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Man shall not live by bread alone

By Dr. Billy Holland

One of the popular topics that readers contact me about are concerns associated with food shortages and higher costs. I realize that no one has a crystal ball to see into the future, but we have plenty of websites that are encouraging everyone to stockpile food and water. The prepping movement has been warning the public for years to prepare for such a crisis and of course, many have created profitable businesses by selling everything a person would need if something like this were to happen. I’m sure many of you are like us that have friends and family members who have food and water reserves and my wife and I believe it’s wise to have some extra provisions in case of an emergency.

The prices of food and fuel are rising, and many families are feeling even more financial stress. I’m involved with a weekly food distribution ministry in my hometown where we receive food from area grocery stores and a local co-op 3-times a week, then we give it out to homeless shelters, the elderly, and those in need. Our team has a burden to make sure that everyone in our community can at least have something good to eat. It’s one thing to tell someone to be blessed and something else to activate our faith and make sure they have the provisions they need. Jesus said in Matthew 25 that when you give to the needy, you have given to Him.

We know that political wars and sanctions can disrupt food chains, as weather, plant diseases, fuel and fertilizer costs, and pestilences can also contribute to shortages. By the way, I’ve often wondered why governments pay farmers not to grow their crops. We read in Matthew 24:6 about the scarcity of food, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” And Revelation chapter 6 talks about a quart of wheat costing a day’s wage and implies there will be a time when war and famine will give way to inflation due to supply and demand. For those who love God, we know we can trust Him in the difficult times and that He hears our prayers and will provide for our needs. Paul related in Philippians chapter 4 about maintaining contentment and being at peace with God in times of need or prosperity.

There is an amazing story found in I Kings chapter 17 where God intervened for the prophet Elijah and miraculously provided food and water. The Lord commanded ravens to bring him meat and bread twice each day and also supplied him with fresh water from a brook called Cherith. When fear surrounds us and life feels uncertain, it’s easy to doubt that our Creator is really with us, but the same God who is with us during good times is the same God who is with us during times of uncertainty. This example should encourage us to know that He is always watching over us and desires to take care of us like we take care of our own children.

In closing, may we remember that famines and food shortages are not only about empty shelves at our local market, but there is also a spiritual famine happening today with God’s word and it will only become worse. Most people are not really interested in having their conscience being convicted of sin, but believe there is no such thing as a universal standard of divine truth. Even many religious individuals would rather listen to inspirational messages that compromise and justify living however they want. Things that are socially accepted today would have been an outrage in the Christian world just 50 years ago. Instead of God’s followers taking a stand and defending His foundational realities, the majority now makes excuses and negotiates to make everyone happy. II Timothy chapter 4 warned us this would happen, and it has. John 6:33-35 Jesus says, “For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.” And in Matthew 4:4, “But he answered, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

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