The Preacher's Pulpit                                      Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: Deuteronomy 8:1-3

SUBJ: The Bible: A Source of Spiritual Food

Introduction: In our passage this morning Moses affirmed that, during the wilderness wanderings of his people, God desired to teach Israel the lesson that "man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live." In these words Moses indicated that what food is to man's physical life . . . God's Word is to his spiritual life. This truth is vital to our understanding of passages which refer to God's Word as bread, milk, meat, or honey. Job said that he esteemed God's Words more than his necessary food. We are talking about the source of spiritual nutrition, God's Holy Word! I want us to consider several things concerning the nutritive value of the Bible.

I. SOME DEDUCTIONS

A. If the Bible is our spiritual food, we may conclude that the Bible is essential for Spiritual Life.

1. Every Christian needs a certain minimum amount of food from God's Word to live his life day by day.

2. If, in addition, he has a special work to do for the Lord, he needs special feeding from the Word of God.

3. Nutritionists have established a minimum daily requirement of specific nutrients and vitamins for the human body, and the needs of a believer spiritually also must be met daily!

4. Often we use the excuse of being too busy to spend the time we should reading and studying the Word of God.

5. However, Jesus reminded us again in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

B. God's Word is essential not only for the maintenance of spiritual life, but also for spiritual growth.

1. Life is one matter, but growth is another.

2. There is no growth without adequate food.

3. Peter urges us to desire the sincere milk of the Word that we may grow thereby.

(1 Peter 2:2 KJV)  "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"

4. For the child of God, there can be no progress, no advancement, no maturity, without the vitamins of God's Word!

C. A third deduction is that the believer needs the Word of God for  spiritual health.

1. We must have life and growth, but it is also essential that we are healthy spiritually.

2. When we are in a below normal state of health, we often become ill.
a. Our immune system is unable to fight off disease and germs that enter into our bodies.

b. The same is true spiritually.

3. In 2 Peter 1:3, Peter states that God's power has given to us all things that relate to life and godliness.

4. To absorb the Word of God into our spiritual system will insure protection against all kinds of spiritual disease, sickness, and deformity.

D. The Bible is food that we need for life, growth, health, and spiritual strength

(1 John 2:14 KJV)  "I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one."

1. There is a relationship between God's Word and spiritual strength: we derive abounding strength from the Word.

2. We are commanded to "...Be strong in the Lord..."Eph. 6:10.

3. How is this realized?

a. Eph. 6:11-18 tells us of the whole armor of God that we must put on.

b. All of which is protective and defensive except the "Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

c. You can outfit a soldier with a nice uniform, give him a shiny shield, but without a sword he cannot do battle and would be without strength!

E. Job said, "I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." Why?

1. Because the Word of God the believer's spiritual life, growth, health, and strength!

2. Scientists tell us that a bird can go nine days without food

a. A man twelve days...

b. A dog twenty days...

c. A turtle five hundred days.

d. A snake eight hundred days.

e. A fish one thousand days...

f. Some insects twelve hundred days..

3. As believers, we cannot afford to go ONE day without our spiritual nourishment from God's Word!

(Matthew 6:11 KJV)  "Give us this day our daily bread."

II. Some Distinctions.

A. The Bible as Bread.

1. We have already noted the Scriptures that tell us that man is not to live on (physical) bread alone, but is to feast upon every word that proceedeth out of God's mouth.

2. We must remember that bread nourishes, not when it is looked at, but when it is eaten! ex. Martha's bread.

3. The disciples were taught to pray "give us this day our daily bread".

B. The Bible as Milk.

1. Peter exhorted us to desire the sincere milk of the Word "as" or in the same way as "newborn babes".

a. Here the emphasis is upon the intense desire that every one of us, as believers, should have for the pure and perfect Word of God.

b. Peter isn't necessarily describing his readers as newborn babes, rather he is affirming that every child of God should be characterized by a thirst for the Word of God in the same way a newborn baby desires milk!

c. Do we thirst for the Word of God? Do we have an intense desire to receive it?

2. Peter describes the milk of the Word as "sincere".

a. The Word of God is pure, genuine, and unadulterated.

b. That cannot be said of any other book or writing.

c. The Bible is pure because of it's origin: God Almighty!

(1) Ps. 12:6, "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

(2) Ps. 119:140, "Thy Word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it."

(3) Pr. 30:5, "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him."

3. Peter reminds us that it is possible for the pure Word of God to become contaminated.

a. We need not look any farther than the shelves of the bookstore to see that God's Word has been contaminated!

b. Man's theories, reasoning, and ideas creates a mixture that is harmful to the child of God!

c. Anytime we begin to place the thoughts of man on the same level as the Word of God, or elevate man's ideas above God's Holy Word we come up with a combination that will produce weak and sickly Christians if they feed on it.

C.  The Bible as Meat.

1. Meat by definition is composed essentially of muscle and connective tissue.

2. The meat of God's Word are those truths and doctrines that will build muscle into our spiritual system.

(Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV)  "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. {12}For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. {13}For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {14}But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

3. Mature Christians should be eating meat!

a. When I was a baby strained carrots were fine, but now I want a steak once in a while.

b. Too often believer's resign themselves to a lifetime diet of milk and never get into the meat.

c. That is abnormal!

(Ephesians 4:11-16 KJV)  "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12}For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13}Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: {14}That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; {15}But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: {16}From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

4.  Little children are easy prey for the wicked one.

5.  It is time that we begin to grow up and become strong in the Word!

6.  We can because the Bible is filled with meat that will strengthen us in our walk with Christ, and enable us to serve Him.

D. The Bible as Honey.

1.  When we understand that the Word of God is our necessary daily bread to sustain us...

2.  And we begin to desire the pure milk to nourish us...

3. And as we are strengthened by digging into the meat of God's Word...

4. Then we come to appreciate how sweet it really is!

a. Ps. 19:10, "...sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."

b. Ps. 119:103, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey  to my mouth!"

5. A man was witnessing to another man who grew pears in his orchard.

a. The man said, "You say that the Bible is the Word of God, but you cannot prove that it is."

b. The fellow responded, "What fine looking pears, it is a pity that they are of such poor quality and not fit to eat!"

c. The farmer said, "O no, they are excellent pears, here try one or two and see if they aren't the sweetest pears you have ever eaten".

d. After eating a couple the man said, "I admit they certainly are wonderful!" "Now, will you with the Bible in the same manner?"

e. Ps. 34:8, "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

Conclusion: Have you tasted of the blessed Word of God? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? May I encourage you to come in repentance and faith and find how sweet His salvation really is.  Christians, are you malnourished spiritually? Have you forsaken that which is the very essence of your spiritual life? Do you know the Word of God as your daily bread, the pure milk, the strengthening meat, and that which is sweeter than honey? Or have you been feeding on a substandard diet?

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