We Have Food
We Have Food
by Shannon Raines
While driving on a delivery for work the other day, I saw a road sign for a restaurant that made one simple, yet effective, promise: “We Have Food.” I couldn’t imagine an easier, more straightforward advertising style. And it worked! There was a stop sign next to the restaurant sign, so I lingered there a little longer than normal to pay more attention to this mysterious sign—but all I could get out of the yellow and red sign before I had to move on was that they had tacos. Then again, saying they had tacos was good enough for me. As I drove back to work, I thought a lot about that sign and the unknown-to-me place that just wanted to feed me. It was intriguing, and I gotta say there’s a good chance I’ll go back and sample the tacos later.
Yesterday our church’s lead pastor, Trevor DeVage, talked about how we need to constantly spread the seed of the gospel into the lives of others. We need to “scatter because people matter” to God. We don’t need fireworks, banners, megaphones, and high-ticket events. We just need to state the facts:
A) We all need food to live.
B) Jesus and his church have food.
Jesus once said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:34, 35, NIV).
When we typically think of food, we think of the things that we eat every day, we think of our likes, our comfort foods, or maybe the things we’d like to eat but know we shouldn’t. But Jesus here tells us about something greater than physical food. Imagine if we were to tell people we had the food that would end their hunger forever! One bite of this meal and they would be “right as rain,” as my uncle would say. Imagine having something that tasty!
We Have Life
If you are a Christ follower, recognize that you have the food. All you need to do is tell people, and it’s as easy as that sign I saw advertising tacos. OK, maybe I’d switch the word “food” to “life” so no one would show up expecting a feast. The church of Jesus Christ has been entrusted with the unique gift that is the Word of life.
If you saw “We Have Life” written on the side of a road on a yellow and red sign, you’d probably pause and wonder what was going on there. In the same way that I crave those tacos, people crave real life. Imagine if we also put a cross on that sign. It would be like putting the name of the restaurant on the road sign. Because of what Jesus did in giving his life for every person in the world, he has provided a way for us to enjoy a satisfying life—here in this world, and in the one to come.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25, NLT). And he clearly pointed out the path for us to choose in order to experience this kind of life when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NLT).
We Have Love
The well-known atheistic magician, Penn Jillette, is widely known for asking, “How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”
Picture this: You are walking down the road in a big city, or maybe a small town, when you see someone sitting on the side of the road begging. The person looks like he hasn’t eaten, bathed, or maybe not even moved in days! You can even see his ribs, poor fellow. You look down at your hands. In one hand, you have a nice piping hot coffee. In the other, you have a bag containing a blueberry muffin, the kind that is fluffy, warm, and huge! Your stomach doesn’t really need too much filling. After all, you had a good breakfast back home. You look back to the man and ponder.
How much do you have to hate him to not give, or at least share, your mini meal with him?
How much do you have to hate him?
Some people would be moved so far as to give him the muffin, the coffee, and run to a nearby store to get him more food, drink, and even fresh clothes! This is how Jesus wants us to be. This is the Great Commission. Jesus wants us to see the lost of the world and “freak out.” Not only should we have compassion for them and pray for them, we should also rush to their aid, telling them how they can be found, how they can be fed, and how they can find new life. This is urgent! They’re not just lost, but in their path—close in their path—is a cliff leading to the most horrible fate imaginable!
“How much do you have to hate them?”
We have food. To give them food is just the opposite of hating them; it means that we are doing something to actively demonstrate that we love them. Many people have boiled down the message of the gospel into just four short words: “Love God. Love people.” The only thing we’re allowed to hate here is the fact that sin exists! Oh, and maybe wasps.
We should be describing how delicious the food Jesus offers is, begging people to sink their teeth into the feast of life that will leave them satisfied forever! We should be using every tactic we know to get it into their mouth (yes, maybe even the good old “airplane spoon” if we have to)! For many years the drink Red Bull claimed to give people so much energy that it gave them wings to keep going. Guess what? The food that Jesus offers really does! It gives wings so people can fly away from the cliff that leads toward disaster and choose the way that leads to the ultimate eternity with God in Heaven! So, eat up!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8, NLT).
Shannon Raines has been a member of Christ’s Church since she was five years old, and is currently a master’s student at Liberty University.