Food for the Soul

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:26-28).

How difficult these words must have been for the disciples to hear. Jesus was speaking of his death and how they would somehow participate in it—“eating” and “drinking” his body and blood. Only later would they understand that Jesus was encouraging them to “take in” bread and wine and to incorporate his suffering and death into their lives—as though they had suffered themselves. In fact, Jesus would pay the price for their forgiveness; he was the Way for them to draw near to God.

The simple elements—the bread and wine—retain utmost significance for us today. By faith, we partake of the sacrament of communion. We eat and drink and thereby celebrate Christ’s death and life in us. By faith, we and other believers offer thanks and proclaim that Jesus is Savior and Lord. And in ways that we cannot explain, as we eat the bread and drink the wine, God satisfies the deepest longings of our soul. We eat and drink. We draw near to God. God himself feeds our soul.

First Contemplation
Read the devotional and especially focus on the first verse. Imagine what it would have been like to sit at that table with Jesus. He hands you a piece of bread. What does he say to you? Praise and thank Jesus for his sacrifice on your behalf. Take in his love. Pray and write your thoughts in a journal.

Second Contemplation
Read the devotional and especially focus on the last two verses. The essential message of God’s covenant is his assurance that he forgives sin. Sin separates people from God, and Jesus is the bridge back to him. If you have not confessed your need for God, do so now. Pray, “Lord, I believe in you. I believe you are the Son of God who died and rose again. Come into my life, Lord Jesus. Only you can satisfy my soul.” Thank God for his gift of salvation. Pray and write your thoughts in a journal.

Third Contemplation
Read the devotional and again focus on the first verse. Also, read John 6:47–51. Jesus invites us to feast on him, the bread of life. This day we want to draw near to God. Jesus graciously offers, and we receive the Bread of Life. Jesus feeds our soul. Tell him what this mean to you. Pray and write your thoughts in a journal.

Fourth Contemplation
Read the devotional. God’s free gift of life might seem too good to be true. You might instead rely on things of this world, such as people, wealth, fame, possessions—idols that divert our gaze from Christ and his sacrifice. Ask God to bring to mind ways you refuse to drink and eat his gift of true life. Now, repent in godly sorrow. Say you’re sorry and turn to him. Read 1 John 1:9. Pray and write your thoughts in a journal.

Fifth Contemplation
Read the devotional. Contemplate that as we eat the bread and drink the wine that we participate in the death and life of Christ. Though cloaked in mystery, by faith we know that we are “in Christ.” We are citizens of heaven and earth! God is love and as we draw near to him, God sustains us in love. Pray and write your thoughts in a journal.

Sixth Contemplation
Read the devotional. This day we pray that God satisfy the deepest longings of our soul. What need is front and center in your life today? What causes angst in your soul? Identify an area and give it to Jesus. Pray, “Oh Lord, this is too heavy for me to carry. Please take it.” Pray and write your thoughts in a journal.

Seventh Contemplation
Read the devotional and especially focus on the last two verses. God knew that we could not save ourselves and sent the Son Jesus Christ to atone for our sin. We humbly bow before our Savior and Lord. We submit our life to him and marvel as he changes us to receive and reflect his glory. Jesus saves, is saving, and will save us when he comes again. Reflect on the ways God has demonstrated his faithfulness to you. Pray and write your thoughts in a journal.

Categories Devotionals | Posted on February 28, 2012 by

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