Hunger for Bread
According to the World Hunger Education Service website:
- … hunger is a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971)
- the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food
- the want or scarcity of food in a country
- a strong desire or craving
- World hunger refers to the second definition, aggregated to the world level. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012.
For anyone, these numbers should be staggering and heart wrenching! For Christians, the Bible is clear that feeding those who lack food shows our love for Christ and demonstrates our genuine faith in Him.
- Matthew 25:34-35 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
- James 2:15-17 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Faced with this information and responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I am committed to make financial support for organizations that help those without access to enough food an ongoing part of my regular charitable giving. With that being said, nothing stated below is intended to minimize or detract from the scourge of world hunger on our planet.
The church of Jesus Christ should be
the greatest force on earth
in alleviating physical hunger!
Hunger for ‘the Bread of Life’
The December 19, 2011 Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project report found on the Pew Foundation website states that:
- A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion.
- Christians are diverse theologically as well as geographically, the new study finds. About half are Catholic. Protestants, broadly defined, make up 37%. Orthodox Christians comprise 12% of Christians worldwide. Other Christians, such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, make up the remaining 1% of the global Christian population.
For born again believers in Jesus Christ, these statistics should be horrifying! Only about one third of the world population is classified as ‘Christian’. But of that one third, how many are truly converted, indwelled with God’s Holy Spirit, experiencing the life changing reality of a personal relationship with Christ, and most importantly, recipients of the gift of eternal life which comes only through faith is Jesus by God’s grace?
- Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
- John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
- John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
If only half of those counted as Christians in the research referenced above are truly born again believers, then more than 80% of the current world population will spend eternity in hell if they die without hearing and accepting the good news about Jesus Christ! After His death, burial and resurrection, before ascending into Heaven, Jesus clearly stated that Christians must share with all nations the Biblical truth about salvation in Christ.
- Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
- Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Faced with this information and responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I am committed to continue with and increase my financial support for Christian organizations that spread the gospel message of Jesus Christ to those without access to the truth about salvation in Christ. I must also be ready and willing (God makes me able) to share ‘the bread of life’ with anyone I encounter who needs it.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
Jesus Christ is the only name
in heaven or on earth
that can bring eternal life!
Hunger for God
According to the Word of God, each person is created with, ‘eternity in their hearts’. That is, a hunger to know and understand God that cannot be satisfied until present with Him in Heaven.
- Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
- Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
During the ‘Sermon on the Mount’, Jesus taught about the blessings associated with hungering for God; as well as the deep sorrow, grief or affliction resulting from having your fill of God.
- Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
- Luke 6:25 Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.
Faced with this information and responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, our hunger for God should result in a longing for Him that surpasses and shapes every other desire in our lives.
- Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
- Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
- Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
- Additional verses: Hebrews 11:6, Psalm 119:20, 40, 131
Isaiah 65:13 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, My servants shall eat,
But you shall be hungry;
Behold, My servants shall drink,
But you shall be thirsty;
Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
But you shall be ashamed;
Jesus Christ is the only means
by which legitimate hunger for God
can be addressed!
Father in Heaven, Lord of All, You have given us the hunger for You. You came to earth as a man and died to satisfy our need for forgiveness of sins. Please Father, use Your Word to grow and lead Your Church to feed hungry mouths, to save lost souls and to address the needs of those hungry to know You. I pray all these things in Christ’s name, Amen.