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What is our spiritual food?

Food is necessary to sustain our bodies. We need proper nourishment for them to grow and operate the way they are designed to. Similarly, our spirit needs food to grow and be healthy. Our spiritual food begins with the Bread of Life, that is Jesus Himself: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" (John 6:51). Jesus' sacrifice on the cross allows for us to have eternal life. When we put our faith in Jesus—believing He is who He says He is, that He died as payment for our sins, and that He rose again victorious over sin and death—we become children of God (John 1:12; 3:16–18; Ephesians 2:1–10). We are given the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14). When we "partake" of Jesus in this sense, He brings life to our spirit. The death and resurrection of Jesus are just the beginning of our spiritual food.

Peter encourages the church to "long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good" (1 Peter 2:2–3). Like an infant is dependent on its mother's milk to grow, so are we dependent on the Word of God for life. When we experience the goodness of the Lord, when we see that His Word is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:10), we desire it with all of our beings. Scripture says, "man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of LORD" (Deuteronomy 8:3). Our spirit grows when we feast on the Word of God, continually filling our mind and heart with Scripture. Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (John 6:63).

The writer of Hebrews calls out his audience for not maturing enough to feed on solid food: "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:12–14). Paul encouraged Timothy, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." Second Timothy 3:16–17 affirms that God's Word is useful for "teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." Psalm 119 is well known for lauding the worth of God's Word. Psalm 1 says that the man who delights in and meditates on the law of the Lord is blessed. "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers" (Psalm 1:3).

As Christians, our spirits gain life first by partaking in the death of Jesus Christ, and we continue to nourish our spirit by feasting on the Word of God. It is the Holy Spirit, of course, who makes the Word effective in our hearts and lives (Isaiah 55:10–11; 1 Corinthians 2:10–13; Philippians 2:12–13).

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