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Spiritual Bread this Season

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

John 6:30-35

You can enjoy the true meaning of Christmas no matter what you do or don't have this season.

Sometimes our focus during the holiday season can become skewed. It's great to be joyous and enjoy the many joys of the season like traveling, vacation, seeing family, buying presents, decorating your home, doing good to others, etc. Some people focus on the many good things of the season, but also realize that some people focus on the trials of the season. Some have no family, few presents, little food, and no joy this year.

In a Charlie Brown Christmas special, Charlie Brown just couldn't get into the Christmas spirit. Thus his little friend Linus observed: "Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem." Some people are like Charlie Brown this season. But while some focus on good and some focus on bad, realize that the true focus of this season should be on God's miracle through Jesus.

God never does anything without purpose or meaning, and even the very birthplace of Christ came with inner meaning. God prophesied years before the first Christmas that His Son would be born in Bethlehem. To get a little background of the significance of the birthplace, consider the town of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem was in a very hilly region with steep, v-shaped hills that naturally terraced from soil erosion. This made it an ideal place to shelter sheep, especially in winter. The town was also known for its agriculture, especially bread. In fact, the name Bethlehem means "House of Bread." Even though Bethlehem was about six miles from Jerusalem, the terrain made it a challenge to travel into the town.

Jesus was born in a city that fed many surrounding cities thanks to agriculture and the production of bread. Just as Bethlehem provided bread for many, so Jesus came into the House of Bread to provide spiritual nourishment to all who would come to Him.

No matter what good or bad you're facing this holiday season, focus on the true spiritual bread Jesus provides. Take time each day to be nourished by God's Word and feed on His truths. Make spiritual bread a priority as you go through this holiday season.

If you're struggling with a burden, realize that God can and will help you if you will seek Him. Spend extra time today reading His Word. Read of the bread He offers you in John 6. Allow Jesus to carry your burden and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas no matter what you do or don't have.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
Zechariah 5-8 | Revelations 19