Our Hearts Always Hunger For

Our Hearts Always Hunger For - Grafted Magazine

Wonderful, merciful Savior

Precious Redeemer and Friend

Who would have thought that a Lamb

Could rescue the souls of men

Oh you rescue the souls of men

 

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper

Spirit we long to embrace

You offer hope when our hearts have

Hopelessly lost the way

Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

 

You are the One that we praise

You are the One we adore

You give the healing and grace

Our hearts always hunger for

Oh, our hearts always hunger for

 

Almighty, infinite Father

Faithfully loving Your own

Here in our weakness You find us

Falling before Your throne

Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

I’ve had this hymn stuck in my head ever since we started discussing the theme for July. Lately I’ve been so hungry for more of Him, hungry to know Christ more. Hungry for good fellowship with believers who don’t follow blindly, but purely and passionately. I’ve been devouring the book of Acts like a man starved. I’ve been drinking wisdom like new wine; I want it to cover me.

So when my mom pointed out that our themes have already been loosely following Acts 2:42-47, I knew we had a perfect match for July’s theme.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

 

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

This month, we’re focusing on that little part “breaking of bread.” It’s such a beautiful topic to me. Ever since the dawn of time, God has used food to communicate with humanity. It started as early as Genesis 1:29-30.

“Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so.”

This continues in the New Testament with communion. Drink this wine, eat this bread. Do this in remembrance of me. God has always had a habit of communicating with His people through food. He sent three of His angels to have a talk with Abraham and Sarah, and they discussed the future of humanity in coded metaphor over bread and meat and cheese. When Elijah was traveling, teaching and speaking of coming doom, he was hungry and tired and stopped at a house to eat. The woman had nothing there, not enough wheat or oil to make bread. In fact, they had so little that they were planning out their final meal before they starved to death. “Do not fear” Elijah told her and said for her to make him a loaf and then one for herself and her son.

“For thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.’” (1 Kings 17:12-16)

It’s not every day when you think about eating and God at the same time. But it’s a pretty worshipful experience, don’t you think? Growing up, we were always surrounded by people we loved and who loved us. We’d cook together and eat together. Sharing our little until we had plenty. It’s through many years of these meals, either loud and almost riotous, or quiet and worshipful, that I’ve realized that eating together is an intimate experience. It’s the physical food and the spiritual food that we hunger for. We need both to survive and thrive.

Breaking of Bread

Breaking of Bread People generally think of Communion when they hear the phrase,
Breaking of Bread. I think of the new Testament Church gathering to
encouraging each other, talk about their weeks, asking for prayer, and then having a fellowship meal afterwards.

Acts 2:42
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

It’s amazing how much of Jesus’s ministry was done sitting around a
table talking, or miracles that had to do with food, and Jesus also told a lot of stories/parables with food in them, (because we tend to remember stories a lot better than rules & commandments.) After all wasn’t Jesus’s first miracle turning water into wine at a wedding feast.

The Jewish leaders kept making hard complex rules and traditions that had to be kept. Over and over Jesus would do something that went completely against the tradition of the rulers, often defying how they interpreted Jewish law, crossing the line between Gentiles and Jews, and doing things that were considered to be unclean. He was showing that salvation wasn’t by the law, but by faith, and not just for the Jews, but he was extending it to the Gentiles also, as it was his original intent. He was trying to show them that the law was to show what’s in the heart.

Luke 6:1-4
1 On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands.
2 But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?”
3 And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:
4 how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?”

 

Romans 5:13, 20
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

 

Romans 3:20-22, 28
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:for there is no difference
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law

He split the curtain enabling, us to approach him without a blood offering, and to have fellowship with him, to communicate with him through prayer, and have fellowship in the breaking of bread with others that believe. One of the most amazing things about his gift is that it’s a relationship that will go on forever, and he made us able to share what we’ve learned and done with others for his greater glory!

Community and Fellowship

Quotes & Verses “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”

A.W. Tozer

 

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

 

2 Corinthians 8:4

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

 
“In every community, there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.” 
― Marianne Williamson
 
“Saints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God.” 
― Stanley Hauerwas

Philippians 3:10-11

10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

 

“Everybody is a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don’t do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering.” 
― Rachel Naomi Remen

 

Philippians 1:5-6

5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut
 
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” 
― Dorothy Day

 

1 John 1:3

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us:and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

 

“Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is… One of the deepest forms of poverty a person can experience is isolation… Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God’s love, by man’s basic and tragic tendency to close in on himself, thinking himself to be self-sufficient or merely an insignificant and ephemeral fact, a “stranger” in a random universe…The human being develops when … his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator… It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God.” 
― Pope Benedict XVI

 

Philippians 2:1-2

1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

 

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” 
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” 
― Brennan Manning
 
“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.” 
― Brennan Manning

 

When Is Fellowship, Not Fellowship?

1

Fellowship- Daddy

“And Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and
slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’” Luke 13:3-5

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13

What a weird scripture to start off with to talk about fellowship, huh? But I think most of us, more often than we like to admit, tend to think that we are sinners above all others, because we keep repeating the same sins over and over again, and we don’t know how to rid ourselves of them. So what does that have to do with fellowship?

Scripture teaches us that we cannot have relationships without trust, and trust is not extended without truth (and only to the degree of truth we share), and we can not have real fellowship with one another if that fellowship is not in Christ, who is Truth. And yet we hang out with one another, acting as if everything is okay in our life, thinking we are greater sinners than our friends. We can’t tell them about what we are struggling with, because we suppose that, “They couldn’t understand, because they have it all together.” And they are standing there talking with us, thinking the same thing! (Because that’s how our culture has told us we need to act to be accepted.)

Application

Find some friends, two to five (of the same gender) usually works best, and talk about how you would like to begin being The Body of Christ by being connected with one another. Have a regular time to meet, be completely honest with one another, giving thanks and praise, share stresses in your life, confess sin, read the Bible, encourage and pray one for another throughout the time you don’t see one another. What is shared in the circle stays in the circle that you may build trust. Don’t be
afraid to challenge or be challenged by each other.

 

Kurt Zimmerman was saved by grace, and is a loving father of eleven children. He lives in Tomball, TX. on a one acre farm with chickens, goats, and lots gardens (He loves growing things and getting his hands covered with black earth).