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Seeds of the Kingdom

Hungry Birds

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty”.
John 6:35, NIV

This year a robin built a nest in our garage, just by the door. I had to pass very close to it each time I used our car, and the mother bird soon became accustomed to the sound of the car door and the engine. She laid six eggs in the nest and sat very tight while incubating them. When the eggs hatched, I peeped excitedly into the nest to greet the new arrivals. On hearing me approach they immediately lifted their tiny heads and opened their beaks very wide, obviously expecting food from me. They had not yet developed enough discernment to recognise that I was not their mother!

It made me think that some Christians can be rather similar. They can be eager for any kind of spiritual experience and ready to receive whatever is on offer. Without discernment this can be dangerous, as they can open themselves up to deceptive practices and other spiritual powers.

There is much in the Bible to encourage us to hunger and thirst after God and His word. In fact it’s the hungry whom He has promised to fill with good things (Luke 1:53), and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness who will be filled (Matthew 5:6). But we need to be careful that we’re looking to Jesus, and to Him alone, to feed us spiritually. He says in today’s verse that whoever comes to Him will never go hungry. He’s the Bread of Life. It’s a strange paradox, however, that we need to continually hunger for Him, and then we will never be hungry!

If we yearn for comfort and nourishment from other sources (from relationships, from physical food or drink, from fulfilment in work or ministry, or even from spiritual experience), we’ll never be fully satisfied, and we may open ourselves up to other spiritual powers. We need to look to Jesus, and to Him alone, as the only One who can satisfy our soul. We also need to develop discernment, which comes from the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to recognise what’s of Him and what’s not, so that we’re not like those baby birds opening their mouths to receive anything that’s passing!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You’re the Bread of Life for me. Please feed me today and every day, and help me to develop the discernment to see what comes from You and what doesn’t. Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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