Going Deeper …




Scripture Readings for the Week:




Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 10:12b-13;  Matthew 22:34-40; 

Mark 12:28-34;  Luke 10:25-28;  I John 4:7-21




One of the aspects of human existence that we each know we must pay attention to is our hunger.  When we are hungry, the body is telling us that it is time to refuel.  We know we will cease to exist if we ignore our hunger.  Political dissidents have used hunger strikes as a means of resisting their captures or making a statement of belief.  Children around the world who do not have enough to eat are feeling the effects of hunger that cannot be satisfied.  Hunger is a key indicator of need for sustenance.


On the opposite side of hunger is gluttony.  Some of us are prone to over-indulge as a consistent practice.  Rather than consuming just what is needed for survival, we over-consume on a regular or continual basis.  This throws the body out of balance to the other extreme.  Needless to say, a persistent state of hunger and gluttony are polar opposites that are equally problematic



The question is, what do you hunger for in this life?  Our appetites cross many borders of our lives; it is not confined to merely the need for food.  We crave power, possessions, status, beauty, youth, health, and sex, among other things.  In some areas we may be starving and in other areas we may be gluttonous.


The God of Israel and the father of Jesus Christ is the answer to the hunger in our lives.  If we truly believe that God is our creator, our redeemer, and our sustainer, then all of our needs are and will be met – our hungers will be satisfied.  Which means that we should be utterly dependent and in search of God for fulfillment.  The command to love God above everything else is a practice that is rooted in the realization that all that we need is God and comes from God.  A life lived centered in love for God would find envy, strife, and war useless.  Instead, cooperation, peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation would be the daily practices of a satisfied hunger.  So again, what do you hunger for in this life?

I encourage you to take time and read each of the scriptures above and then reflect on the questions below.  I hope that they will encourage you to consider your appetite for God and the potential benefits this has for the world.  I also pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.







Think about a time when you went too long between meals.  When you finally stopped to eat, how did you feel afterwards?  Did you eat too quickly and eat too much?  Did you feel satisfied or gorged?  What lessons have you learned about balance in response to your physical hunger?



Thanksgiving and Christmas meals are coming up.  What has been your practice regarding eating during these two meals?  Do you try to practice a balance or do you find yourself indulging in too much?




When you think of spiritual hunger, how would you define this for yourself?




What does it mean to you to love God first and completely?  In what specific ways would this or does this influence who you are and what you do?

Do you believe that God is one component of many parts of your life or the center of all things?  If you belief God is the center of your life, then how is God a part of everything in your life?  




Daily Prayer


Gracious God, this is my prayer.  That your love may overflow more and more with the knowledge and full insight to help me determine what is best for my life and this world.  This is my life’s hunger so that on the day of Christ I may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that come through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.        AMEN




If you have thoughts, comments or questions about Sunday’s service or this week’s devotional, please e-mail them to jimh@stjohnsumc.org