When Confused, Listen to Jesus #1: On Bread and Bible, A Balanced Life!

Jesus Instructed Balance in Life

“But Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  (Luke 4:4)

12-1:  Jesus, our Master example, faced temptations from Satan based on quotes from the Bible of the Old Testament, and identified the Bible as words straight out of the mouth of God Himself.[1]

There are so many assumed convictions from Jesus, the Son of God, that we fail in a simple reading and hearing to appreciate them:  (1) First there is the guarantee of a balanced life if we have enough respect for the Bible as words from God and the Word of God, a balance between first of all making a life by making a living and then supplemented with a diet of life and living that includes all the Bible {“every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”}; (2) an assumed conviction and postulate that the Bible does record words straight from the mouth of God {granted the OT was the only Bible of Jesus’ days on earth, but notice that already Jesus continued the tradition of those words and books of the OT containing the words of God Himself, for Jesus quotes in His customary form beginning with “It is written”, and we can further our context of understanding by reading it from Deuteronomy 8:3}; (3) the quote assumes a respect and reverence for the Bible not only as words from His Father, but as a guide for life and living.

12-2:  Human pride does a funny thing to us in that we develop a false sense of freedom from Satan and our own sins and shortcomings that makes us captive to sin and Satan and clouds our prideful sense of intellectual honesty and magnified toleration.

For example, many sceptics think they are so tolerant and noble, select among all Americans and intellectuals when they take a false balanced approach toward life and living by claiming an in-between conviction between the two extremes of heresy and belief.  It seems to them as if, even if God does not share their lack of commitment to either, history will record them as a very good and likeable and admired individual.

NOTE:  The harrows of such a conclusion in the sight of God as recorded in the Bible about His attitude.  You see, God looks at all His human creations and labels them as either (1) believers, or (2) unbelievers.  And although this is jumping somewhat to the conclusion before the full reasoning about a GOD BLESSED BALANCE BETWEEN BREAD AND BIBLE, THE ULTIMATE BALANCED LIFE, it must be stated up front, and hopeful you have or will read the message and chapter before this, “The Sceptic is Almost Doomed”–primarily because in other words out of the mouth of God through the Apostle Paul, “He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:6)

1.  Skepticism is like the LIE in that it denies the testimony of the Holy Spirit in every human heart about “sin, righteousness, and judgement”, denies the things known of God from nature, the individual conscience, and the collective social conscience; then there is the Bible, preaching of the Word, so that to hold firm on skepticism is to hold firm on intellectual dishonesty, sin, Satan and pride to the full extent of the LIE.

2.  Satan was and continues to be the Father of the Lie. (John 8:43,44)[2] While sceptics and some around them along with the influential toward skepticism may consider themselves intellectual and with a certain status above the less moderate that believe, in the sight of God they have chosen THE LIE over “the truth of God” (Romans 1:25)[3], a foolhardy choice with great detrimental consequences for doom in this life and the next.

3.  The supreme, called the LIE in the Bible of Romans, lie is to deny that God wants good for every life, and the beginning of that captivity in the lying process is to deny even the existence of God.  How much believing that God is, and the goodness of God to reward all diligent seeking after God, if you are restraining in your sin and pride by the status of a sceptic.  {I can not even respect skepticism to put it in capital letters as a Sceptic, and this is out of respect for Our God.  I am offended when any slur or race skepticism on His name and character, or of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Bible.}

NOTE:  You know this victims of pride and self-glory, even of being a good and likeable person, expect us to roll over and play dead in spite of the conversations in meditation and prayer and Bible we have with him every day; and in spite of the equal number of years to the prideful that we have lived with Bible and God.  It seems like Satan has them as deceived on Christians as He does on the Lord Jesus Christ.

12-3:  And while we are on the subject of the last quote, let us lay up front the real gist of this message for your benefit, a real blessing of Refreshing Evangelism in 2019, or any year, TO DILIGENTLY SEEK GOD. 

Perhaps you will not always find Him because of the bad habits, sin, and pride in your life, also used by Satan to cloud your reasoning and heart, and the sad fact that you could have gone beyond the unpardonable sin, or God has not chosen you as a child; however you do have far more chance, than if you do not seek Him because of some false pride of intellectual skepticism, and even more chance if you will simply try DILIGENTLY to see Him, to take the route of pragmatism of William James, that is “test it, try it, and prove it.[4]

12-4:  The Old Testament context of the “Bread and Bible” quoted from Jesus on the balance of life; and how it helps to further guide us away from skepticism and for those not inclined to skepticism, to also guide them into a more balanced life that is a God ordained and blessed balance of both making a living and making a life!

“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  (Deuteronomy 8:3)

In the preliminary words from Moses {also words from God which will be explained in terms of “holy men of God as they spake by inspiration and the will of God} to a balanced life above, it was a reminder to the assembly first people of God of the past 40 years in the wilderness, a time “to humble you, and test you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”  (Deuteronomy 8:1,2)

NOTE:  Doesn’t that sound like pragmatism except on the part of God.  There were a new people of God just out of rescue from Egyptian bondage[5], and God want to know what was in their heart and if they would live a balanced life that keep His commandments.

Of course while it may seem a little drastic that God humbled them by way of first making them humble and hungry out their in the wilderness, and then providing for them in a historical manner, in a manner in which “you did not know and your fathers did not know,” while not always as dramatic, except when God does send calamities to chastise and correct His own people, chastisement through environment and circumstances has always been the New Testament teaching of how God deals with His own children instead of with bastard children (Hebrews 12:8).

1,  A few lessons of “instruction in righteousness” that we can learn from the BREAD and Bible balance of life from Jesus, from the original context of the quote; before we come back to the prime lessons of the Balance from Jesus.

     (1).  You see some difference between the permissive and the directive will of God.  This kind of hunger problem is what one might expect for 40 years out in the wilderness between Egypt and Palestine; but although there were no limitations to Gods power and love for the people, in the words of Moses and Deuteronomy, He “allowed them to hunger”.  In some of the famous sayings, “All sunshine makes a desert” and “When it is dark men see the starts”, which we might translate to today on either the permissive or directive will of God, in the final analysis why does it matter which way the calamities come, it wakes people up and gets them out of the normal routines of life where they “eat, drink, marry and give in marriage” and they are totally preoccupied with BREAD over BIBLE, with the “cares of this world” and things and possessions or the “deceitfulness of riches”.  It could not be made any plainer, evidently not plain enough to those of Sandy Hook and New Orleans and so on, the intentions of God in sending small or large calamities on His own people by way of another quote {with explanation} from the OT, this time from Provers 3:11,12 and as quoted, and explained {remember there is no private interpretation so that the Bible is self-interpretative, and the Apostle Paul explains what the Prophet Solomon originally wrote[6]:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”  (Hebrews 12:6 and Proverbs 3:11,12)

     (2).  It would helpful you in the living of a balanced life, if we quickly noted some of the explanations from Paul and in Hebrews 12 about how to deal with the chastisements that chase calamities.  {See “Chastisement Chases Calamites” from the BIBLE STUDIES IN JEREMIAH.}:  (a)  endurance in the Christian race is required in light of the testimonies in Hebrews 11 of the heroes of faith and hope {See the previous message of Refreshing Evangelism on FAITH AND HOPE.}; (b) keep your eyes focused on Jesus as your Prime example who because of the joy of eternity set before Him endured the cross and despised the shame {in other words, He took the long look of the complete story of life, before and after the END}; (c) in particular how Jesus endured the hostility of persecution, and consider that you have not resisted persecution to the extent of bloodshed; (d) then there are the “exhortations” (Hebrews 12:5) of further instructions in righteousness {II Timothy 3:16,17) such as if you endure God deals with you like sons, whereas if there is no chastening in your life you are bastard children of God, we need to be in more respect of God like a Father correcting His children, and LIVE (Hebrews 12:9), God like our parents only chastened us for our own good for a few days, the end goal of such chastening is that “we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10, and lastly take with endurance the long look–”no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful, nevertheless, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained in it.”  (Hebrews 12)

12-5:  You probably never thought of reveling in the Bible as a prime method for the Diligently seeking after God {at least, hopefully you have come to note reveling in the Word as a time of refreshing from the presence of the LORD}; but for some of you across the shores from America, you may find it the only way, coupled with prayer, unless you can listen to good Bible based sermons or read some good, conservative Bible commentaries.

And in this near the END time, also when Jesus predicted in Matthew 24, the roadblocks to actually hearing properly the word of God like the rapid proliferation of deceptive false prophets, the awesome abounding of sin and lawless of the Falling Away; and although we are encouraged to be part of the preaching of the Gospel to every nation that will usher in the Second Coming and the END, right now as one challenge sufficient for the Falling Away you can diligently revel in the Word of God.

1.  One way the false prophets are increasingly deceptive today is in the false teachings, primarily through fiction based on fiction like with the “left-behind” series of a false rapture and millennium, not Bible based words, that happens before the END at the Second Coming.

2.  It is deceptive to lead listeners to believe that because they are Christians, they will not be in the present Falling Away, nor be in the final tribulation, primarily physical as contrasted to the tribulation of persecution in the great tribulation of the first century.

3.  Equally as false is the message of hope of prosperity coupled with Christian faith, called the Gospel of Prosperity and another false gospel to replace the gospel that was delivered by Paul (Galatians 1:6-9)[7].  It couples things, “cares of this life”, and the “deceitfulness of riches”  (Matthew 13:23)[8] with the challenge to increased faith, and of course attendance at their church or support of their TV ministry.

There are so many of them, and they are so subtle and deceptive, that they tax American and world credibility to know which are true.  {By the way for you confessed sceptics of the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ, this is a recommended type of skepticism from Jesus and the Word of God.}  They themselves look so prosperous and well-dressed, even normal and handsome {or beautiful in the case of ladies as now there are many lady false prophets, riding on the back of woman’s lib to preach a message that before about 68 with the beginning of the Falling Away would not have been listened to.}, that we just can not accept that our favorites are really “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Acts 20:29)

12-6:  You know you can live Bible as real as read and prayerfully revel in IT! 

There are fundamental ways like “remember the sabbath day”, or like a lack of rebellion against God’s plan for marriage, or respect for the name of God and for His book; however just as basic and fundamental is the imbalance of life that comes too much “making a living”, too many things” or to use the words of the Bible, also from Jesus in the parable of the seed and sower, to allow faith and the seed of faith to be choked completely out of your life by:  (1) “cares of this life”; and/or (2) the deceitfulness of riches (Matthew 13:22).

Perhaps you didn’t notice the living of Bible aspect in the quote from Jesus of Luke 4:4, yet it was hard to miss in the source and context of Deuteronomy 8:3, “…that He might make you to know that man does not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

This implies:

1.  Like other Bible says, the implication here of a stronger contrast between living by bread alone and just living by Bible is that God at the same time promises that His own people will not go hungry.

2.  It implies that you should not fret for the things of this world, or for tomorrow, for there is enough evil today and God will look out for tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34)[9], and that God knows what you need like the sparrows and leaves of the grass which He knows about and provides for, and God will meet your needs as needed.

3.  The needs are met as the needs are encounter.  Recall also about the manna in the wilderness, and how those that labored to collect much had nothing left over, and those that were forced by weakness to labor little had plenty.  And how Paul explains this is straight from the heart and mind of God, a reflection of His love and character, also of His grace, as He takes care of us according to our needs.  “His grace is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in weakness.”  (II Corinthians 12:7-10)[10]

4.  Last warning note by a practical way of implementation.  Do not allow the dominant concerns of making a living, drown out making a life; and in particular a life of hope and faith.  Watch those “cares of this life” and the “deceitfulness of riches” lest they rob you of a better life!

5.  Also do not let pleasures, even the more righteous ones, lead you into the category of church members to stay away from, like in I Timothy 3:1-5[11] where they become “lovers of pleasure more than loves of God”, and of course the old enemy of “pride” is there also.

6.  Your storing up by way of Bible and Bible living may not show immediate results since the storage is in “heaven where neither rust or corruption can affect”, certainly not as much as immediate pleasures, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life (I John 2:15-17)[12], your cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches; but a more moderate BALANCE OF BIBLE WITH BREAD will yield those “peaceable fruits of righteousness.”  (Hebrews 12:11)


[1]When we say (1) the Bible is divine in origin, it is a conviction that the words, and thoughts proceeded initial from God Himself; and the rest of our convictions and respect for the Bible as the Word Of God is further summarized in:  (2) absolute in authority, and must be respected as such; (3) sufficient in message for life and living, and if the precise quote is not there, there is a Bible principle or concept that applies to all of life’s needs; (4) it is high fidelity in communication–it is alive and God has a way of talking to us through the Bible; (5) it is self-interpretative, Satan the supreme sceptic and liar has a way of clouding this issue for each generation, but as Peter wrote–and it still stands–”No scripture is of any private interpretation….”; (6) the Bible is a self-revelation of Himself from God in order that we might know His thoughts on life and living, a reflection of His own heart and character, and being a progressive revelation of God finally comes to a climax in what we saw, heard, and know of His Son, and the teachings of His Son–of course from the Apostles who knew Him and recorded in the expanded Bible of the NT.

[2]“Why do you not understand my speech?  Because you are not able to listen to my word.  {We can not properly evaluate sceptics today who are unable to hear and heed the word, because we still do not comprehend the real conditions of the religious without Christ, those of the most moral and religious of any generation, the Pharisees and the Sadducees of the Jewish nation at the time of Christ}.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a life, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”  (John 8:43,44)

[3]“…who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  Amen.”  (Romans 1:25)

[4]This approach was also made by Dr Kelley, a noted physician in American thought, who wore a pin on his lapel about Jesus.

[5]O f course this group of people were relatives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob whom God had made the commitment to bless, except for some of the Egyptians that had come out with them.

[6]Or to be more precise, God both in the OT and through a Prophet and in the NT though an Apostle of Christ was speaking consistently the same subject matter, a reflection of His own will, mind, heart, and character; and in both historical places and times, the Spirit of God was using exceptional and holy men to communicate to all humanity.

[7]“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so Now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”  (Galatians 1:6-9)

[8]“Now he who received seed among the thorns (the seed is the word of God and the “thrones” are the environmental factors you allow in your life) is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of sin choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”  (Matthew 13:22)

[9]“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will east or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the bod more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns {that is a good summary of the routines of living whereby one works for bread alone}; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  So why do you worry about clothing?  Considers the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  {bread, clothing, and a place to live}  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness {a mater of priority of the Bible and the spiritual over bread}, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry abut its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  (Matthew 6:25-34)

[10]And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn i the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me; lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (II Corinthians 12:7-10)

[11]“For know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!”  (II Timothy 3:1-5)  NOTE:  If Paul could say that of churches and church leaders in the first century, goodness in this day of abounding sin and falling away the first love, what can you expect of your church and denominational leaders?

[12]“Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not o the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  (I John 2:15-17)

As usual you may free download this blog from SunGrist at:

http://sungrist.org/ListenToJesus1.pdf

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