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Hungry for the Word

If we're not hungry for it, something's wrong.

Hunger for the food of the gospels stalks among you, eating out the vitals of your souls in the very kitchen.

  - Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, British, 6th century[1]

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the LORD.”

  - Amos 8.11

The Scriptures are the milk and meat of the Christian life. All who hunger and thirst for righteousness seek the health and growth available through this vital spiritual food.

How hungry are you for the Word of God?

The words of Jesus, all the Word of God, are Spirit and life (Jn. 6.63). Job said he longed for the Word of God more than for his necessary food (Job 23.12). Jeremiah rejoiced to devour the Word of the Lord (Jer. 15.16). Peter commands us to hunger for the Word like newborn babies do for mother’s milk (1 Pt. 2.2).

But do we? Seriously – do you?

Gildas complained that the Church in his beloved Britain had become so famished for want of feeding that people were spiritually withered and languishing in all moral decency and Christian vigor. Britain was a “Christian nation” but there was little that was Christian about her. Her leaders had failed the Christian people of Britain by being more concerned with outward things rather than the inner life of the soul.

Britain in Gildas’ day, for all its churches and Christian population, was experiencing a famine of hearing the Word of God.

I don’t see what I would describe as a hunger for God’s Word in our day. Oh, there are lots of Bibles – everybody has at least three or four. But how much time each day is spent feeding at the divine table, savoring every line and doctrine, taking in the Word with such complete joy and relish that it transforms us from the inside out? How much do we long to fill our souls with the pure and wholesome teaching of God’s Word?

How often during the day do we pause to recollect our morning devotions, and to delight all over again at the beauty, goodness, and truth of God revealed in His Word?

Has a famine of hearing settled on the churches in this land? I fear that it is so.

And are we among those whose spiritual vitality is withering because we are feeding on things other than the Word of God?

Are you hungry for the Word of God? Do you wish to be? Seek the Lord in this matter. Pray that He would quicken your heart, mind, and conscience to reserve time in His Word day by day, and to open the windows of your soul to the Light of His truth.

Feed on His Word; feed on it all day long. You are disciplined enough to take in perhaps three meals a day. God calls us to similar discipline in feeding on His Word.

If we have no hunger for the Word of God, what does that say about us and our relationship to Him?

Plead with God, plead with Him to create in you a deep and unquenchable hunger for His Word.

Then get you to the table regularly, friend, and feed.

For Reflection
1. Would you describe yourself as “feeding on the Word of God”? Explain.

2. If we don’t nourish our souls on the Word of God, on what will we feed (Eph. 5.15-17)?

Psalm 19.7-11 (St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure;
the simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.
God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts;
He makes our eyes to understand; with joy He fills our hearts.

The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet!
Be warned by ev’ry word and line; be blessed with joy complete.

Feed me, Lord, all day long, and help me to long for even more of Your Word, so that I…

Feeding on the Word
Our book, The Joy and Rejoicing of My Heart, can help you feed more consistently, joyfully, and fruitfully on the Word of God. Order your free copy by clicking here.

Please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe at this time. Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

[1] Gildas, p. 65.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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