Monday, November 19, 2018

More To Thanksgiving Than Food

John 6:24-26  24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “ Rabbi, when did You get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “ I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.

This incident takes place right after Jesus had fed the 5,000. Afterward, Jesus sneaks away from the crowd and crosses the Sea of Galilee, on foot by the way, but the people find Him and follow Him across the water by boat the next day. The crowd is all like Teacher we’re so glad we found you! We’ve been looking everywhere for you! And Jesus, who knows their hearts and our hearts perfectly, stops them cold and tells them; You didn’t come here for the teaching. You didn’t come here for Me. The only reason you sought me out was to get some more of the free food!

The people that followed Jesus across the lake weren't really looking for what He was teaching – they were there for the food! Imagine having the opportunity to sit at the foot of Christ and hear the secrets of eternal life being spoken by the Word Himself and instead just asking for a meal! They took a blessed opportunity and made it all about food!

Happy Thanksgiving. Folks! I can imagine what y’all are thinking. Oh, no this isn't what I wanted to
read on Thanksgiving! You’ve moved beyond stepping on my toes, now you’re stepping on my full belly!  Years ago worked for LifeWay Christian Resources I came in for my first day of training and was greeted with a delicious barbecue dinner and a time of fellowship with my new coworkers. Before we even began working we had food - I knew I was working for a Baptist organization!

We Baptist's do love to eat. Now do not get me wrong. I love food, food is important, we need it to live and I always look especially forward to the delicious meals on Thanksgiving day, but there is more to Thanksgiving than food, football, and parades. We should give thanks for everything we are blessed with but there must be a priority to our thanksgiving.

We should be more thankful for the people gathered around our table than the food sitting on our table.

In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus teaches us to ask that God will Give us this day our daily bread. He is talking about our daily needs, those things we need to make it through the day. Those things we too often take for granted. When it is there we never think of it. When it is gone we worry about it without end. Why are we more thankful for it when it is returned than before it is lost in the first place?

Have you noticed that here in John six after the crowd is miraculously fed, there is no mention of a thank you? Jesus gives thanks to the Father, of course, but does the crowd thank Jesus after the meal? If they did it was not recorded and so we have this image of the crowd eating their full and waking up the next morning looking for their free breakfast and only realize they need to seek out Jesus when their stomachs are hungry.

What can you learn from this crowd? Here are two lessons I see for us:

1. Don’t wait for something to be lost before you are thankful for it. One of the fastest ways to lose God’s providence in our life is to treat it as something we deserve rather than as a gracious gift.

2. Seek out God for God. The blessings are not the reason we seek out a relationship with God. It is not let’s get the blessings of heaven and oh yeah God is thrown in as a bonus. Love the giver of gifts more than the gifts themselves. That will help you to see that Thanksgiving is more than food.

Enjoy this day with your family, eat a lot, watch the parades and the games, have some fun!  Just make sure you also take some time to reflect and be truly thankful to God for that which can not be measured and doesn't have a price tag.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

To discover more, visit Oak Grove Baptist Church

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