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How Hungry Are You?

A starving man wearily walked into a 24 hour all you can eat buffet. Taking pity on him, the owner of the buffet said, "I can see that life has been hard on you. I've been very blessed so I'd like to give you something. I'd like you to come here and eat any time of day, as much as you want for the rest of your life for free. Here's a plate. You can get something right away." The starving man took the plate and stared at the multiple counters loaded down with delicious food. He walked toward the salad bar area, took a single piece of lettuce, put it on his plate, went to a table to sit down, ate the lettuce leaf and then walked out. The owner of the buffet marveled at the sight but said nothing. A full week passed before the starving man came back to the buffet and he was still as weak and hungry as he had been the week before. The owner of the buffet welcomed him and directed him to the food bar. The starving man took a plate, placed upon it a single piece of lettuce, repeated the previous week's routine and then left. As the weeks passed, this scene replayed itself in the exact same way. The starving man had access to all the nutritious food he could ever want. He could get it anytime he wanted. Still, he was satisfied with a tiny morsel. He never got any stronger physically and eventually died of malnutrition.

Most of us would consider this an absurd scenario. Why would a starving man limit himself to a piece of lettuce when a veritable banquet had been laid out before him? Since you know this is going to have a spiritual application, you've probably already picked up on the analogy. In the Bible, God has spread before us a spiritual feast designed to feed our faith (Romans 10:17), comfort us (I Thessalonians 4:18), build us up (Acts 20:32) and prepare us for eternity (I Peter 1:24-25). It's available to us around the clock. We can benefit from it anywhere. There are no limits to the quantity of spiritual food on which our souls can dine, AND it's all free! In spite of this, how often do we sit down with hungry hearts and delve into the Word of God? Do we only open God's Book once per week when we assemble with the church for worship? Do we even open it that much? If our visits to the table of spiritual satisfaction are infrequent at best, are we not much like the starving man who was satisfied with the single piece of lettuce? Indeed, much like him, with such rare and minimal peeks into the Bible, we will continue to be famished spiritually and, sadly, eventually die eternally due to malnutrition of the soul.

Jesus said, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6). Peter exhorted, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." (I Peter 2:2). Paul wrote, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (II Timothy 3:16-17). Peter also said that God's "divine power hath given unto us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." (II Peter 1:3).

If we are starving spiritually, it's not because the food is not available to us. The trouble is with our appetites. Just how hungry are we to be closer to God and be more influential in His service? The Lord said in Psalm 81:10, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." He has always wanted to give us what we need to be stronger in Him. That's why He gave us the Bible. Most of us can barely go more than a few hours without eating physical food before our stomachs start to rumble and yet we feel that we can go days without spiritual sustenance. The news reports tell us we are an overweight nation because we eat so much food. If we devoted as much attention to feeding on God's spiritual food, perhaps we would be known as a more Godly nation! Spiritually speaking, just how hungry are you?

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