Why do we toil for material things in this world when they are all temporary? They say it’s for comfort. It’s a measure of success. It’s a dream come true. It’s a social status. All of these reasons can fit in the categories for all that is in the world in 1 John 2:16 — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Whether we admit it or not, deep down in our heart we have some reasons that meet the lust and pride of the flesh.
The Bible, though, never speaks of material things as essential as the spiritual things. In fact, the Bible does not teach that we prioritize or exert great effort in accumulating or possessing material things, such as food, clothing, shelter, or money.
We may say we need food, clothing, and shelter because they are our basic needs for living. True enough, we need them. God knows that, too. When Jesus taught the people and the disciples on how to pray, one of that is, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). God does not say that we should disregard our physical needs and conditions. We should ask for God to bless us with our daily needs. But our life should not be controlled, mastered, and run by our desire to have more materials things, whether that be food, clothing, shelter, or money. We just need enough for the day. We don’t need too much.
After Jesus fed the five thousand crowd of people with 5 loaves of barley bread and 2 fish, the crowd searched for him and they tailed after Jesus (John 6). When they found Jesus, He confronted them with the truth that they seek Him not because of the signs He did but because they ate the bread that He gave and they had been satisfied (John 6:26). Then Jesus went on saying,
“Don’t work for the food which perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For God the Father has sealed him.”– John 6:27 (WEB)
These words of Jesus bring to mind another similar theme that He spoke.
“Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal;– Matthew 6:19-20 (WEB)
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal.”
“Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’– Matthew 6:31-34 (WEB)
For the Gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient.”
God wants us to choose that which is more important in life. They are things that are of eternal value. We should choose the bread that does not perish, but the bread that endures to eternity. It is the bread of life.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.“– John 6:35 (WEB)
“Most assuredly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life.– John 6:47-48 (WEB)
I am the bread of life.”
Jesus Christ is the bread of life. He was not referring to Himself as a physical bread. Instead, like bread, Jesus Christ can satisfy all our needs. Just like we need bread to live and be nourished, so we need Jesus Christ to live and be nourished spiritually. Without the physical bread, we suffer hunger, malnourishment, and even death. Without Christ, we suffer spiritual hunger, spiritual malnourishment, and spiritual death. For whoever believes in Jesus Christ gains eternal life.
Choose the Bread of Life more than the bread of this world. Comfort and riches are temporal, but the life we choose in Jesus Christ is eternal.
Eternity far outweighs the short life we live on earth. When we choose Christ, we choose life.