Christianity 201

March 20, 2020

Don’t Lose Your Spiritual Appetite

As we were sharing dinner with another couple last week, and the prospect of church service cancellations was looming large, my friend Randy said, “I had a membership at the gym. I went every week. But then I missed a week. And after I missed a week, I never went again.”

And then he stopped talking to let the impact and application of that to our conversation topic percolate in our minds.

Our tag line at Christianity 201 is “Digging a little deeper.” With its title and tag line, I would expect the people here want to get into the things of God on a regular, if not constant basis. And I would hope that once the churches re-open, God’s people would have a deep desire to plunge back into hearing the Word taught in a corporate setting (along with worship, prayer, fellowship, etc.).


Patrick Oben writes,

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matt. 5:6 KJV)

Spiritual hunger and thirst are drivers of spiritual fullness. Only those who are hungry and thirsty get filled. This principle is very important to grow spiritually.

But what is spiritual hunger? It is easy to understand when you consider what natural hunger is. Hunger is the feeling you get in your body when it is in need of food. There are two parts. The first is the sense of need. The body first senses the need. The second part is the desire. Once that need is sensed, it starts craving and desiring food.

Spiritual hunger operates in the same way. First, our spirit recognizes and senses our need for God. The second aspect is that your spirit desires and craves for more of God. God has reserved the fullness for those who are hungry. You will hardly ever receive a level of God’s presence that you are not hungry for. The Father is the Treasure of heaven, and His presence and power are for those who desire and long after Him.

Spiritual hunger is a good thing for the believer. It should be distinguished from the hunger and thirst of a lost soul to find the living God. In Christ, you have already eaten the Bread from heaven and drank of the water of life. But after that experience, the Lord commands us to continue to desire more and more of Him. It is our desire for more of Him that increases our capacity to receive more…


At the website Knowing Jesus, some other scripture texts which apply:

John 6:33-35

“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

Psalm 63:1

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

John 4:13-14

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”


At the website God’s Leader, a reminder to make the Kingdom of God our priority:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Col 3:1,2 NKJV

Natural hunger, persecution, and difficult times have always created spiritual hunger. The Father loves his people too much to let us keep flirting with our out of control fleshly desires and consumerism. He is even now ready to act, but for His precious love for us, has chosen to let things happen slowly and give us time to turn from our wicked ways.

There was no email, no Skype, no texting, and no smartphones when times got really bad in Egypt and the rest of the known world, but somehow news came to Jacob that there was grain in Egypt. Desire motivates us to action. Or in other words, the heart moves the feet. When the stomach cries louder than the mind, we will again begin to put Jesus first.

“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 NKJV

The prophet describes a famine where there is no hunger for the word of God and the things of God! It sounds like he is watching and reporting on Christianity as it is today in America…


Because we live in an internet world, not to mention the wealth of printed materials and Christian broadcast media, we have opportunity to keep our hunger and thirst for the truths of God fed and quenched.

Don’t let your appetite fade during this time of absence from a church building; instead use the present crisis to go deeper into the things of God.

January 19, 2020

The King Had Everything Except God

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:30 pm
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“Ahaz had a vague spiritual interest, and that was not enough.”

Earlier today, one of my personal friends suggested I check out an online resource, The Enduring Word Biblical Commentary. This free website has over 11,000 pages of Bible commentary and is the work of David Guzik, a pastor, Bible teacher, and author of commentary material you may have already used on Blue Letter Bible. (It turned out we had referred to or used material from Enduring Word on three earlier occasions in 2016 and 2017.)

Today’s feature comes in two parts. First, I’ve included a short devotional from his blog. As usual, click the header below to read it at source.

Then, I’ve included a link to David’s full commentary on the chapter for today’s key verse for you to get an idea of what his material looks like.

One of the Worst Kings

Also he removed the Sabbath pavilion which they had built in the temple, and he removed the king’s outer entrance from the house of the LORD, on account of the king of Assyria. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (2 Kings 16:18-19)

Ahaz was one of the worst to reign over Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah. He brought in corrupt pagan innovations to the temple of God. Ahaz took away many of the good things that stood before. The record of 2 Kings 16 tells us some of the story, but not all of it – the rest of the acts of Ahaz are found in 2 Chronicles and a few other places.

Ahaz did what he could to discourage the worship of the true God at the temple of God. For a time, he even shut down the operation of the temple and established small pagan altars all around Judah (2 Chronicles 28:24-25).

I think that in many ways, Ahaz is a warning to our generation. He could be considered a church leader from the 21st century on several points.

– Ahaz was a man with an artistic sense of style.
– Ahaz was impressed with technology and brought the Babylonian innovation of the sundial to Jerusalem (2 Kings 20:11).
– Ahaz loved innovation and new things, and brought those innovations into worship.
– At the same time, Ahaz seemed to be a nice man. He did not have the persecuting spirit of his grandson Manasseh (2 Kings 21:16).
– Yet, Ahaz had the advantage of great prophets and messengers (such as Isaiah and Micah).
– Ahaz had the blessing of a great deliverance when God spared Jerusalem and Judah from conquest.
– Ahaz also had the influence of a godly father and a godly heritage from the line of David.

Ahaz had many advantages yet was a terrible leader for the people of God. The key to understanding Ahaz is to note that he had no relationship with God. Ahaz destroyed the link that his father Jotham made between the palace and the temple, and this was an illustration of his destroyed relationship with God. With his love of the latest trends and fashion he was the opposite of Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Ahaz had a vague spiritual interest, and that was not enough.

In the end, Ahaz put his trust in himself and in man – instead of the living God who reigns from heaven. Therefore, his reign was a disaster, one of the worst among the kings of Judah.

How can you avoid the same disaster? Don’t put your trust in yourself, in your gifts, in your strengths, in the latest style, or even in good people who want to help you. At the foundation, put your trust in God. Jesus is worthy of our trust.

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Kings 16