Feeding on the Word and “the Good Life”

I have no doubt another translation will put this in words that make more sense to me – maybe “the good life”? …

“He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord.”

Deuteronomy 8

We can easily go by in life with money, friends (even great ones that are there for us for decades) and great times but still be left unfulfilled. Not really happy. This applies to everyone including Christians.

How? Read the word of the Lord (abbreviated: the Bible) a LOT. Yeah daily seems to be a good goal (but boy are the weekend days a challenge to make time for!). Get further understanding about it – maybe a bible study. My church recently talked about this, and mentioned these life journals (read Wayne’s Supernaturally Pure – he posts just about daily with thoughts from his life journal) that aim at providing a guide for reading through the Bible in a more organized manner and with ways to help you write down your daily understandings, how to apply it, etc. I really would like to get one, but feel like maybe I’m not ready yet. Maybe one more round of reading the Bible from start to finish on my own and I will be ready? I don’t think that’s it – the first time I read it, it was hard and I felt I missed a whole lot (but I did skip some stuff that was just hard to read). Second time around I got a much better understanding. I’m on pass #3 right now.

Another thing that jumped out at me in Deuteronomy 8 was the warning of getting comfortable with His good graces in your life:

“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations and laws… Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you!”

Now this is Moses speaking to the people of Israel right before they enter the Promised Land, but I find it hard not seeing this parallel Christianity and our salvation. Be careful that even after receiving God’s grace through Jesus, to not become proud and disobey His commands! Now I find it really hard for anyone who truly follows Jesus to ALWAYS obey his commands (because we still sin), but the becoming proud part is ringing a bell. How? Well wasn’t it Jesus who said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God, and then love your neighbor? A song called “If We Are The Body” comes to mind from Casting Crowns (this is just the chorus):

But if we are the Body
Why aren’t His arms reaching
Why aren’t His hands healing
Why aren’t His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren’t His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way

As always, feel free to comment…

10/19/07 UPDATE: Just read an article in Christianity Today (“The Gospel According to Safeway”) comparing the “good life” in the checkout line to the Gospel’s “good life”…. Very different take but still worth reading.

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3 responses to “Feeding on the Word and “the Good Life”

  1. Good thoughts Chris…I’m on my first journey through the Bible and am now in the Gospels. After I finish, I think I’m going to find some focused studies to work on. I bought a study book on the Psalms that I may go through and there are plenty of studies online as well. Keeping a journal makes you accountable, which I think is a good thing 🙂

    Let us know what you decide to do. God bless –

  2. Joe – yeah years ago when my wife Isa and I came to actually know Jesus and connect with a community and had already bought a few Bibles, we went out and bought a few other resources too including topical study books, some specialized books over certain books like the Psalms and Proverbs, some Bible audio CDs, among other things. Short story – we opened them but didn’t really get deep into any of them (Isa went a lot further than I did though – I only opened any of them a handful of times). We had a more fruitful experience covering books (but not big ones) in small groups – some were topical (like the Love & Respect book I’ve written about a bit) and others were more general (I can’t think of the name but it was about general Christian beliefs).

    Lately, I’ve been more interested in church messages and have picked up copies of either our church community in Ohio or our current one. I know I will be “getting fed” by them!

    I think that for many, a life journal wouldn’t be just another resource but a guide to follow. I think I’d be more inclined to follow that… and I think you’re right on in stating “a journal makes you accountable”. I bet it does more than that too. You know I’m quite sure that I will at some point lose my endurance and will make the choice to get a life journal. Honestly I probably should right now 🙂

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