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Food for Thought
by Linda Ryzenga
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Do you realize that people are literally starving in all parts of the world? I don't mean food starvation; instead my declaration is directed at spiritual starvation – a deep hunger to know Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus instructs His disciples:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Two thousand years ago Jesus' disciples were few, but today He has many. A disciple today is equivalent to one in Jesus' time. A disciple believes that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the dead the third day, and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. (Mat.26:64)
A disciple today places Jesus Christ first in his life, loves Him and obeys His commandments. (Jn.14:15 NIV)
In John 13:35, Jesus said to His disciples,
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So, you say, “What has this got to do with starvation? As I said previously, people are starving in every part of the world, and they immensely out-number the present day disciples, whom we call missionaries. These people cannot be reached at times because of living in very remote areas, or there just aren't enough missionaries to reach them. Many people do not even know that God exists. There is an enormous need for missionaries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Jesus said in ( Mat.9:36 ) “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

On the other hand, there are people in this world, who have heard about God, but do not know Him. Many own a Bible that is sitting on a shelf collecting dust, simply because they haven't attempted to open and read God's Word.

The Word of God is food for the soul, and many are searching, not having entered the realization for what they are seeking. Only through the word of God, and consistent prayer can one establish a lasting relationship with Him. These people, who do not have a relationship with our Lord, have a hunger hidden within their souls. John 1:5 says it this way:
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (NIV)

Do you know someone that meets this compelling need? Then you need to act. Encourage that person to attend a church, perhaps invite he or she to your church next Sunday. Many lives have been changed by people like you or me, who see a definite need in someones life

Oswald Chambers writes, in My Utmost for His Highest, a daily Devotional Journal:
“We are designed with a great capacity for God, and sin and our individuality are the things that keep us from getting at God. God delivers us from sin; we have to deliver ourselves from individuality, to present our natural life to God and sacrifice it until it is transformed into a spiritual life by obedience.”
Oswald Chambers goes on to say:
“God does not pay any attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life.”

We need to discipline ourselves as we mature in our spiritual walk with God. It is important that we reach a point where we give ourselves completely to God. We need to know what God instructs us to do by reading the Bible each day, by having a special quiet time with Him. Then, and only then, will we be informed as to how He expects us to trust and obey His commands. By working on God's expectations for us, we enable ourselves, through the grace of God, to mature as Christians, and eventually become closer and closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 18:27) NIV

It is imperative to strengthen our obedience and trust in Him through our our prayer life, and again, through our daily reading of God's Word. God then works in us by pruning, molding, and shaping us to be more like Jesus. This process is called sanctification. Being with God daily through prayer and the Word is called a “quiet time.” The important aspect of this quiet time is to manage it consistently each day. This includes part of the discipline when becoming a believer, and cannot be stressed enough.

Becoming closer to our Lord is the first step after accepting Him into our hearts, or as many say, after “being saved.” We must strengthen the bond between ourselves and our lord. When this is accomplished we then become disciples, and in that we bear fruit. (John 15:2) NIV
Good fruit represents the product of a Godly life. As disciples, Christ asks that we produce new disciples. (Acts 14:21) NIV
As more fruit is produced, spiritual starvation decreases. Isn't that a great reason to start producing fruit? Let's go tell all, who will hear, that we have a wonderful, loving Savior. Let us truly glorify our most awesome Lord.

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had for you before the world began. John 17:4-5 NIV

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.
Romans 4:20-21 NIV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 NIV

Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:3 NIV

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