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Are You Hungry?

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If I were to poll our kids who are out here, and ask them what they wanted for lunch today. I’m sure we would get a variety of answers. In fact tell me what food are you hungry for?
Give time for answers
When you are hungry, where is the worst place for you to go? Grocery Shopping! its because you will put things in your cart based on your current cravings. When your hungry it can interfere with your mental processing and affect purchases. It’s probably why Meggan would prefer to grocery shop without me, because you see I am always hungry, trying to put things in the cart that don’t need to be there.
Today we won’t be talking so much about food that we eat with utensils. Today we are going to spend time talking about being hungry for spiritual food and how to be full! There are 3 principles I want you to remember.
-Hunger is a survival instinct.
-When someone is hungry, they go looking for food.
-Not all food fills you up the same way, and not all food is nourishing.
Spiritual hunger works very much the same. Before we go further, lets take a moment to pray.
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I think many of you can relate with me, that often we exaggerate when we are hungry. We use words like I am starving, when maybe we’ve missed just one meal, or maybe its just been a little longer wait for supper than normal. I was watching a nature documentary recently that was following the life of a mother Grizzly bear and her two cubs wandering in Alaska. Its clear from the start, the mother bear will do anything for her cubs. She wards off predators, She wards of male bears, possibly even the father bear. Finally she finds a stream where she can find some fish and she’s using up precious energy to get the fish. She finds herself in a tough decision. To give the first catches to the cubs or keep it and eat it herself. It may seem selfish, but she ate the fisher herself first to regain strength, the mother bear knows if she isn’t strong her cubs won’t stand a chance. Luckily in this scenario, she was able to catch more fish for the cubs to.
When you are starving, you do what you have to do to survive. When I meet people that don’t keep Christ with them daily, or those whose personal spiritual life does not appear to be a priority. I sometimes think you are starving, and you don’t even realize it.
Jesus was traveling and found himself in a little town in Samaria. You read in the gospels, and it almost appears, he has found himself in this situation by chance. He is famished from his journey, and takes an opportunity to ask a samaritan woman for a drink from the well.. She responds surprised that based on their class and nationality, that Jesus a jew would ask her a smaritan for water. He proceeds to say:
If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Not understanding, the woman is intrigued with the concept of living water! Who is this man speaking to her?

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman, wondering if this is to good to be true, exclaims,
Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
I’m in my 3rd year working in this district. I’ve had a few phone calls with people in a panic. Some have called explaining the tough times they are currently in and need some financial assistance. Some have been more desperate than others. When I recieve those phone calls or face to face encounters, I do feel for them. We handle these situations case by case, I talk to elders, and treasurers before making most decisions. Of course we want to help every case, but God also called us to be good stewards, so we make decisions to help or not help financially after prayerful consideration. But I remember one phone call, actually I have 3 more just like it. But my phone rang and I answered, the gentleman answered, “yes who do I talk to get my utilities paid for?” I admit, I was a little taken back. I asked to whom am I speaking to, and are you calling for the church? the man replied, I’m so and so, listen I’m in a bit of a hurry, who do I talk to to get my utilities paid for? I answered, sir I’m sorry, I don’t believe that is a service our church offers, can I pray with you about it? He answered, no i’m good, and hung up. I was a little taken back…I wanted to answer, sir our church offers so much more than help for utilities! I was thinking if you knew what truth, and peace, we share you’d come see us this very Sabbath. Like the woman at the well, this fellow was thinking about temporary relief. The woman Jesus was talking to was living in sin but she had learned how to get by in life. Jesus recognizes her as an example of many with the same problem, she was dying of starvation and thirst, and she didn’t even know it. I get calls like that from time to time, but I’m waiting to get the call. I’m looking to be introduced to the savior Jesus, could you tell me how I might go about doing that? If people only knew that what they hunger and thirst for to survive is Jesus Christ plain and simple. If only they knew, its not whats in their bank accounts, its drugs or alcohol, its not in lustful cravings, what satisfaction they are seeking only comes from Christ.
One day when I was 9, I was angry at my father for something silly, I decided I would hide from my parents. I hid inside the house. I was a good hider. Without me knowing my parents had discovered where I was hiding so they stopped searching. I was a little confused as to why they weren’t scouring the house for me. I decided I would teach them a lesson for not caring and I would wait until someone came and found me. Then I heard my mom say “dinner’s ready, come get lasagna kids!” my brother and sister ran in, my dad came in and they sat down with out me! I had to choose between my pride and my hunger. Eventually hunger won, when I heard my brother said, “can I have ross’s piece?” I came running out then you better believe it. When you are hungry, you come looking for food.
The problem is often when we are looking for food, we are looking in the wrong places. An observation of mine, that I have about humanity. Though populations of mankind have grown increasingly different from eachother, i believe every human being, deep down desires to be loved. So many people though are seeking alternative forms of love. They look for the rush of sexual desire, without lasting effects of true committment. The devil seeks to mascarade all sorts of sinful lusts and call it love, and out society is eating it up. What can be sometimes worse is these same people, when they go to the right place seeking genuine love are met with judgment and contempt. Its like if someone who was super hungry and walked into Taco Bell, but before he can order is driven out by the staff, saying we have nothing for you! As a church, God gives us opportunities to show what true loving behavior looks like.
When the samaritan woman left Jesus, she did so to go tell everyone she had met someone marvelous, someone who had shown her real love. She brings back many who are eager to meet this fellow who is different than they might expect.
Now of course, his disciples who have been out getting food for themselves and their master come back on to the seen. The see their master, who sure hasn’t eaten or drank much at all this day and see he needs to take a break and eat. they say “rabbi eat!”

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Jesus joy was helping people. His energy came from doing good to others, whether through his preaching or in his miracles. In Desire of Ages, Ellen White comments on this exchange between Jesus and his closest followers, the disciples.
The disciples wondered who could have brought Him food; but He explained, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” , R. V. As His words to the woman had aroused her conscience, Jesus rejoiced. He saw her drinking of the water of life, and His own hunger and thirst were satisfied. The accomplishment of the mission which He had left heaven to perform strengthened the Saviour for His labor, and lifted Him above the necessities of humanity. To minister to a soul hungering and thirsting for the truth was more grateful to Him than eating or drinking. It was a comfort, a refreshment, to Him. Benevolence was the life of His soul.
Over the years, I have watched as close friends and others have had their spiritual walk grow stale. Usually, having nothing to do with doctrinal issues, but often because of a lack of desire to continue in a spiritual religious environment. Could it be that the church environment isn’t satisfying them, because the church isn’t moving as it should. I mean that their appetite for service for God has not been wetted because, to some all they know is showing up to a worship service and then going home. Some are asking is this all the nourishment God has for me? There has got to be more to this. Embracing the mission that God has placed before us is some of the most satisfying and filling meat that God has for us.
Church with no mission to serve is like eating raw tofu. Have you ever eaten raw tofu, its horrible! It’s slimy with no flavor. Now tofu cooked right will bring you back wanting more. Thats what its like serving the Lord. When you get your first taste, it will bring you back wanting more and more.
Yes we are living in a day and age where we are watching not just young people wander, but were watching people of all generations lose its sense of priority to serving God. Some are saying, I can get more spiritual nourishment staying at home. Then there are also those who attend church out of routine, but maybe aren’t really tuned in. This often leads to taking in only empty calories. My sister watched me eat breakfast recently, eating a bowl of grits. She says, Ross thats just a bunch of empty calories. I smirked at her as I ate my next bite, enjoying them, but knowing she was right, atleast the way I had prepared them. Having a routine with no sincere relationship to Christ is just ingesting a bunch of empty spritual calories. I don’t know about you but I need substance to my spiritual food.
I think of Jesus profound statement:
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
I hope it is each of your desire here today to be full! If you are not, lets work together to find a solution, and discover what is missing. I not only want you to be full, but satisfied. I want you to each experience the grace of God that he offers us freely. It is a peace that is unlike any other. You may not have all your bill paid, but you have peace in Jesus. You may have physical pain, but you have peace in Jesus, knowing that your pain is in Christ’s hands. You may still have struggles with sin, but you have peace knowing that God’s grace is sufficient. My hope is that you desire to experience a fullness in Christ, that only comes except by accepting him as your personal savior and committing your life unto his service.
I’d like to do something in closing a little special. Lets stand together and sing the doxology
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
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