New Strength, October 18OCTOBER 18 

Focus: Investing in eternity

Isaiah 55: 1-3 (NCV) The Lord says, “All you who are thirsty, come and drink. Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend your money on something that is not real food? Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you? Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies. Come to me and listen; listen to me so that you may live.

As you consider your own needs and wonder how they will be met, it’s good to be reminded of the stories in the Bible that are there for the purpose of encouraging you when you need it most.

In Isaiah 55, the Lord is telling us to invest in Him. He tells us to come and buy what will strengthen us and make us feel better—and it’s free. He is saying that what He has to give us is lasting and real—and better than anything that can be bought with money.

There is an amazing story about miraculous provision, told in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is known as the story of the loaves and the fishes. I will paraphrase it:

Jesus had gone by boat to a place where He could be alone. He had been spending a lot of time teaching crowds of people. He had also just heard that John the Baptist had been beheaded. He wanted to get away from everything and just be by Himself for a while. So, He got in a boat and set out for a remote area a few miles away.

However, word spread that Jesus was going somewhere by boat, so people began to track Him from the shore and when He arrived at the coast, a huge crowd was already there waiting for Him. When He saw them, He was filled with compassion for them and He healed the ones who had come seeking His help.

Jesus spent the whole day teaching and healing the people, and toward evening, the disciples came to Jesus and said, “No one lives in this place, and it is already late. Send the people away so they can go to the towns and buy food for themselves.”

Jesus said, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish.”

Jesus said, “Bring the bread and fish to me.” Then He told the crowds of people to sit down on the grass, in groups of fifty or so. He took the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, gave thanks to God for the food. Jesus then broke the bread into pieces and gave it to His disciples, who gave it to the people. The fish was distributed the same way.

Everyone ate, and all were satisfied. Afterwards, the disciples filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of bread and fish. There were around five thousand men present, not including the women and children. This wasn’t the only time Jesus multiplied food to feed thousands of people.

Since food is a basic necessity of life, some people followed Jesus because they thought they were going to get a free meal. Jesus knew it and told them that they shouldn’t just seek Him for the physical food He was able to give them, but they should recognize that He was the true bread of life that came down from heaven. He told them that His body was real food, also. Besides telling them that His flesh was food, He said that His blood was real drink, and that whoever ate His body and drank His blood would have eternal life. The words He said weren’t understood by very many of the people in the crowd, and from that time on, not as many people followed Him.

A short time later, it was time for the Feast of Passover. Jesus was with His disciples on the night He was betrayed. They had gathered in a special ‘upper room’ where they had come together to celebrate what we know as, ‘the last supper’. Jesus broke the bread and gave it to His disciples saying that it was His body that would be given up for them. He also gave them the wine and said that it was His blood that was shed for the forgiveness of sin. As soon as that was done, the events leading to His crucifixion took place, and what John the Baptist had foretold about Jesus came to pass. Jesus became the Lamb of God, as He offered His body and blood as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Knowing Christ is the best investment a person can possibly make.

Declaration: I will find new strength in the contemplation of Jesus Christ. As I come seeking Him, and I listen to what His Word has to say to me, I will be fed rich food that satisfies, and my soul will live forever..

All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2014, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.

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