Man shall not live on bread alone
The greatest gift that was ever given to me is from God. It was given by His grace. He saved me.
Another gift given to me came from my parents for my seventh birthday. It is a brown NIV Bible with 8-point font, it was my first Bible. It went with me every Lord's Day as we met with the saints of Yankton Baptist Church for worship.
The first time I read Jesus's Sermon on the Mount was from this Bible. I vividly recall reading while sitting on my bed, and it was a struggle to understand Jesus' powerful and image-evoking words. Yet simultaneously, God was convincing me of my need for Christ, for the gospel.
Now, 36 years have gone by, and if I've learned anything, it is that Bible interpretation can be difficult. One reason why we don't read the Bible routinely is because we often read it only for comprehension, that is, we read it like a textbook. Reading for comprehension is a must, but one must also take care to read God's word to be fed by God.
The purpose of Bible reading is not to master the Bible but that we would be mastered by it. When we read the Scriptures, God shepherds us. For example, in our reading, we might discover a sin we need to repent of, a truth that we need to learn, or a promise from God that we can believe. In Bible reading, we are fed by God Himself.
Yahweh said it this way:
"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD" (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Also, Jesus quotes this text. "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:1-4).
Yahweh said it, and Jesus said it too: God feeds us with His word, which brings life.
The analogy teaches us that just as we need to be fed food to survive, we need to be fed the Scriptures to survive. Likewise, what happens to one who does not eat food also happens to one who is not fed the Holy Scriptures. Consider yourself for a moment, did you eat today? And, did God feed you with His Scriptures today?
Therefore, based on this teaching from both Yahweh and Jesus, make Bible reading a part of your daily routine. Just as you routinely eat breakfast, lunch and dinner; routinely read your Bible to feed your soul. And if you do not have a Bible, please contact me. Prineville Community Church would love to give you a Bible.
Over the years, I've received a lot of gifts, some were great, others not so great. But the one that I've had for 36 years is that little brown NIV. Even though I cannot fully comprehend it, God still masters me by it, and I am fed.
"Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
May God bless you in Christ Jesus our Savior!
Christopher Cookston is the pastor of Prineville Community Church. He can be reached at 541-447-6315.