Worries About Food

Most of us worry a little about food. Grocery store prices keep going up and many items we pay for keep getting smaller. We’re told that costs will continue to rise because of upcoming changes in the North American Free Trade agreement and side effects from global warming. The United Nations reports that one out of nine people on earth are undernourished and can’t live a healthy, active life. Droughts and conflicts in central African countries make food production more difficult. And the world population will reach 9 billion by 2050. Experts worry if we can feed everybody.

It would seem strange that Canadians would worry about food. We seem to have lots of it. Food production, in fact, is Canada’s largest manufacturing employer – 285,000 people! We have a climate that allows us to grow lots of it, and some of us even have our own gardens at home. And in addition to all these advantages, we are surrounded by a host of restaurants that want you to come and eat.

Emerging from Egypt, Israel worried about what they could eat traveling in the desert. It didn’t look too promising. Moses later remarked, “And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know…that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Dt.8:3). Jesus later quoted Moses’ words when dealing with the devil’s temptations in Matt.4:4. He was pointing out that there’s more to life than producing and eating physical food. We also need everything God said in His word.

In Jesus’ statement, at the least, the word of God is placed in equal importance to our need for physical food. In some senses it’s more important, for it can give us an eternal destiny when food can’t.

This is why we need to spend time in the word of God every day learning it, savouring it, and putting it into practice. Great lives feed on more than just physical food. We ought to worry a little when we haven’t taken time to open its pages.

Have you fed on the word of God today?

– Tim Johnson

A New Competition

We live in a very competitive world. We try to outdo one another, get ahead of each other, and try to carve out attention for ourselves and our opinions. People are often put down or ignored in the quest to come out on top. Competition can be a healthy thing, but not in relationships.

Paul said, “…and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Eph.5:21). After living a life of getting his own way, this apostle bowed to the Lord on the Damascus road (Acts 9) and subjected himself to his fellow apostles (Galatians 2). It saved his soul and ushered him into the encouraging fellowship of the church.

Jacob subjected himself to his brother, Esau, after two decades of estrangement and grudges; it restored a difficult family. Joshua subjected himself to Moses and eventually took his place. David subjected himself to the prophet Nathan, repenting of disturbing sins and getting his life back on track. Subjection is not a sign of weakness, it’s humility solving problems.

It has a lot to do with honouring each other. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honour” (Rom.12:10). A footnote says, “outdo one another in showing honour.” This speaks of the care and regard we are to have towards each other. We extend it to each other in the fear of Christ. If Jesus honoured us by giving His life, we ought to honour each other.

Jesus turns competition up-side-down. Instead of competing for prominence, we outdo one another in showing honour.

Who have you honoured today?

– Tim Johnson

World’s Greatest Disaster

One of the greatest tragedies in human history was the Black Plague in Europe. Over a 7-year period (1346-1353), over 75-200 million people died. The population of Europe was pretty well cut in half and would not fully recover for 300 years. As the crisis accelerated, germs spread quickly because the dead could not be buried quickly enough. Since no one knew the source of the disease, physicians of the time offered useless treatments. However, religious people were familiar with the instructions in the Law of Moses regarding quarantine and hygiene when leprosy was present, and how to deal with the dead. Church leaders applied these principles to the plague and leprosy, and the spread of disease was halted in many communities. Millions of lives were saved.

While reading ahead for our Sunday morning adult study of the Book of Numbers, I was reminded of the Law’s instructions about hygiene. For example, in 19:14-16 it directs, “This is the law when a man dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean for seven days. And every open vessel which has no covering tied down on it, shall be unclean. Also, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.” The purpose of these instructions is obviously to prevent the spread of disease and germs, although ancient Jews could not understand the medical details as we can today.

That such medical wisdom was being practiced by ancient Israel a full 2800 years before the devastation of the great plagues of medieval Europe is surely amazing. The most advanced societies of the time were nowhere close to practicing Israel’s ways of hygiene and seclusion. No scientific experimentation discovered these principles; it originated in the inspired word of God.

This is one more clear piece of evidence that the Bible is indeed a book given to man by God Himself.

– Tim Johnson

The Importance of Hope in My Life

The following article was written by Roy Graneau, preacher for the South Edmonton Church of Christ (the congregation that I used to work with before moving to Barrie). Roy is highly respected and appreciated. – Tim


There are times when everything looks very dark to me, so dClouds on seaark that I have to ask, “Is my God still with me in my storms?” Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when I must even wait for hope. When I see no hint of success yet refuse to despair, when I see nothing but darkness of night through my window, yet keep the shutters open because stars may appear in the sky, and when I have an empty place in my heart yet will not allow it to be filled with anything less than one of God’s best virtue of patience.

It is the story of Job in the midst of trials, Abraham on the road to Mount Moriah, Moses in the burning desert of Median and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is no patience as strong as that which endures because God who is invisible in my storms.

“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

– By Roy Graneau

The View from the Top

At 120 years old, Moses announced to the Israelite nation that his time had come. In Deut.34:1, God instructed him to ascend Mount Nebo where he would die. What a solemn walk that would have been for this great old prophet.

When he reached the top, God allowed him a look at all of the promised land. Mount Nebo is 2680 feet above sea level and stands just east of the Jordan valley, just across from Jericho. What a terrific place to preview the land. He would have seen the deep Jordan valley at his feet, and the high hills of the future Judea, where Jerusalem stood. God displayed the southern parts of the land at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and the northern limits in the distance. This would have been the pinnacle of Moses’ life, for he had never seen the promised land. For the previous 40 years he had led the people in its direction. The place had only existed in his imagination. This brief view would have fulfilled a dream.

As you know, Moses was not allowed to enter the land. The closest he would get was the view at the top of Mount Nebo. Then, after a good, long look, he passed away. God buried him in a nearby valley, but his final resting place is concealed.

God had actually done Moses a favour by letting him skip living in the new land. History records it became a place of tremendous strife and hardship. Instead, God took him into the heavenly realms. The rest of the people soon entered the land, but they would eventually destroy it.

Our position is something like that of Moses. We travel far in life and the way is difficult. We’re told about our reward in heaven, but we can only see it through the word of God and by faith. However unlikely it seems, the time is coming when we will enter it. Live by faith so that you will.

– Tim Johnson