The book of Proverbs, in the Bible, is all about getting wisdom and wisdomknowledge.The good life, the happy life, consists of growing in wisdom and knowledge and reaping the benefits of those traits. Proverbs compares and contrasts those who seek wisdom and knowledge and those who reject wisdom and knowledge. The Wise and the Fools.

Chapters 1-9 consist of teaching about the importance of wisdom and knowledge and how to get them. In my pattern of Bible reading, I read a chapter of Proverbs every Saturday morning. Yesterday I read about the Wicked Men and Wayward Women.

Verses 12-15 say, “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.”

Verses 16-19 follow with these words, “Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth, and ignored the the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to death, and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.”

Verse 22 summarizes what happens to wicked men and wayward women, “the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”

I see the results of wicked men and wayward women everyday here at the Home For Needy Children in Oaxaca, Mexico. Wicked men and wayward women don’t care much for their children. They are abused, neglected and often abandoned, and many end up in special homes for children. Verse 14 mentions that the wicked men delight in doing wrong. Almost all of the children here at the mission have no contact with their fathers. Their fathers delight in making children, and disappear sometime after conception or birth when they discover that raising children is not so delightful.

Everyone wants delight. Everyone wants pleasure. Everyone wants joy. Everyone wants to rejoice. Everyone seeks these things. The book of Proverbs is all about these things. The wise find their joy and delight in God and following Him and His ways. The wise find pleasure in helping the poor and oppressed. They are generous to the downcast and fatherless; with the widow and orphan. The wicked – not so much.

We make choices everyday about what we are going to do to make us happy, to fill us with delight. Many think making money will make them happy. Money in the bank for security and money in the wallet to spend. Others, like the wayward woman, think ultimate pleasure is found in using their bodies in ways contrary to God’s Word and His ways. Sure, there is some measure of happiness and pleasure to be found in these things, but it is a fleeting happiness, and short lived pleasure. Usually the pleasures that the wicked men and wayward women encounter not only don’t last very long, but are ultimately harmful, painful and cause suffering for them and those around them.

Some of my favorite people in the world are those who come to this ministry in Southern Mexico to help for awhile. Some come with church groups for a week or so. Others come with family members and stay for a little bit longer periods of time. Some come by themselves and stay for months. All of these people have a joy that will never fade away, because, by giving of themselves and their time, talents and treasure to help the “least of these”; the poorest of the poor in this country, they are filled with a joy that will never fade away. Many of the visitors and volunteers that come to help the children say before they leave that they came to be a blessing to others and discovered that they had been blessed beyond belief by their time here helping others.

Psalm one presents us with two paths that we can choose to go down. The first is the path of the wicked which leads to destruction. The second is the path of the LORD, which leads to lasting delight and prosperity. God, help us to choose Your path and to meditate on your word, which you gave to us because you love us and want us to be happy.

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Happy Easter!

He is Risen!

The apostle Peter makes reference to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ in the first three verses of his first letter.

In the first verse he writes that his letter is to God’s elect and in verse two he goes on to say, “who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus and sprinkled with his blood.”

Whew. That’s a lot to take in. The part I have been focusing on these last few days is the sprinkled with his blood part. What did Peter have in mind when he wrote that? None of the followers of Jesus that were reading Peter’s letter had been sprinkled with his blood. What could he possibly mean? How did his early readers take that phrase? It must have something to do with the crucifixion, but what exactly?

The best book I have ever read on the crucifixion is called The Day the Revolution Began – Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’ Crucifixion, by N.T. Wright. With regards to “sprinkled blood” he writes about the lid of the Ark of the Covenant and says, “This was where God met with his people; and, in order for this to take place, it was where the priest cleansed the sanctuary from the defiling effects of the past sins of Israel with the sprinkled blood of the sacrifice.”

So one thing that Peter is trying to communicate with God’s elect is that through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, the chosen ones are cleansed and can meet with God. Cleansed, meaning forgiven of all sins. Purified, white as snow. That’s how God now sees his followers through the lens of the sprinkled blood of Christ.

One other thing that probably came to mind when Peter wrote about the sprinkled blood, was the great Passover, when the Israelites killed a lamb and sprinkled its blood on the doorposts of their houses. Upon seeing the blood, the killer angel would pass by and spare any firstborn male in the house. The results of this last plague, was freedom for the Jews from the Egyptian slave masters. Similarly, the result of the sprinkled blood of Jesus is that God’s elect are set free from the Evil Slavemaster called Sin, and are free to worship the one, true God.

With regards to the resurrection, Peter writes, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Wow! New birth. Living hope. No more living in sin, being totally controlled by passion and pride. Because of the resurrection, we have  new birth, old things have passed away and all things have become new.

Because of Christ’s resurrection we have a living hope. Not dead hopes that many people in the world depend on. Dead hopes like a new job will make me truly happy. Or a new soul mate will fulfill my life. Or a good education is what I really need to live the good life. Those are just a few examples of dead hopes that people rely on to get them through each day. With the reality of the resurrection, Messiah followers have a living hope that brings true and lasting joy now and all the way into eternity.

Because God loves us and wants us to be happy, he has chosen us, sprinkled us with the blood of Jesus, rose from the dead with new life and living hope in his wake! No wonder Peter exclaims, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” and in verse six he writes, “In this you greatly rejoice…” And in verse eight, this, “You love him and believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

Indeed we love him and rejoice greatly.

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God purifies his people in and through the shed blood of Jesus,

so that the covenant may be renewed,

and not just renewed,

but now effective for the whole world.

N.T. Wright in his book The Day the Revolution Began

I read Psalm 36 today and David mentions the love of God three times.

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The fountain at the Home For Needy Children in Oaxaca, Mexico

Verse 5 says, “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens”.

Verse 7, “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!”

Verse 10, “Continue your love to those who know you.”

He mentions love in contrast to the wicked. David begins and ends this Psalm by talking about the wicked. The wicked do not fear God. They flatter themselves. The words of their mouths are deceitful. They plot evil and do not reject what is wrong.

God loves those who trust in Him and pursue righteousness. I always talk about how God loves us (those who trust in Him) and wants us to be happy. This is readily apparent in Psalm 36.  There are four results of God’s love that are listed.

One is a river of Delights. David writes, “you give them drink from your river of delights.” I love that. God doesn’t just throw His followers a bone once in awhile, but has a river of delights for them.  We sometimes sing a song here at the Home For Needy Children in Mexico, that says something to the effect that I don’t just want to put a toe in God’s river.  I don’t just want to go knee deep in God’s river.  I don’t just want to wade in up to my hips in God’s river.  I want to swim in God’s river.  One of the blessings of God’s love is that we get to swim in His River of Delights! One definition of delight is great pleasure; a cause or source of great pleasure. God wants His followers to enjoy great pleasure.

Second, He is a fountain of Life! The wicked just exist in their misery, trying to make others miserable, but the righteous have Life and joy and vitality and Shalom which come from the never ceasing Fountain of life. Here at the Mission,  we have a fountain in our courtyard. Every time I see it or hear the water splashing down, I think of the living water that Jesus talked about. I thank God that I don’t merely exist on this planet, but that I have Life that comes from the Fountain of Life.

The third result of Gods love is that He gives us light that allows us to see the light. The wicked meander in darkness, looking for delights in all the wrong places. Those who cooperate with God and His Kingdom plan, are able to do so because He has shown them the light, opened the eyes of their Spirit and understanding. They embrace truth instead of lies, which enables them to grow in truth and righteousness.

A fourth aspect of God’s love is mentioned in verse 6, “You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.”

I think that is great that animals are included in this Psalm. God’s great love that reaches to the heavens is not just for the preservation of people, but also for animals. I grew up on a farm and at various times we had pigs, sheep, cows and rabbits, not to mention the dogs and cats that were running around. I enjoy the animals in God’s creation and thank God that he looks down from heaven and not only cares for the people, but for the animals.


God loves us and wants us to be happy. He has made that abundantly clear. We are happy in Him when we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. When we set our hearts on things above, where Christ is, then we are filled with joy. We swim in the river of God’s delights. We drink deeply from the fountain of life. We live in light and not in darkness. We are preserved and protected, us and Fido and Spot and the animals we love. How great is the love of God!

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God serves up drinks, from His river of delights. He lays out a feast, from the abundance of His house.

 

I occasionally teach a baseball elective at Oasis Elementary School here at the Children’s Home in Oaxaca, Mexico. I finished up a class last week and made out the grades. Before the elective begins, the principal, Abby, gives the teachers a form for the grades and what the kids are to be graded on. To get a good grade the students have to show responsibility and a good quality of work. They must cooperate, listen and pay attention. They must also have a good attitude. I think having a good attitude is the most important.

I found an article in Spanish on the internet that I had my students read. It listed things that can help people have a good attitude; things like getting sufficient rest, dreaming, always remember that tomorrow is another day, be positive and developing friendships with people who have good attitudes. I thought these were all good ideas, but then it struck me that the most important thing one needs to have a good attitude, or at least that I need to have a good attitude, is God! God was not on the list!

Why do I say God is necessary to have a good attitude? I’m glad you asked. Below are ten verses from the Bible that help me to develop a good attitude. They are from God’s Word and most are about our relationship with God.

  1. The LORD is good and his love endures forever. Psalm 100:5        God created you, me and the entire universe. He is powerful and good and he loves us. If we give that a long think and we can’t help but have a good attitude.
  2. Give thanks to the LORD for he is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 106:1       A thankful heart is a happy heart. When we think of all good things God has given us and thank him for them, we will not only have a happy heart, but a happy attitude.
  3. Come let us sing for joy to the LORD. Psalm 95:1        When I’m feeling a bit frustrated or upset, I sing a song of praise to God and my frown is turned upside down. Try it for an effective attitude changer.
  4. Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. Matthew 6:33         Having right priorities results in right attitudes. Putting God first in our lives puts us on the path of maintaining a good attitude.
  5. Do not worry about tomorrow. Matthew 6:34         Worrying about the future is a good attitude killer. Our heavenly Father has everything under control. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future!
  6. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Submit to him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6        God doesn’t ask us or expect us to understand why bad things happen to us sometimes, but he does want us to trust him in the tough times. Knowing that he is walking alongside us goes a long way towards a good attitude.
  7. Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the LORD and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2         The word “blessed” is often translated as happy.  Meditating as much as possible on God’s Word will fill us with the Truth and lead to a bright outlook and happy attitude.
  8. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3,4      When we are feeling down, depressed and blue, nothing helps improve the attitude than helping others, especially those who may be more blue than you.
  9. All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28      No matter what happens to turn our attitudes south, if we remember and focus on our loving God and that he promises to take our sour lemon experiences and somehow, someway, make lemonade out of them and that results in a sweet attitude.
  10. Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18      We all suffer at some point and it’s not conducive to having a super attitude, but thinking of the Glory of heaven and one day being in the immediate presence of our Savior who will wipe away every tear and heal every hurt, can change our outlook and our attitudes.

These verses have helped adjust my attitude through the years and I hope they help you have a happy, healthy attitude. Get an A+ in the grade book of Life!

What comes to mind when you think about the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of God?shalom They are connected. The Gospel is the Good News about the Kingdom of God. About the King. We constantly need to remember who is the King of the kingdom. I think the Good News about the Kingdom is that the King is also our Father! Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven … your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10). I think that news blew the Jews away. We read a lot about kings in the O.T. Some good, some bad. Some who strove to be righteous and others who were very evil. Some powerful, some weak. But none of them were portrayed as a loving Father. In Jesus sermon on the mount, which is all about the Kingdom and Gospel, he uses the word Father as a title for God more times than it is used as a title for God in the whole O.T. God as Father was almost a totally new idea for the Jews of that era. God as King – of course. God as Judge – they knew that God. God as Creator – Right on. But God as Father – What a concept!


Why are Gospel and Kingdom so important?  Why is knowing God as a loving, compassionate Father something we need to embrace. Because God wants us to be happy. Because God wants Shalom. I have been thinking and reading a lot about Shalom lately. That word is generally translated as peace. It is a Hebrew word that is used throughout the Old Testament and it means so much more than what we think of when we think of peace. It is the glad result of Kingdom and Gospel. Shalom is the goal of God for everyone. Shalom is happy wholeness. Shalom is harmony and prosperity.  Shalom is all encompassing. Shalom is living in peace and right relationship with God, ourselves, our family and community. Shalom is whole, right relationships between rich and poor, powerful and weak, black and white, Jew and Gentile.


Alas, we see far too little Shalom in the world today. Why? Because human beings in and of themselves do not have the power to live in and practice Shalom. Power is defined as the ability to do something. We have no a ability in ourselves to live in right relationship with God! And as for loving our neighbor – We despise our neighbor! I think this is why Jesus and Paul talk so much about the Power of God. There is no Shalom without that power. Shalom is the Good News that that power is available. When Jesus said the Kingdom is near, I think he was saying that Shalom is available to all who come to the loving, compassionate Father in an attitude of weakness and realization that without the Fathers power, we will live sad, miserable lives full of conflict and strife. Jesus is proclaiming Shalom and telling the people the Good News that God the Father is inviting people into the Kingdom of Shalom!

It is kind of like what we do here at the Home For Needy Children in Oaxaca, Mexico.  We take in poor children who are broken and by the power of God and our love, they are made whole.  Children come who are hurt and angry, confused and abused, betrayed and shamed.  Here they experience Shalom. They grow into complete, happy people, full of smiles and laughter.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  It can be a long process.  But when the children hear about the love of God and experience the compassion of their Heavenly Father on a daily basis, and depend on His power for their wholeness, then they live in peace and contentment.  They live in Shalom.

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I pray the Lord’s Prayer every morning. I especially like the part about “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

The Kingdom of God on earth is Already – But not yet. It already exists.  It started with the new born King whose little body was laid in a wooden manger in Bethlehem and whose adult body was crucified on a wooden cross outside Jerusalem. It started out as the smallest of seeds, starting to grow over 2000 years ago, and is still growing, just like Jesus said in Matthew 13:31-32.  It has not yet come to completion.

When George Bush was President he promoted a 1000 Points of Light program. I like to think of the Kingdom of God on earth as a Million Points of Light program. Everywhere that Christians gather together to glorify God and love Him and love their neighbors is a Kingdom Point of Light.

I live at a Home for Needy Children in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is one of those Points of Light. We take in children who are poor, abused, neglected and abandoned. They are hurt,sad, angry and confused when they come here. Here they experience the love of God and of Christians who care for them.  Here they are transformed.  We give them a safe place to live with plenty of nutritious food to eat and clean water to drink. They receive a good education and spiritual direction. Our goal is not just to make them into good people, but to make them into faithful disciples who love God and want to cooperate with Him in growing the Kingdom.

My wife and daughters and I spent Christmas day with a half dozen of these children, all under the age of 6. They are new comers to our little Kingdom Point of Light. Most of them are brothers and sisters who had been separated and put into different children’s homes in Oaxaca. Now they are reunited, happy and healthy, living in a loving Christian community that meets their every need.

New Kids at the Mission

Brother and Sister Reunited

God’s Kingdom is coming everyday in many different ways all over the world. In 2018 He may choose to bring His Kingdom to fulfillment; to completion. Then He will be the one to wipe away the children’s tears and there will be no more need for children’s homes. If that doesn’t happen in the new year, then God’s Kingdom will continue to come, on earth as it is in heaven. Little light by little light. Followers of Jesus will continue to spread the joy and peace of God and people all over the world will be coming into relationship with God, glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever. He is the One who truly puts the Happy in the New Year!

 

Psalm 16 is one of my favorite Psalms. In verse 2, David writes, “I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; Apart from you I have no good thing.’ ”

It’s Christmas and everybody wants Good Things! Kids look longingly at all the presents under the tree, thinking about all the good things that that they will receive. Adults want good things too. As the saying goes, That which separates men from boys is the price of their toys. True for women and girls too, I’m sure.

The best Good Things come from the LORD. Psalm 16 is like a Christmas tree with lots of gifts underneath. Gifts like –

security (vs5)

boundary lines in pleasant places (vs6)

delightful inheritance (vs6)

Godly counsel (vs7)

glad heart (vs9)

a body that rests secure (vs9)

no fear of death (vs10)

path of life (vs11)

joy (vs11)

eternal pleasures (vs11)

and the best Christmas present – God’s presence (vs11)

These gifts are way better than an iphone 10, Play Station or a Sony 50” TV. How do we go about acquiring these Good Things?

David tells us the secret in verse 8, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD.” That reminds me of Hebrews 12:2, Let us “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Also sounds a bit like Colossians 3:1-2, “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above.”

To get the Good Things of God we need to keep our eyes on the LORD, to fix our eyes on Jesus –

Jesus in the manger

Jesus turning water into wine

Jesus walking on water

Jesus multiplying the bread and fish

Jesus’ compassion on the sick, blind, and demon possessed

Jesus’ love for the sinners and tax collectors

Jesus’ death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead for our justification

This Christmas, instead of asking Santa for good things in our stockings, lets thank Jesus for the Good Things He has already given us, and that are available to us in abundance if we keep our eyes on HIM.

Merry Christmas from the

Schwab Family

Today is Tifani’s birthday. She is my oldest daughter and I dedicate this post to her. In Romans chapter 12 we find five ways to be, five ways to treat one another and five Do Not’s. Considering and living out these 15 admonitions from Paul we can all experience happier birthdays, merrier Christmas’s and happier lives.

The Five Be’s

Be devoted to one another in love.

Be spiritually passionate, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope.

Be patient in affliction.

Be faithful in prayer.

Five Ways to Treat One Another

Share with one another.

Rejoice with one another.

Mourn with one another.

Live in harmony with one another.

Live in peace with one another.

Five Do Nots.

Do not be proud.

Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

Do not take revenge.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21

God loves us and wants us to be happy. He inspired Paul to write these words so that we would take them to heart, put them into practice and live in right relationship with God and our fellow human beings. I think of them as 15 gifts  around the birthday cake or presents under the Christmas tree. Each one to be carefully unwrapped, treasured and used daily.

 

The 2017 Advent season has begun!

Advent is a time of anticipation. A time of looking forward to something unbelievably good. Looking forward to Jesus’ birth. God becoming flesh and dwelling among us. God condescending to be with us. Emmanuel.

Honestly, all that doesn’t mean so much to people anymore. Advent in our day and age usually means anticipating buying gifts, going to parties and family get togethers. Things that a lot of people Don’t look forward to. For too many people, the Christ birth event is a minor part of the holiday season, if it exists at all.

Jesus in the manger has lost it’s luster for a lot of Christians for another reason. It happens every year. It’s not new. We Want New. New electronics, kitchen gadgets, clothes and toys. Christmas isn’t new. It’s the same old thing, year after year. I’m 54 years old. I was raised in a Christian family. I have 54 years of Luke 2 and Matthew 1-2 under my belt. What could possibly be new in 2017 Advent? What is there to anticipate?

With this in mind, I began to think about how Jews might have been thinking around the time of Jesus’ birth. The Chosen People of God. They hadn’t had a prophet speak the Word of the LORD to them since Malachi, 400 years earlier. They had been under the thumb of foreign rulers for about 600 years. So, People Of God, how’s that working out for you?

Some of them probably decided that it wasn’t working and gave up on God, but many were holding on to the promises proclaimed by the prophets that someday a Messiah would come and bring peace and freedom. Proclamations like:

Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

 Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

 Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Some of us look forward to celebrating the birth of the Messiah every year. The Jews had been anticipating that day for over half a millenia!

When I think of looking forward to something good, I  think about our family vacation that we took in July. We drove from Oaxaca, Mexico to Brush, Colorado. In May we began planning for the trip, and the anticipation began. Anticipation of crossing the border into the U.S.A. Anticipation of seeing my parents and sister and oldest daughter. People I haven’t seen for over two years. Anticipation of Mom’s great cooking, as well as Taco Bell and Mountain Dew –  food and drink that are not available here in Oaxaca. Normally we would fly to Colorado, but this time we were going to drive, so we were looking forward to close family time (four days in the car) that would include museum visits, tourist attractions and motel swimming pools (Sally and Kelly, my youngest daughter’s favorite). Anticipation of camping in the mountains and seeing a Rocky’s baseball game.

The fulfillment of all of those things was great. A wonderful time was had by all. Heart’s longings were met and we were filled with joy. And that was after waiting a mere three months.

After waiting hundreds of years, the Messiah came to the Chosen People of God, and brought true spiritual freedom to all who would accept him and his message.  Some were disappointed that he didn’t overthrow Roman rule and bring national freedom.  But many more people through the ages have received something greater to celebrate, freedom from sin and adoption as Children of God.  The hungry eat the living Bread and the thirsty drink the living Water.

One of the Advent readings for the first Sunday in Advent is Isaiah 64:1-9.   Verse four says, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”

This Advent season I hope we can all find time to “wait for him”. Wait for Him to reveal himself in new and wonderous ways that can fill our journey on earth with happiness.

In waiting for Him, in meditating on Him, we find hope and joy. Strength and peace. Below is a web address for a video meditation on Advent that may encourage you on your journey.

https://fullerstudio.fuller.edu/series/liturgical-meditations/

Last time I wrote about bread and happiness and the Lord’s Prayer.  This time I want tobreadbible continue thinking about the Bible, Bread and Happiness.  Bread is big in the Bible.  Many of our favorite Bible stories include bread.  Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).  That’s big.

Below I have listed some verses from the Bible about bread.  Do you remember the stories that go with them?

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine.  He was priest of God Most High (Genesis 14:18).

Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah.  “Quick,” he said, “get the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread” (Genesis 18:6).

Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew.  He ate and drank, and then got up and left.  So Esau despised his birthright (Genesis 26:34)

Rebekah handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.  He went to his father and said, “My father.”                                                                                                          “Yes, my son,” he answered.  “Who is it?”                                                                                           Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. (Genesis 27:17-19)

When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.  In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharoah, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.” (Genesis 40:17)

And this is what Joseph sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grains and bread and other provisions for the journey. (Genesis 45:23)

That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. (Exodus 12:8)

“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt.  Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.” (Exodus 12:17)

When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.  Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15)

Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times. (Exodus 25:30)

Along with their fellowship offering of thanksgiving they are to present an offering with thick loaves of bread made with yeast.  (Leviticus 7:13)

This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. (Leviticus 24:8)

Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:4, Matthew 4:4)

Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand.  Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread.  And the angel of the LORD disappeared.  (Judges 6:21)

Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp.”  (1 Samuel 17:17)

Elijah went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan and stayed there.  The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.  (1 Kings 17:5,6)

Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid.  Go home and do as you have said.  But first make a small loaf of bread from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.”  (1 Kings 17:13)

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.  (Psalm 37:25)

God makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.  (Psalm 104:14,15)

Give us today our daily bread.  (Matthew 6:11)

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  (Matthew 7:9)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”  (Matthew 26:26)

“First let the children eat all they want,” Jesus told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”  (Mark 7:27)

“It is one of the Twelve,” Jesus replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.”  (Mark 14:20)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”  (John 6:35)

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  Whoever eats this bread will live forever.  This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”  (John 6:51)

They devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread  and to prayer.  (Acts 2:42)

Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  (1 Corinthians 5:8)

Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  (1 Corinthians 11:26)

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  (2 Corinthians 9:10)

For me, those are some of the most memorable and significant verses using the word bread in the Bible. It kinda makes me hungry for a slice of the homemade bread that my wife just made.  Until next time …

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