Bible Bread Recipes? The Wisdom of the Bible

ezekiel-bread

A fitness and nutrition trainer had recommended to my wife a more healthy bread called Ezekiel bread. The trainer is not religious, he is just very much about how regular exercise and a healthy diet can contribute to a good life.  So I went to the grocery store to find the bread, really not having a clue about it. Upon finding it I immediately had to look up Ezekiel 4:9.

“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side.” – Ezekiel 4:9 NIV

If you like whole wheat and grain breads, this is actually very good. I had also found this natural foods company had another bread product called Genesis 1:29. As expected, this natural bread is made from seeds and grains.

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” – Genesis 1:29 KJV

There are many other dietary guidelines we find in the scriptures, from the Law of Moses (the origin of kosher practices) to Daniel and his companions eating a vegetarian diet (Daniel 1:11-16) to Paul’s advice to Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23).

So what’s the point? The Bible is full of great wisdom, not only for our spiritual welfare, but also for our natural well-being. By our nature, we tend to think natural before spiritual, and if you approach the Bible that way, you will find that you can trust the natural wisdom we find there – in this example, the bread and foods they ate were very nutritious. And if you can trust the natural wisdom of the Bible, then surely you can trust the spiritual wisdom of the Bible.

The Bible is reliable to guide us in all aspects of life, both naturally and spiritually. And if we believe this, then we can know God, and find salvation through Jesus Christ.

It is Hard to Fill a Cup Already Full

When Jesus started His ministry he selected disciples who were men who had faith in God, and were looking forward to the coming Messiah, but they were not religious men. They were mostly fishermen, one was a tax collector and the others are assumed to have been tradesmen. Why would Jesus choose such men as His Apostles?

“It is hard to fill a cup that is already full.” – Avatar, 2009

Today’s quote is a movie quote, not a Bible quote, but it still encapsulates a wise truth about teaching and learning. For someone to learn, they must be open and have room for new knowledge and ideas, or the teaching is in vain. And of course, Jesus knew this very well.

When Jesus was teaching His disciples, on one occasion in the Bible, he made reference to filling wine skins with new wine.

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled ” – Luke 5:37

Here is the full context: “Then He spoke a parable to them: ‘No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.'” – Luke 5:36-38 NKJV

This universal concept is simple and true: you cannot learn if you are not open to learning, and you cannot teach someone who is not willing to unlearn that which they already know. If you are truly open to learning, you must be willing to admit that one of these two things may be true: 1) your knowledge is incomplete; or 2) your knowledge is incorrect. Otherwise, your cup is already full and there is no room to put in the new wine.

Gaining the World, Losing Your Soul

Camel Through the Eye of a Needle

I recently heard someone say, in relation to the pursuit of wealth, that when you die the one with the most toys wins. This wasn’t the first time I had heard that phrase, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, given the world we live in.

Throughout the ages the accumulation of wealth and power has been the driving force behind the rise of many rulers, leaders, and enterprises. But do those with the most at the end really win? That depends on what they have the most of.

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” – Matthew 16:26 NKJV

The Bible presents a very different perspective on wealth and power – those who desire to be rich by accumulating possessions, actually become poor; and those who seek the things of God, putting their focus on spiritual wealth rather than worldly gain, actually become rich.

And so is it wrong to want to have money, or is it wrong to be wealthy? Or should we have no aspirations for a particular standard of living? Let’s be honest, everyone would like to be well off. That’s what drives most of us to work – we’d like to provide a good life for ourselves, our families, and others. And for all that we have, having a little bit more seems better. I have yet to meet someone who wishes they had less.

There are two things that Jesus said that give us an understanding that it’s not as much about what we have, but it’s all about what’s in our hearts. First He said,

“And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Matthew 19:24 NKJV

Wow, that’s a tough one! So everyone who has enough money to be considered rich is going to hell? Even His disciples in that day thought the same: “When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
In another passage, Jesus said,

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” – 1.Matthew 6:24 NKJV

Jesus’ words are about our hearts, our intentions, our innermost desires. The trapping of material wealth is that one may tend to forget about God, and believe that we are defined by how much we have naturally.

If the heart desires wealth for the sake of self-indulgence and asserting your own will upon others in order to increase your possessions; if you are working to selfishly take whatever you can with little regard for others; if the prize is the size of your wallet and the amount of stuff you can buy; and if the game you are playing is “he who dies with the most toys wins”; then beware because you may gain the world and lose your own soul. Don’t think you can get that camel through the eye of that needle.

However, if you seek prosperity with a heart that is open to providing for and helping others; if you use your wealth for the betterment of others and the furthering of the Kingdom of God; if you can truly say that God comes first, it all comes from Him and all belongs to Him, and your actions follow that; then you are a force for good and a force for God in this world. And the blessing of God to the truly generous person is evident:

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38 NKJV

In the end, those who live according to the love and Spirit of God, it is they who win.