Morning. David Sorn. Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
Think about what it takes to satisfy us as we get older…
This summer, my wife & I took our two-year-old twins to the state fair, and it was a ton of fun.
We went on the merry-go-round, and they loved it
(Show MERRY-GO-ROUND PHOTO)
As we were going my son kept asking to switch horses mid-ride.
But…keep in mind, they’re two.
Put a 10-year-old on the merry go round, and they might roll their eyes and say, “Take me to the real rides mom”
10 year olds want to go on those rides that the carnies just pulled out of their truck because it was in Podunk Iowa yesterday…you know the ones that are completely safe because they just put it together in 25 minutes?
But you put a 20 year old guy on one of those rides, and he says, “Lame”
What they want to do is to do something really exhilarating.
Where’s the zipline? Or where do I sign-up to jump out of an airplane?
And we could, of course, apply this same line of thinking regarding our own insatiable appetite to anything really.
Think in terms of material things.
I give my kids a toy from their happy meal…and they’re going bonkers over how cool it is!
It’s going to break in 20 minutes, but right now that fake-looking Barbie is God’s gift to humanity.
But not so for a 10 year old.
Come Christmastime, many of our 10 year old’s are going to give us Christmas lists 50 items long.
And for many of us, all we want is a nice new car (w/ a bow on top), or to finally get in a house with 4 bedrooms…we like things of the couple-hundred thousand variety J
The older we get, we just want more.
It seems like it keeps taking more to satisfy us
What’s that all about?
And what should that tell us?
I want to take a look at those questions through an event in Jesus’ life AND a conversation that took place afterwards.
(John 6:5-12) – NIV
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wage to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.
(keep your thumb in that passage or keep your app open…we’re coming back to this chapter)
This famous story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 is one of the only stories (besides Jesus’ death & resurrection) to be included in all 4 Gospels about Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John)
And really, he’s probably feeding more like 10,000 or 15,000 people here because it only mentioned the number of men.
It’s really an amazingly compassionate moment by Jesus.
He wants to show people his love…that God can take care of them…and He wants to miraculously reveal God to them God too!
And this was a huge blessing to them.
Bread & fish wasn’t just a snack or an appetizer.
To ancient people bread was the heart of the meal.
Almost like, when you say, “What are we having for dinner?”
And your family member says, “Steak. Chicken. Meatloaf.”
You don’t say, “Pillsbury Dinner rolls”
But for them, bread was THE heart of the meal.
And Jesus is blessing upwards of 15,000 people with this meal.
Later that night, Jesus also famously walks on water
It’s a busy day for him
The next day…he’s on the other side of the Lake
The lake that Jesus walked across, or the Sea of Galilee as it was known, is really only about half the size of Lake Mille Lacs.
And once he gets to the other side, the people hear that he’s still nearby, and they flock to him yet again.
Let me show you how their conversation begins the next day
(John 6:25-26) – NIV
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
This is quite interesting.
He says, “You guys are chasing me all over the place now, not because you saw a miracle (or saw God), but because you were so happy to eat a great meal of fish & bread (you had your fill)
And while that’s great (he wouldn’t have fed 15,000 people if it wasn’t a good thing), He wants them to know that they missed the greater point.
He’s thinking… “I’m glad you enjoyed the fresh walleye (I really am) … but did you happen to notice that I multiplied them from 2 to 15,000??
Did anyone not notice that?!?
Anyone catch that I just blew physics out of the water?!
I know you don’t understand physics yet, but anyone?! Seriously!?”
And it’s interesting because I believe that in a similar manner, God is always trying to show Himself to us, but we often miss the point.
Just as the crowds were following Jesus around for bread rather than following Jesus Himself.
In fact, what I want to show you this morning is that if you follow the signs…life’s trails all lead to God.
And let me show you (through this passage), two very different trails that both still point to the same truth of God.
TRAIL #1: FOOD THAT SPOILS
Let’s take a look at the first trail…and it’s one with an interesting path.
Look at verse 27 now
(John 6:27) – NIV
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Jesus makes a clear contrast between the type of life He can provide and the type of “food” (or life) that the world provides.
The food of the world always spoils.
This is what we talked about at the beginning.
It seems like we always need more to impress us.
I think this is a major reason the depression rate is so high in America right now.
Think about what we can do nowadays!
We can go anywhere we want (no more month-long voyages by boat…head to priceline.com and William Shatner will negotiate your flight to Sweden)
The average suburban soccer mom family lives in houses with a square footage that only the ultra wealthy lived in 75 years ago.
Through a little rectangle in our pocket we have access to instant everything (music, TV Shows, information, you name it)
As Comedian Louis C.K. once famously quipped, “Should we really be complaining about the wi-fi not working during a flight”
We’re flying in the air…surfing the web!
We can do it all!
And yet…we’re not happy.
And that’s what depresses us.
We have access to it all…and we’re still not happy.
I recently read an article about the new psychological diagnosis “The Paris Effect” or “Paris Syndrome”
It’s been branded by Japanese psychologists, for tourists visiting Paris that end up with a severe level of culture shock because they had come to believe their visit to Paris was going to be:
Non-stop romanticism with amazing cafés, and beautiful, stick-thin models smelling of Chanel, asking to share a baguette with them
And in reality, it was mostly pavements littered with cigarette butts and aggravated commuters in packed metro trains…and oh yeah, the Eiffel tower was there too.
And it’s a window into what’s happening with many of our lives too.
See, our friends, the media, television (you name it) have oversold “LIFE” to us.
Life seems all right…maybe for a while…but like Jesus says in our passage, “It eventually spoils.”
It doesn’t last.
The famous drift oft into obscurity because someone else is the new flavor of the week.
The joy of a new car turns into the pain of car payments and repairs
Even momentary pleasures are simply that…momentary.
I was talking with a guy the other week who struggled with alcoholism in his younger years.
He said, “I loved getting drunk. I thought I was really living it up.”
But then eventually, I didn’t love NOT being drunk
And pretty soon, I just needed another drink to make me happy…with the intervals in between getting smaller and smaller.
The things of this world…they spoil (just like Jesus said).
It reminds me of one of C.S. Lewis’ most famous quotes from his amazing book, Mere Christianity.
"Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably, earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing." – C.S. Lewis
So this is why the “Trail of Spoils” is such an interesting trail…
And quite frankly one of the strongest defenses for turning your life over to God
Even the trails that seem to wander away from God, point to God.
The more you try and run away and feed off of the things of this world, the more aware you should become that that trail isn’t leading to satisfaction…only more hunger.
And for a lot of people, this is actually how they find God.
There are millions of people in churches & recovery programs around the country that find God by following their trail to bottom first.
It’s the “Trail of Spoils”…the trail gets so rotten the deeper that you get, that the wise person says, “I need to hop over to the God trail because surprisingly enough it’s the only one that makes rational sense.”
TRAIL #2: BLESSINGS LEAD TO THE BLESSER
But there’s another trail that leads us to God too
The facts and realities that God is real and that YOU were designed for God are everywhere.
If the the previous trail was the “trail of spoils” this is the the trail where “blessings point to the Blesser.”
Let me show you what I mean in our passage.
(John 6:30-35) – NIV
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 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.
In their conversation, they reference a curious thing…the crowd references “manna” that God gave their ancestors.
They’re referring to a story in the Old Testament where after the Israelites had left Egypt, they were wandering through the wilderness with nothing to eat.
And in their hunger, God (much like Jesus did for the crowds) started to miraculously provide food for them.
And every day, he rained down this wafer-like bread, manna, from the sky, so they could eat.
And look at what the Bible says about what God was doing with the manna:
(Deuteronomy 8:3) – NIV
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
It’s really an apt description of the two trails to God.
Sometimes, He gets our attention by making us hungry.
But other times, He woos us in by providing for us.
By feeding us every day.
By taking care of us.
All of his blessings to us, should lead us to Him, shouldn’t they?
“God gives us all good things…so often.
Any day now really, my wife and I are going to have our third child.
My hospital bag is packed, I’m ready to go.
And it’s going to be an amazing moment.
Because a baby is a gift from God.
Many people, RIGHTFULLY so, turn back to God at the birth of their children.
God gives us children…a roof…often work…maybe even a family.
And all of those things are because He loves us.
But not JUST that…they’re meant to be signposts, blessings on the trail meant to lead to the Blesser.
And yet, a lot of us turn our focus to the gift, not the Giver.
Just as the crowds in John 6 turned their attention to the product of the miracle, not the person who performed the miracle in the first place.
They missed it.
Jesus meant it as a sign that God loves them…and that He can FILL them at anytime!
In their souls.
Whenever they’re hungry.
But they missed it.
Today, in a little bit, like Jesus (minus miraculous multiplication) we’re serving everyone free Chipotle Burritos.
As a gift. It’s a good thing.
Why would we do this?
Because we believe Christians should be generous.
God has been so generous and kind to us.
And it’s a good thing, and it’s going to be great.
But I want you to know something…and it’s the exact same point of this passage.
Today, God wants to fill your stomach.
But, even more so, he wants to fill your SOUL.
HE wants to be the bread of your life.
This is why we called this message, “Burritoful”
Not just because it’s going to be a burritoful day, but really, it’s about you experiencing a deeper fullness…one that doesn’t spoil
Thankfully Jesus tells us how to find just that in two verses we purposefully passed by earlier.
Look at verses 28-29
This is right after Jesus has told them to not chase after “food that spoils”
(John 6:28-29) – NIV
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
And this is where the truth of Jesus and Christianity gets absolutely amazing.
See, maybe God has been leading you to himself through one of those two trails.
My guess is that you’re here today not JUST to eat burritos.
My guess is that God is doing something in your heart.
Maybe it’s just a tiny voice in your heart…telling you to start seeking Him out.
And so when you seek Him…what are you supposed to do?? (Beyond continuing to come here and grow)
See, this is EXACTLY what these people are asking.
They’re saying, “Okay, Jesus. We found you. And you’re saying that you’re the “bread of life,” that YOU can sustain us…so what do we do?
“Start being all perfect and holy and if we do enough good Jesus and religious things by the time we die, we’ll be okay?
That’s not it at all!
Look at Jesus’ response:
(John 6:29) – NIV
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Listen very closely to me because this is what God says over and over in the Bible
We can be completely forgiven, go to heaven, not by being good enough, but by believing.
Believing that Jesus Christ died on a cross for you.
Jesus came to earth because he looked at lives like mine and said, “Well that’s a mess. There’s a whole lot of sin there.”
And that’s sin that I should be paying for.
God doesn’t just ignore sin. He’s just.
But out of his love, He sent his OWN son Jesus to die on a cross to pay for sins like mine…and yours.
And he says, we can be forgiven, not by being good enough…hoping to do enough good to cancel out the wrongs…but by BELIEVING that he died for us.
That’s how he wipes our sins away.
And God sent his son, not just to forgive you, He sent His son because He’s crazy in love with you.
The last thing He wanted was to be separated from you…
He’s been trying to woo you back on one of these trails all of this time.
He loves you so much that He sent His OWN son…
And he would have done it …even if it was just for you.
And as if that wasn’t enough…there’s even more to it
When you make a decision to believe that Jesus died for you…it’s a turning over of your life.
Because when you start a relationship with Him, you’ll never want to go back.
Remember what he said in verse 35?
(John 6:35) – NIV
35 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.
All of those things we talked about that are just leaving you hungry and thirsty…Jesus can satisfy.
You can find true purpose and meaning in a relationship with Him.
And I just wonder…maybe today is the day where you say, “You know what…I believe that He died for me…I want to be forgiven…and I want to turn my life over to Him.
“I want to believe that he’s had me on this trail that I’ve been on for a reason”
“And as I look back on it…I can see that it’s leading to Him…to the real purpose of life…the CREATOR of my life”
And I believe for many of you in this room, today is the day that you do exactly that and put your faith in Jesus Christ…and start an amazing relationship with Him.
This is an amazing thing to do!
It’s something that I did when I was 18 years old, and it radically changed my life…for the better.
And SO many people in this very room have made this exact decision at a service just like this, and it’s completely changed their lives…for now…and for eternity.
And so I want to give you an opportunity to make that incredible choice too.
In fact, let’s just have everyone bow their heads and close their eyes as I want this to be a special moment between you and God.
If you want to do this …in just a moment, I’m actually going to ask you to respond by quietly standing up right where you are.
It’s a symbolic way to say to God, “Here I am. I know you’ve been leading me here. And I want to tell you that now, I believe, and I’ll follow”
NO ONE will be looking at you…no one (don’t even think about that!). This is about you and God.
This is just a way for you to symbolically say, “I believe. I’m putting my faith in Jesus.
“From this moment onward, to the best of my ability, I will be a follower of this amazing JESUS.
Maybe you are here today and have believed God exists, but you don’t have a relationship with him. You’ve never made this commitment. This is a time for you to do so.
So wherever you are, all across this room right now.. If you’d like to become a follower of Christ, to enter into a relationship with Him, and accept his gift of forgiveness, I want you to stand up wherever you are.
If God is nudging your heart in this…that means He’s real. That means…it’s TIME. If you feel it in your pulse…in your heart…that’s God. Accept His forgiveness. Start a new life with Him. It’s amazing!
If you’re standing up, would you pray this prayer with me?
It’s not a magic prayer…but just a prayer to tell God where you’re at… the Bible says, we 1) believe in our hearts and 2) confess with our mouths.
So I want you to say it out loud with me. Repeat after me
IN fact, there are a lot of other believers already in the room, and this is what we believe.
So, let’s all say it together with these new believers.
Repeat after me
I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.
But God I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place
And God I thank you, for forgiving my sins.
And now I commit, to following you, with my life.
(you can keep your eyes closed)
If you are standing, I need you to do one more thing for me.
It will only take 2 minutes, but it’s 2 of the most important minutes of your life.
In just a second, I’m going to pray, and right as I begin praying, I need you quietly sneak out of your row, and go to the back of the room
Our follow-up team is back there by the blue rectangle to give you some extremely important resources to get started on the most important journey in your life.
So head back there…it’ll only take 2 minutes…and you’ll be able to sneak back to your seat…and I promise you won’t miss out on a burrito
Let me pray (You can go back)
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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