jesus offers in verse 37, using Matthew 27:44 with Luke 23:39-43; Ephesians 1:3-6; and Revelation 22:4-5. What does this mean to you?

C.  Security—verses 38-39

  • Describe the security Jesus promises in verses 38-39, using John 3:16; John 10:27-30; Ephesians 1:13-14; and Romans 8:31-39.
  • According to these verses, what does your eternal security depend on? 
  • Once you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ and been born again into the family of God, is there anything that can threaten or jeopardize your security?

D.  Hope—verse 40

  • What are some of the things people today are placing their hope in?
  • What are some popular opinions concerning what happens when a person dies?
  • Compare public opinion today with what Jesus said in verse 40. What do the following verses have to say about that same hope? See Hebrews 9:27 with 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; Job 19:26; John 11:25-26; John 14:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:12-22, 50-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; and 1 Peter 1:3-5.
  • From John 6:47-51, what is one primary benefit of “eating right?” Explain what Jesus meant in your own words. See verses 60-63.

 What will you do today to improve your “diet?” Would you take a moment now and thank God for the Bread? Then serve it to someone else.  ©2019 Anne Graham Lotz

 

Adapted from an article originally published in March 2011. 

Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, “Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion,” is available from major booksellers and online.