Eating Well for Eternity: Food That Never Spoils, Never Goes Bad
- Summary: Ever smell rotting broccoli? spoiled fish? You’re not likely to forget it. But there is spiritual food and drink that never spoils and nourishes you in ways beyond anything natural food can provide.
Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good…
- • There is a natural eating. In moderation it is good and enjoyable, a gift from God. But if you’re like me, you’re hungry all over again the next day, if not earlier.
- • There is a spiritual eating (and drinking), which nourishes you for time and eternity. We are exhorted in the Psalm to “taste” the Lord’s goodness. Let’s take a look at how this theme of lasting, life-imparting spiritual food is revealed in Scripture.
1 Corinthians 10:2-4 … They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
- • In the wilderness God provided supernaturally for His people Israel. They ate manna from heaven. And God miraculously caused water to gush from a rock for them to drink. These were called “spiritual food [and] spiritual drink.” And the Source of that spiritual drink “was Christ.”
- • To this very day the Source of spiritual nourishment is still Jesus Christ.
John 6:35, 51 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
- • Words with eternal significance! — Jesus is the “bread of life.” Jesus, our "bread," never runs out. And “whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
- • All who partake (“eat”) of Jesus and the salvation He provides by His death, burial, and resurrection will “live forever”! As the Psalmist said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Receive Jesus and everything that He provides you by His love and grace.
Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
- • Jesus stands “at the door” and knocks. Think of Him as knocking on your door. Respond to Jesus. He will “come in” and you’ll have close fellowship with Him. As He promises, you and He will “eat” together.
- • Visualize the joy of sitting down with our Lord Jesus for a time of eating and fellowship together. You can have just such a time spiritually with Him even now — in times of prayer, worship, and reading His Word. Open the door to Him. Invite Him to “sup” with you (King James). Communicate with Him in prayer. Enjoy His presence in times of worship. Experience Him in the Word of God — remember, Jesus said about the Scriptures that they “testify of me” (John 5:39).
Hebrews 5:12-14 …though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
- • An infant’s earliest nourishment is milk. The apostle Peter exhorts all believers initially “like newborn babies [to] crave pure spiritual milk” (1 Peter 2:2). That would be the elementary truths of God’s word mentioned above. All of us need to be nourished by a solid, basic foundation of the Bible’s main truths.
- • Then the Epistle to the Hebrews exhorts believers to grow and mature from “milk” to the “solid food,” the “strong meat” [KJV] of God’s word. My wife and I, along with many millions of other believers, commit time daily to reading and learning God’s Word, the Bible. Even at my current age (72), I realize that God wants me to “eat” His Word daily and continue to grow thereby.
- • Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” This speaks of true, lasting nourishment. We “live on” the words of God. Just as we need natural food regularly and consistently, we need the living bread of God’s word. Jesus said we cannot live on natural food alone; we need the word of God to nourish and enliven us in the perspective of eternity.
- • Jeremiah 3:15, KJV And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. In the 22 years that I served as lead pastor of two churches, I felt that this was an absolutely central part of my pastoral calling — that is, to “feed” God’s people with the knowledge and understanding that are found in His Word. Are counseling, encouraging, and leading church services important? Absolutely. But I recall how my first pastor Dick Benjamin would sometimes say to us as he entered the pulpit to preach the Word: “I solicit your undivided attention. This is the single most important thing I do in the work of the Lord.” I agree.
John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive…
Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
- • Just as we need solid food, we also need health-giving drink. Not the natural kind, such as “wine, which leads to debauchery,” but the presence and infilling of the Holy Spirit.
- • Here again, Jesus is the Source of this “living water” of the Spirit. How do we get more and more of God’s Spirit? Jesus tells us: “Come to me and drink.”
- • In one of His early post-resurrection appearances to His disciples, Jesus breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). I am convinced that at this point they were born again by the Spirit. Prior to His death and resurrection, Jesus had promised that they would yet receive the Spirit in a special way: “He [at that time] dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17, NKJV). Every one of us has the same opportunity and holy privilege of being born again by the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ.
- • Then some days later, to the same now-born-again disciples Jesus said (Acts 1:4-8), “… in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit….  You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” The baptism with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, is an additional work of the Holy Spirit that Jesus confers upon His followers who seek it.
- • Again, how do we receive the living water of the Holy Spirit? Jesus told us: “[Be] thirsty … Come to me and drink … believe in me … [and] rivers of living water will flow from within [us].”
Luke 9:12-17 [Jesus miraculously fed the 5,000] … We have only five loaves of bread and two fish …  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
- • Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5,000 from a few loaves and fish teaches us an enormously important principle — that is, nourishment from Jesus increases and expands!
- • There is no limit to the good things God can do in you and through you, if you regularly “feed” upon Jesus the Bread of Life and drink deeply of the Holy Spirit.
- • Eat and drink daily of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit, and you will find that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
John 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
- • Jesus’ “food” was to do the will of God to completion.
- • That is lasting food — that is, seek God’s will daily (“thy will be done”) and do it!
- • One day you’ll hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)
Revelation 2:7b To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
- • Here is an ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual food and drink God offers to His people. Those who have found salvation and victory in Jesus Christ in this life will “eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
- • Eternal life! The paradise of God! Get ready now. Eat and drink all of God’s graciously offered nutrition — Jesus the Bread of Life … “supping” time with Him in His Word, in worship, in prayer, in the gathered church … the living water of God’s Holy Spirit … and each and every blessing that God offers you each day of your life in His service
- • Eat well for eternity. Feast on the “spiritual food and drink” that never goes bad!
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by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.