OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


            Hunger is defined as:  “a compelling need, a painful sensation, and a strong desire for food.”  This desire is innate, that is, instilled within us from conception.  The only way for our desire for food to go away is to partake of food. 

            Christians are to have a strong desire, that is, a hunger, for the truth of God’s Word.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:  “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:16).  In Psalm 119:172, the inspired writer tells us:  “…for all thy commandments are righteousness.”  Thus, to hunger after righteousness involves hungering for the commandments of God.  In this article, we ask the question:  “Do you hunger for truth?”

            Remember, hunger involves a compelling need, a painful sensation, and a strong desire for something.  Can you honestly say that you have a compelling need for the truth of God’s Word?  Those who do will partake of it at every opportunity they can.  They will read the Word of God daily.  They will study the Word of God on a regular basis.  They will attend Bible classes where the Word of God is taught.  They will attend worship services because they know a message from God’s Word will be proclaimed.  Those who truly hunger for God’s Word can never be satisfied.  They listen to tapes, they watch videos, they attend lectureships, and they read books that teach them the Word of God.  They are hungry.  They have to partake.  They long to be filled.  Are you this way?  Do you truly hunger for God’s Word? 

            In contrast to physical hunger, spiritual hunger is not an instinct.  It is not something that naturally occurs.  Spiritual hunger has to be cultivated.  In other words, it has to become a primary focus of the child of God.  If not, the spiritual man will become malnourished, but the individual will never be aware of his/her depleted condition.  How does a person develop a compelling need for God’s Word?

            First, we must strengthen our faith.  Faith involves those things which we do not see (II Cor. 5:7).  We cannot see our soul.  We cannot see our spiritual man.  Thus, we must trust God that our inner man is real.  We must also trust God when He tells us that the spiritual man must be fed.  “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Pet. 2:2).  If we do not trust God, or, if our faith is weak, we will not pay much attention to our spiritual man.  We will fail to give him the nourishment that he needs to survive.

            Second, we must come to love the Word of God.  Some people love salads when they are hungry.  Others love potato chips.  Still others love a hot meal.  Then, there are some who love a good sandwich.  Our spiritual man must come to love God’s Word.  We can develop a love for God’s Word in three different ways.  One, we must come to understand the purpose of the Bible.  It is designed for our salvation (Rom. 1:16), our guidance (Ps. 119:105), our protection (Ps. 119:11), our happiness in life (II Pet. 1:3), and to be our road map to our eternal inheritance (Acts 20:32).  Two, we need to get an overall view of the Bible.  We need to see all the Bible as the inspired Word of God (II Tim. 3:16-17).  We, then, need to rightly divide the Word, especially between the Old Testament and the New Testament (II Tim. 2:15).  We can then proceed to learn the basic message of each book of the Bible.  There are sixty-six books.  Each one of them has a theme within it.  Knowing the theme brings the book to life.  We see the theme in every chapter, every paragraph, every sentence, and every word.  Three, we must learn how the Good Book applies to our lives.  The Bible can help us to deal with self, our feelings, our relationships, our home life, our work life, our friendships, our choices, our use of time, our role as citizens in our nation, our role as servants to others, our struggles with temptation and sin, and a host of other issues.  There is not one aspect of our lives that the Bible has failed to address.  Peter noted this in the third verse of his second epistle.  He writes:  “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Pet. 1:3).  Yes, all things pertaining to life and godliness come through knowledge.

            Third, we must commit to developing an appetite for God’s Word.  To do this, we must seek as many ways as possible to partake of the truth.  Too, we must refuse to let anything else stand in our way of filling ourselves with God’s Word.  Let’s look at an event that happened in the life of our Lord when he entered into the home of two women who were His dear friends.  “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village:  and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?  bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).  Martha was a good woman.  She was a disciple of Christ.  But, she allowed the cares of the world to distract her from the needful thing at the time, that is, hearing the Word of God.  Mary, on the other hand, was hungry.  She yearned for the Word.  She even disregarded helping her sister so she could partake of the truth.  Mary’s example should be followed by all.  We all should yearn for God’s Word as she did. 

            Again, we ask:  “Do you hunger for truth?”  Do you seek it like a hungry man would seek a morsel of bread?  If not, please strengthen your faith.  Then, come to love the Word of God.  Finally, commit to developing an appetite for the truth.  When you finally develop a hunger for God’s Word, you will find that it just cannot be satisfied.  The more you eat; the more you want.  The craving never goes away.  Oh yes, you can be filled for a short amount of time, but, eventually, you need more.  Fortunately, there is plenty to be devoured.  You will never exhaust the endless supply of truth found in God’s holy Word.