Posted by: mikenicholsblog | December 3, 2015

real nourishment

For the past two days, I was in California helping our daughter move. It was profitable, yet very physically draining (growing older is no fun). The red-eye flight home finished me off.  So, I have chosen to use one of our archived articles from 2011 for today’s post. I trust words from years ago will relate to your story today.

As I sat across the table today and stared at my friend’s meal, it looked delicious. He had a nice juicy hamburger with fries, while I had a salad and soup. Although Weight Watchers would have approved my lunch, I would have preferred the high fat, low nutrition choice of my friend. For that one day, however, I made the right choice. We are all confronted with choices daily. On a particular day in the life of Christ, He had an interesting discussion with the disciples about food and nourishment.

The backdrop for this exchange is the very familiar story of Jesus and the woman at the well. On His way through Samaria, Jesus met a woman whose life was less than appropriate. His love and care for her resulted in saving faith. Other Samaritans entrusted their lives to Christ after hearing her witness. Extra! Extra! Read all about it in John chapter four.

In the midst of that larger story, Jesus has a brief, but powerful, discussion with his disciples.  The discussion was centered on some not-so-ordinary sustenance.  Sandwiched between the woman leaving to go tell her friends about meeting the Messiah, and their return, we find the bigger-than-bread exchange between Jesus and his disciples.  As they returned from town, the disciples urge Jesus to eat.  Listen carefully to His response …

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
John 4:32-34

The disciples were concerned with food, but real nourishment for Christ came from doing the will of His Father. In this case, it was leading a Samaritan woman to saving faith. Just like you and I have to choose between hamburgers and salads, we also have to choose between the will of God (real nourishment) and our own desires. Phillip Brooks said it well: “Seek your life’s nourishment in your life’s work.” If you are in Christ, there is no doubt that the Father has plans for you. Doing His will can provide infinitely greater satisfaction than a delicious meal.

Before my lunch choice today, I was given a picture of someone I believe lived out the principles of doing the will of His Father. I was listening to a CD from John Maxwell when I heard a story of the great John Wooden. He had a life-list that was taken from a card his dad gave him when he was twelve. He read it daily throughout his life and tried to apply the principles. On the card were these statements:

Making the most of one’s self. Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build shelter against a rainy day. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

John Wooden died having lived life to the fullest. I believe his faith in Christ helped him live a life of real nourishment.

Our legacy will never be that of John Wooden, but will it be said of us that we valued the Father’s will more than anything else? Will caring for others, growing in His Word and giving of ourselves to His purposes be our legacy? Christ patterned for us a life that nourishes the soul. John Wooden’s story provides evidence that we can follow the pattern. You and I may always battle between hamburgers and salads in feeding our bodies, but Father, help us choose your will over ours, and find real nourishment for our lives!

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