What do I Labor for?

John 6:14-15, 24-27 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

We thank The Lord for a lot of things and we praise Him for our many blessings. Have we ever thanked The Lord for being the king of kings? I have heard the saying that we should come to God expecting to receive something from him when we come to church. I have seen and been apart of the arrogant approach and commanding of God to do something. I have never seen a call to prayer that comes to the throne of grace with a humble heart of a child. I have seen the angry mob beating on the castle gates. Yes, we are to make are needs known to him but how many brats would you answer? How many of us would readily answer children who try to boss us around to meet theirs “wants”. How many parents are quick to bail their kids out bad choices?

The 5,000  people were filled with food, their needs met. Their need or want was all they could see. They never saw Jesus, they never saw God. Think of it this way; fellowship with others over a meal isn’t about getting feed. It’s about relationship building, it’s about learning and growing. You take in the whole experience and if all you focus on is filling your belly;  you miss the true blessing. Sometimes our blessings can cloud our view of God. We become so depended on them that we try to manipulate Jesus.  We lose sight of that fact that we are even able to approach Him in prayer.  Think about the fact that we are able to talk to the creator of all things.  We may never get the chance to speak to a president of the United States but we can talk to God!  We are able to be in God’s presence, that in itself is a blessing.

The people searched for Jesus because they wanted to make him king. They only wanted to ensure their loaves and fishes, plus whatever else he could provide. Their human instinct of self-preservation was priority number one as for many of us. Our main concern is living on this earth. We will do whatever it takes to calm the anxieties we have in regards to living in the world. Our comforts and enjoyment are most important as we labor 40 plus hours a week. We would do anything, even lie to God.  It is so hard not to fall into this trap because of the world we live in. Living a life of faith is challenging as we also are trying to live in contentment as Jesus commands. Christ warns us about our treasures and who they reveal to whom our hearts truly belong. We can get caught up in the moment of deliverance and on the motion of our emotions,  making  professions of faith. Jesus stopped many potential disciples and asked them to count the costs before following him. The people that searched him were not seeking him for him but for earthly treasures.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”

We act as if God doesn’t know our  heart because our actions can seem so sincere in the moment. But the efforts we put into being religious and righteous before God can be done all to receive the food that perishes.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

If our labor is not seeking Jesus with mind, heart and deed; then it will all be in vain. He will turn to us in the last days and tell us that he doesn’t know us. The crowd wasn’t going to truly follow Christ because they couldn’t deny their bellies. Just as the people of Israel in the wilderness as God allowed them to wonder until the grumbles died off. So how do you know if your god is not your belly or body? This is how…

Luke 9:23-27 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

We must be careful that we are not chasing Christ for a payday even thought it is tempting in these trying times. God calls us to walk in faith and trust in him.  The word tells us to keep our eyes on him and walk in and on his word.  We must focus our minds and heart on seeking him above all things and all riches first and foremost.

2 Responses to “What do I Labor for?”
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  1. […] life for him and in him in order to save it.  But if we seek to save our lives through worry and laboring to save it, we will surely lose it in the process.  We will gain the whole world and lose our […]


  2. […] mentions that it was because of Jesus that he has so much fish and when he is out, he is out. So the fisherman slowly lowers his quantity and increases the price. So we forget the main thing and replace Jesus […]


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