While at a the Evangelical Theological Society’s annual conference last week, I was really challenged by some closing words by Dr. Miroslav Volf of Yale Divinity School that I’d like to share with you as we prepare for our Thanksgiving Day Service tomorrow and our weekly feeding on the Bread of Life this Lord’s Day.
Dr. Volf quoted what our Lord Jesus Christ quoted as His Biblical defense against the Devil’s temptation in the wilderness:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 quoting Deuteronomy 8:3)
While I did not agree with all that was said in the lecture, and I did not write fast enough to get his quotes verbatim, I was impressed when he exhorted us in his conclusion with something like this:
The greatest temptation [of the Church today] is that man lives by bread alone while treating God as a mere bread provider. When we live by bread alone, someone goes hungry. When we live by bread alone, the after taste is always bitter. But the bitterness is not from the bread, but by our own living by bread alone.
Before we enjoy our meals tomorrow, may we remember where we got them and go to glorify God and thank Jesus like the only of ten healed lepers did in Luke 17:12-19. And may we find there in thankful worship that Jesus will say to us what He said to the thankful worshipper: thy faith hath made thee whole. And may we remember that when Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 against the Devil in Matthew 4:4, He hadn’t eaten for forty days and forty nights so that He could pass the test of temptation and remain righteous on our behalf.