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Midnight snacks.... popcorn - ice cream - chicken - apple - peanut butter crackers - strange combinations
Full but not satisfied
Fullness abounds: Sound - Communication - Stuff.
That’s the problem with chasing fullness … we never get enough.
We live convinced that what we really need is more…

What are you filling your life with?

How does this show up in your life?
If you are like me, when first asked your answer is idealistic. You think, more tiem with family, or more Jesus. Those are great as ideals. But is that really what you are filling your life with?
Let’s be real. Is it more stuff? Or to be really honest, your not filling it with anything; actually you are pretty empty. You try things, but you are becoming aware of emptiness of things… how things might fill for a moment, but they really don’t satisfy; all they do is make sure I need more.
We are trying to be full because we know we don’t have enough.
So more commands our attention.
Fullness becomes the object of our functional worship.
Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. David Foster Wallace
The question is, why would we seek after things that don’t last? Why look for more of things which we never have enough?

“I am…”

John’s 7 I am Statements. - Drawing on God speaking to Moses in the burning bush. Light of the world - True vine - Way truth and life - but today I am the bread of life.
This one draws on the feeding of the 5000. They want to make him king, but Jesus knows it’s not his time so he gets away from them by walking on the water to his disciples. But the people find him.
Jesus, when did you get here?”
John 6:26–27 NIV
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
As we know, Food is a necessity; but in the days of Jesus, abundant food is a luxury.
Jesus reminds them that the food they seek won’t last… it’ll make them full, but it won’t truly satisfy.
Jesus says he is the one God has established to deliver bread that leads satisfaction.
John 6:28–31 NIV
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
When Moses delivered them, they were given the law in exchange for provision… So they want to know from Jesus “what do they have to do now?” What’s the new law?
Jesus says it’s not a list of works…but just one thing…believe.
They want to do what Jesus asks… but they want more.
They can’t believe the words of Jesus, they want proof. They can’t just accept what he has already done, feeding them; walking on water; healing; no they need more proof.
Moses performed some amazing miracles to prove his authority.... they expect Jesus to do the same.
But this desire for more reveals that their belief isn’t in the words of Jesus, but in miracles.
We are like that sometimes too aren’t we. If God will just heal, if God will just bless,
John 6:32–34 NIV
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
We start to see here how important bread was to them… it is a daily need.
Manna had to be collected every day and it would only last for a day....
What they didn’t realize was that everything Moses gave, wasn’t from Moses, but from God. This bread was to sustain them, but also to teach them to depend on God. You see they didn’t need bread… they needed God.
The true bread is God himself… the one who gives life to the world… Jesus.
That bread they want… but they are still thinking of filling their bellies.
I want to be a pious preacher and be hard on those people who just don’t get it; but then I realize that’s how we are - so often - right.... we tell God what we think God wants to hear, but when it comes down to it, what we really want is just more bread.
When I’m in trouble I want God to help; when I’m hungry, I want God to provide; when I’m in pain, I want God to heal;
But just like the people who chased Jesus across the sea;
I want Jesus to help me more than I want Jesus to have me.
But Jesus is a pursuing God… he is always searching us out, inviting us to be with him.
John 6:35 NIV
35 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.
They were seeing the bread from heaven… he was right in front of them.
Here Jesus makes it plain for them. He wants to be their source of satisfaction. He wants to be our source of satisfaction…
This very verse may just be why you are here today. Prevenient grace brought you to church. God is at work in your life and today he wanted you to hear that the bread of life.... the bread that satisfies… is Jesus.
John 6:41 NIV
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
Clinic on grumbling.... Pasta Plus for breakfast. Or in Ctown, there is Beverly’s or Ellen’s. All three offer classes pretty much every morning on grumbling.
They weren’t grumbling because they didn’t want the bread....
They were grumbling because they didn’t think he could deliver what he was promising… after all, he didn’t come from heaven.... he’s Mary and Joseph's son. What is he talking about?
Simply put, they walked away because they didn’t believe.
This applies to some of us today. We need to do is decide. Or maybe you know someone who just needs to decide. They have reasons to doubt Jesus, they want more proof… But what is needed is to make a decision based on what they know.
For the Jews we would say… based on what Jesus has done to this point, will you believe? That question is for you as well. Some of us need to take this question to our loved ones. I know you have more questions.... but based on what you have seen God do in your life to this point.... you need to decide based on what you know…not on what you don’t know.
We may never be convinced… But God calls us to have faith…
To prove the point, Jesus introduces a hard teaching.
John 6:53–54 NIV
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
Some were completely confused by this. It appeared too much. But this wasn’t the case for everyone… some believed… because the spirit was at work in them.
John 6:63 NIV
63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.
Jesus closes this section out reminding his disciples asking his disciples…do you want to leave too? Jesus understands that our faith is fickle sometimes. But a fickle faith doesn’t sustain you.
Back to that David Wallace quote from earlier. Author…not a christian at all. But that’s the point. He was a successful writer and teacher who eventually took his on life. While he had a lack of faith, he made some powerful observations on life.
Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. David Foster Wallace
“And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god . . . to worship . . . is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure, and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before [your loved ones] finally plant you. . . . Worship power, and you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they are evil or sinful; it is that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.”
The bible teaches us that our default is sin… and sin leads to death. But living bread leads to life.
It comes down to this:

Enough > More

ENOUGH is greater than MORE.
it’s one thing to know we should stop looking for more in order to be full.... seek only that which truly satisfies… but how do we do that?
As Methodists we understand that we are to be growing in grace and holiness… that our lives should be changing every day to be more loving, more grace filled, more Christ like.
Spiritual practices this week...
How do we become “satisfied”?
Accepting rather than expecting
Focus on feeding rather than being fed

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