The Bread of Life
By Art Dmytriyev
As we begin the brand-new year 2024, let us turn our attention to the most important things. What things, you may ask? According to the inspired writings of the wisest king Solomon, we should “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 KJV). For us to do it we should study the word of God carefully and live according to His Word. Jesus responded to Satan in the wilderness with the words from the book of Deuteronomy: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4 KJV; Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV).
Let us consider these words more deeply. Man does not live by physical bread in itself, but by the life-giving Word of God, by which bread was created and which is contained in the bread and does not deny man’s need for his daily bread. The context of these words, taken from the book of Deuteronomy, refers to the manna that God fed the people of Israel during their journey through the wilderness. So, the Lord met the physical needs of people. Jesus, quoting this expression during the temptation of hunger, showed his attitude towards the physical needs of man. In the pages of Holy Scripture, one can clearly see the compassion with which God treats the poor and hungry. He condemns those who have much “not to deal thy bread to the hungry” (Isaiah 58:7). Man, like any other living creature, constantly needs food. Moreover, this food is much more extensive and multifaceted than we usually think. It comes to us through several channels at once, which makes it possible to maintain the necessary healthy balance of power. Today, we will understand the importance of complete, balanced, and high-quality physical nutrition, which is the key to our healthy existence. In addition, we know that the health of our body does not depend only on what we ingest. We still need air, water, sun, and much more. The question is: do our needs end at this level? The Scripture answers: no!
The words spoken by Christ in the wilderness are clearly addressed to the crown of Creation — humanity. We know that not a single creature on earth, except humans, experiences a spiritual form of hunger. The reason for this is that man was created “in the image and likeness of God.” (Gen.1:26.) Man, first of all, has a Spiritual Origin, he is a spiritual being! In addition to physical strength, we were also endowed with spiritual and moral potential. Just as we need constant restoration of our physical strength, we also need restoration of our spiritual strength. Our physical health depends on the variety and quality of food we eat. The state of our spiritual and moral principles also depends on what we feed our souls.
The uncontrollable growth of mental and emotional disorders in our society is, first of all, the result of spiritual hunger, although people often do not realize this. Weakening of morality, ethical and moral standards, selfishness and pride, intolerance, and bitterness – these all link to one long series of spiritual problems. Today, humanity is gripped by hitherto unprecedented crises: economic, social, political, environmental, moral, and religious. A hungry, tormented, tired of the struggle of life, completely bankrupt soul can be satisfied only with the Bread that came down from heaven – the Word of God. The Lord says: “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35). Through His Word, God not only restores His image in us but also reveals Himself and His will to people.” His inspired Words are: ”… be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2 KJV).
Dear Reader, may the Lord feed you and heal you physically, emotionally, and spiritually as you come to Him in prayer for the Bread of Life! God Bless You!
Pastor Art Dmytriyev is originally from Siberia. He has traveled the world in Evangelism and pastoral ministry. He serves as a pastor in North Carolina, holds a Master of Divinity degree, and is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate. More information at: https://burnsvillenc.adventistchurch.org/pastors-blog