Robert Morris - Bread
All right, so I'm beginning a new series. If you want to turn to Exodus 16 and John 6, or flip, you know, however, you know. Exodus 16 and then I'll go to John 6, and I'm going to preach a series, begin a series called, "More than Words". But, this is about the Bible, and God started speaking to me last fall to really help us understand and love God's Word, and I say God's Word because I do believe it is God's Word. And then, I saw something in print where a person who has professed Christ was actually attacking the Bible. It was so shocking to me. It was such an unbelievable attack. And so, I began to study this attack. What it said was that we need to learn to read and interpret the Bible as other great works of literature, such as Shakespeare. And it even said, and all of us should interpret the Bible according to our world view.
I was shocked that I was reading this! I was shocked! And it said, thus, and it put in parentheses, biblical interpretation. Okay, well, that's not what the doctrine of biblical interpretation means, the doctrine of biblical interpretation actually says the opposite. It says the Bible is of no private interpretation. Let me put it this way. You don't interpret the Bible, the Bible interprets you. The Bible is God's Word. And so, I was actually talking to my son, Josh, about this, and he said, Dad, there's kind of a whole move against the inerrancy of Scripture. If you use the word inerrant, it's like, well, you're just part of the older, uninformed, you know, dinosaur-type generation. And I said, well, how in the world... what are they using?
And of course, what I found out was they're using the same argument that I heard 35 years ago when I was in Bible college. And I talked to Pastor Jack Hayford about it. He said, they were saying that 65 years ago when I was in Bible college! So there's no new argument, and so, please don't get caught up in it. So I said to Josh, what would be their main argument? He said, well, the inconsistencies in Scripture. I said, like what? And he said, well, he said, for instance, they're saying, my son wasn't saying this. He said, they're saying that it's scientifically impossible for a man to live inside a fish for three days. And so I said to him, well, I actually believe that.
And my son said, what? You believe that? I said, yeah, I do believe it's scientifically impossible for a man to live inside a fish for three days. I also believe it's scientifically impossible for an ocean to part and people to walk over on dry land. I also believe it's scientifically impossible for a virgin to have a child, and I believe it's scientifically impossible for a man to walk on water, and I believe it's scientifically impossible for a man to be raised from the dead! And I said to my son, that doesn't prove that the Bible's not true. That proves that God is God! That proves we have a supernatural, miracle-working God! That's what it proves. I mean, there's a whole bunch of things in here that are scientifically impossible, and if your god is subject to science, I feel sorry for you.
Is it okay if I preach for a moment? Thank you. This is God's Word, and listen, do you realize it's the first attack of Satan? The first attack of Satan was to cast doubt on the Word of God. Did God really say? And let me tell you where that leads. That leads to exactly what Satan said. You can become God. If you can decide which passages are inspired and which passages are not inspired, that means you become God, and you're not God. And I believe every word of this book, even if I don't understand it. If you think this book is limited to your little finite intellectualism, I feel sorry for you if you think this book, you have to understand it to make sure it's true. You're not that smart.
Man, I'm fired up about this series, I just want you to know! You mark my words, this is the next attack of the enemy, because he doesn't have to discuss issues anymore. All he's got to do is discredit this book as God's Word. So, all of the issues that we talk about, he doesn't have to talk about, Satan says. Satan came up with, I don't have to talk about issues anymore. I don't have to argue issues, I just have to cast doubt on this book. And that's what he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He has no new tricks. He wants to cast doubt on the Word of God. All right, so we're going to talk about "Bread". Here's number one. The Bible is our daily bread, our daily bread.
Exodus 16:4, "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you". Notice "bread from heaven". It's very important because Jesus quotes this. "Bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day". I'm going to give you bread every day. "That I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not". Then you go to the New Testament, and we'll be at John 6 in a moment, but Matthew 6:11, when the disciples said, teach us to pray, He said, "Give us this day our daily bread". Okay, yes, I believe that's talking about provision, but since the Bible is also bread, and I'll show it to you in a minute where it's very clear that the words of God are bread, is it that God wants to give you a daily Word from God?
Now, I don't want to embarrass you, because all of us miss. All of us miss a few mornings, but you should be reading the Bible every day. But, what was your Word from God today? Okay, I've had a very busy time. I had a haircut at 8:00 this morning, and then went by, I know that doesn't sound that busy! But, my travel schedule the last week, and then went by to see the doctor at 9:00, because we're going out of the country and we take some precautionary things with us, you know? And then went by the chiropractor and all, and then was studying and getting ready, studying on the plane there and on the plane back Thursday and Friday from the memorial service.
And so, after I studied then, I was just exhausted, and so I lied down for a little while, took a nap, so I woke up then. I got ready and then prayed and all, but didn't have anything to eat. But I was a little weak, and so I ate a sandwich in the green room before I came out. But when we don't eat, we kind of feel kind of yucky, you know? And tired, and weak. Now, I think some of you feel yucky, and tired, and weak, because you haven't been eating. Here's a good one about daily. I love this verse, Psalm 68:19. "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits". I would like us to make a commitment to read the Bible every day. It is the first thing I do every morning.
The first thing I do, and it's on our phones now. It's so easy and it's free. I know the guy, I know him really well, who invented YouVersion. I know the guy. He's a great guy. So, it's free. And the very first thing I do, the very first thing, before I shower, before anything, is I just pick up my phone, flip it over to where I'm reading and start reading, and I read two to three chapters first thing. I'm having breakfast, my spiritual breakfast, and I want to encourage you to read the Bible every day. Here's what I'd like to say to you. If you'll read the Bible for 30 days, every day, if you're not fully satisfied, I'll give you your money back. Okay.
So, let me tell you. You say, well, what Bible should I read? So, let me just give you just a little understanding. There are two categories of Bibles, actually three, but two categories of translations. The third is a paraphrase. A paraphrase is like The Living Bible. The guy wrote it for his kids, so don't put it down. It's a great idea to write for your kids when all we had was the Old King James. He wrote it so his kids could understand it, and that's a paraphrase, and a paraphrase means he takes the English version and puts it in modern day language. Okay?
So, but translations go back to the original Hebrew, Old Testament, Greek, New Testament, and they translate. But, there are two types of translations. An exact equivalency translates word by word. A dynamic equivalency translates the phrase or the thought. That's the difference in the two categories of Bibles, and I'll tell you some of the ones. But, the exact equivalency, that's what I preach from. I preach from the New King James, because I want to know what the exact word is. Many times, I tell you, let me tell you what this word means in the Greek or in the Hebrew. That doesn't mean it's better than, it just means it's a different translation. So, if you're going to study, you want an exact equivalency translation. New King James is an exact equivalency. New American Standard, English Standard Version, those are exact equivalency. A dynamic translation translates the thought of the verse. That would be like the New Living Translation, the English Version, the NIV, The Message.
I used to think The Message was a paraphrase, but I found out that it is a translation. They went back to the original. And I like The Message, by the way. The Message, it's just a great, it just puts it in such a different way. I would suggest to everyone to get The Message and read that version. It's like, Psalm 122:1 says, "I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord'". Do you remember that? Okay, The Message says something like, it was cool when they said, hey, dude, let's go to church. You know, it's not quite that, but it's just a fun version. So, I just want you to read the Bible, that's the point. So again, exact equivalency is word by word, dynamic is thought by thought.
So that's the difference between the two versions, all right? Here's number two, our sustaining bread. So, not only is it our daily bread, God wants to give you a Word from His Word every day, by the way, how many of you have had this happen? I don't need to ask you to raise your hands, but how many times have you read something in the Bible, and later in the day you thought, oh, that's why I read that this morning? See? So, it's a daily Word from God. Our sustaining bread, Matthew 4:3-4. "Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, 'If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread'". Now remember, Jesus had been fasting 40 days. "But He answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'".
By the way, let me just go back to my introduction, my fiery introduction. If Scripture is just another literary work like Shakespeare, why did Jesus use it to overcome temptation? Because three times when He was tempted, He said, it is written, it is written, it is written. And you can quote Shakespeare all the day you want, it won't rebuke Satan, but God's Word does. So, it is written. So, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone'". "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". This is showing that the Bible is our bread, it's our spiritual nourishment.
And He quoted, now, He's quoting when He said, "It is written". It's Deuteronomy 8:3. "So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, fed you with manna", that's that daily manna, "which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord". Now, just to tell you something, Debbie loves bread. She loves bread. She could eat bread morning, breakfast, noon, midnight snack. She loves bread. And so, when I try to lose weight, I try to do high protein, low carbs. She doesn't like that at all, because she loves bread.
So, I was actually sharing this message with her, and I said, so in number two I'm going to use the Scripture where Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone". She said, I told you the Atkins diet was of the devil! So, anyway, we need food to sustain our natural bodies. Would you agree? You need spiritual food to sustain your spiritual body. Let me say it another way. A whole bunch of Christians are dying from spiritual malnutrition, because they're not eating the Word of God. This is bread.
Isaiah 55:2, "Why do you spend money for what is not bread"? In other words, why do you spend your time not feeding your spirit? "And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good", that's referring to the Bible, spiritual bread, "and let your soul delight in abundance". In other words, it's going to feed your soul. Job 23:12, "I've treasured the words of His mouth", that would be the Bible, "more than my necessary food". Joshua 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then", then, if you meditate on the Word day and night, "then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success". Okay, so this says you'll prosper and be successful, and not just financially, marriage, family, kids, health, everything, if you read and meditate on God's Word.
If, according to that verse, then what's the most important thing you could do every day? It's not read the Wall Street Journal, and that may be part of your business, but the most important thing you could do if you want to prosper is read the Bible every day. My son, James, now oversees our stewardship department and a few other departments here at the church. But when he was young, he wanted to go into business. So when he was 16 years old, Steve Doolan, a family friend of ours who was in the construction business for 30 years, now oversees our business leaders, Steve said to me, you know, James wants to be a businessman like I am, and so, would you mind if I mentor him in business? I said, I'd love for you to mentor him in business.
And so, they met and when he got home, I said, well, did you learn a lot of business principles? He said, nope, I didn't. And he said, now we're going to meet every week, but he said, do you know what this was about? I said, no. He said, it was about the Bible. And he told me, you will never be successful in business if you don't know the Bible. And so, Steve, one of our elders, required my son, when he was 16 years old, the first thing he said, he said, and I won't meet with you if you don't do this. He required him to memorize 200 Scriptures a year.
Now, a funny story about that. When he went to Baylor University to study business, Steve said, you know, you need to listen to the Bible in your spare time. Well, my son, if you know James, he oversees stewardship, okay? So, he's a good steward. Another way to say that is he's cheap. So, he goes to the bookstore and the New King James Version is like, $49 or $59. All of the versions are anyways. But they had the Old King James for $9.99, so he bought the Old King James. So one day, Josh, my older son, calls me and said, what is going on with James? I said, what do you mean? And so he said, well, I called him and he said to me, wherefore art thou, my brother? Josh said, what? And James said, hast thy been in thy fields with thy father today?
All right, here's the third point. It's not only our daily bread and our sustaining bread, it's our true bread. It's our true bread. By the way, if you don't know where the word Bible came from, just a little history here. It came from the Greek word biblios, which comes from a city named Byblos. Byblos was the largest, it was a Phoenician city. It was the largest exporter of papyrus paper in the world. So, if you had a book at that time, it was probably printed in Byblos. So you say, well, so the word Bible simply means book, but you have to remember, the word Holy is in front of it. It is the Holy Book. It's the set apart book from all other books.
So, it's our true bread, so what do I mean by this? Well, I want you to watch. Remember we started with manna, and it said "bread from heaven"? Now, watch what Jesus says in John 6:31. This is what the Pharisees said to Jesus first. "Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, as it is written, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat". Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven", and notice He didn't say he didn't give you bread from heaven. He said he didn't give you the bread. He did give you bread from heaven, but not the bread from heaven. "But My Father gives you the true bread from heaven, for the bread of God", the bread of God, "is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world". Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread also".
And Jesus said to them", I love this, "I am the bread of life". I'm the bread, fellows! "He who comes to Me shall never hunger", spiritually, "and He who believes in Me shall never thirst". He can satisfy you. Then, Verse 48 of John 6, "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they are now dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die", and live forever. "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever, and the bread I shall give is My flesh, which I give for the life of the world".
John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". And Verse 14 says, "And the Word became flesh", so it's talking about Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God. "And dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten", remember John 3:16, He's the only begotten Son, "of the Father, full of grace and truth". John 19:11, "I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. He who sat upon it was called Faithful and True, in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire", so we know this is Jesus. "On His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God".
All right, so why am I telling you this? When you read this book, you are taking in Jesus. I've got one more Scripture here, John 6:63. Jesus said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life". The more you read this book, the more Jesus gets in you. Jesus. Think about this. We have the key to everything. We have the secret to miracles. We have God's autobiography. Not biography, He wrote it. We have an encyclopedia on God from Him and about Him. We have the words of eternal life. We have the answer to every problem. And it's an app on our phones that we very seldom open. I promise you, you read this book, it'll change your life.
Gateway Church was born out of this book. When I was praying about whether to start a church or not, God took me to a Scripture. We were thinking about moving to the Southlake, Keller, Colleyville, Grapevine area, somewhere in here, to begin the first campus. We knew then we would have other campuses eventually. And, we put our house up for sale. It was up for six months. We never had one showing, not even a showing, much less an offer, we never had a showing! And we were not thinking about then planning the church. We were then just moving to another neighborhood.
Then when God spoke to us to plant the church, the Lord said to me, or Debbie said, well, it's the same thing. I saw some ladies, Debbie said, I think we need to put our house back up for sale. I said, there are six houses in the neighborhood for sale. We were the only ones for sale before. We never even got a showing. She said, I think we need to. So I said to the Lord, Lord, do we put our house up for sale? And in my daily Bible reading, I'm reading through, and I was reading the New Living Translation.
I get to Genesis 35:1, "Then God said to Jacob, "Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God". And build a church. Build a place for people to worship God. We put our house up for sale. Within two weeks, we had a bidding war on our house, and it sold. We bought a house in Keller. We started a Bible study in our living room with 30 people, and now we have 30.000 attending every week, because God spoke. God spoke.
God's word is literally bread. In other words, it is spiritual nourishment. We need it every day. We need God's sustaining bread. We need to be able to take God's word into our spirits and into our souls and let it nourish us. I want to encourage you to get this entire series. Here's the reason why, because this series it's called "More Than Words," and it's about the Bible. I'm going to be going through a lot of scripture in this series, and I really believe it's scripture that changes our lives. I want to encourage you this was the first message in this series. I'm gonna continue this series. I hope to see you next time.