What do you hunger for?

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

We finished reading that verse and I turned to one of the guys in our Bible study and asked, “How has Jesus met your hunger? How has he satisfied your thirst?”

The man pondered for a moment and said, “Actually, since I’ve accepted Jesus, my hungers have changed.”

The other guys in the Bible study nodded their heads vigorously. Most of them are newer Christians, and they are in awe of how God has changed what they hunger and thirst for.

“I feel that one in my soul,” another guy said. “If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be at a Bible study, much less a Bible study on a Friday night, I would have said you are crazy.”

But since tasting the Bread of Life, this man’s appetites have changed. He now hungers deeply for God’s presence and His Word. He thirsts for communion with God and with His people. He desires to pray for and serve others.

In his book You are What You Love, James KA Smith writes: “Jesus is a teacher who doesn’t just inform our intellect but forms our very loves. He isn’t content to simply deposit new ideas into your mind; he is after nothing less than your wants, your loves, your longings.”

In other words, the Bread of Life has come to change our appetites. Jesus desires that we enter into the blessing of hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Matt. 5:6).

But making a decision to follow Jesus doesn’t mean your appetites will instantly change. It takes intentional partnership with the Holy Spirit to realign our loves and longings with Jesus’.

What does this look like? Smith argues that you can’t think your way into new hungers but you can worship your way into them. 

Smith again: “Worship is the arena in which God recalibrates our hearts, reforms our desires, and rehabituates our loves. Worship isn’t just something we do; it is where God does something to us. Worship is the heart of discipleship because it is the gymnasium in which God retrains our hearts.”

When we gather together to sing to the Lord, read God’s Word, pray, practice confession, serve the poor, receive Communion and share a meal, these worshipful practices do something to us. They change what we love. They change what we hunger for.

Worship certainly takes place on Sunday mornings. But if every other day of the week, we worship something or someone else, our loves are being redirected away from the Kingdom. If we want to love what Jesus loves and hunger for what Jesus hungers for, we need practices of worship during the week too.

At Delaware City Vineyard, that’s why we have small groups. In these groups, we share a meal or dessert, sing to the Lord, pray for one another and open the Scriptures. As we do, our hearts begin to join with the Psalmist in saying, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:2)

Not part of a small group yet? Discovering Community is a great place to start! It’s a 6-week course where we learn how to create a worshipful, life-giving community, and then the people in the class launch a small group out of it.

Find out more information and to register, click HERE.

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