How Much Is Enough?

The answer to this question depends on the subject. Here it is rabbit food.

Brother Steve’s family includes a rabbit. Here are a couple of photos, showing the rabbit’s hutch and dining accommodations.

You see the rabbit’s very adequate supply of food here, and there is more food in the form of greens to the rabbit’s right, behind that little door. Brother Steve says he has heard that rabbits are grazers. They need to eat pretty much all day. If they run short of food, their digestive tract may shut down from having nothing to process, and they die.

In other words, they need to “eat without ceasing.”

Isn’t there a good parallel here for us in our spiritual lives?

As believers we must be doing some things continually. The first passage that comes to mind is from Paul,

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Notice three things to be done here without a break: rejoice, pray, give thanks.

16Rejoice always,

17pray without ceasing,

18in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Under the Levitical system, the law provided for bread to be always on the table of shewbread in the tabernacle.

Exodus 25:30 30And you shall set the showbread on the table before Me always.

This bread represented the spiritual bread of life that God is providing for us, bread of life, bread from heaven, bread that we may eat continually.

God gave the people manna all through the wilderness, so they could eat continually.

Psalm 78:24 24…[He] rained down manna upon them to eat, And [gave] them of the corn of heaven.

They lacked nothing, but they only complained.

Numbers 21:5 5And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”

Or as worded in the KJV,

…there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loathes this light bread.

Light bread. They didn’t like what God was providing. It was free and abundant, but they could only complain about it.

The manna was a good illustration of God’s spiritual provisions for us. But we don’t always like the taste of it!

Jesus included the same request in the prayer He taught His disciples.

Matthew 6:11 11Give us this day our daily bread.

Bread for every day. Continually.

There were other “continual” commands under the Law, also teaching the need for uninterrupted provisions for God’s people.

One was for continual LIGHT.

Under the Levitical system, the lamps were to be burning continually.

Leviticus 24:2 2“Command the children of Israel that they bring to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually.

These lamps represented our lamps of faith which we must keep always burning, day and night. If we let the light go out, we are not representing God’s cause as we should. It was said of John the Baptist,

John 5:35 35He was the burning and shining lamp….

The Psalmist said it a number of times, that there were things he did without ceasing. He said it different ways.

Psalm 34:1 1I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

The Psalmist said it here about praise. He also said he would hope continually.

Psalm 71:14 14But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.

David apparently had just written a new song which he was delivering to the choir director to perform. We read:

1 Chronicles 16:7–11 7On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the Lord: 8Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 9Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 10Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!

Then comes the “continually” command:

1 Chronicles 16:11 11Seek the Lord and his strength, Seek his face continually.

Hebrews speaks of continually offering the sacrifice of praise.

Hebrews 13:15 15Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

How can praise be a “sacrifice”? Because if we follow our feelings, there are times when we feel more like “grumble” than like “praise.” We must be prepared to cut that “grumble” feeling with a sacrifice of praise. That is why Paul said,

Philippians 4:4 4Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

The Psalmist said that the people living under the new King who will reign from “sea to sea” will be offering prayer and praise for Him continually. Psalm 72.

Psalm 72:15 15And He shall live; And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him; Prayer also will be made for Him continually, And daily He shall be praised.

We don’t see people doing this for their rulers today—nor are their rulers like Christ will be.

Hear the Apostle’s earnest words of entreaty to the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 4:1 1Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;

More and more—like the rabbit, eating all the time.

This fervent apostle had yet more to say about an ever-increasing devotion every serious seeker for salvation will have.

1 Thessalonians 3:12–13 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

We need to “increase and abound.” If we are not doing more and more, we will find our zeal diminishes and we will do less and less.

Eating continually? Paul commends the brethren for a constantly growing faith.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 3We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

Isn’t that the faith, the intensity, the fervor, the constant reminding we need, we who live right in the era of Christ’s return, in the last hour of the day, when it is so easy to fall asleep. We want that love that abounds “yet more and more.” Read it as Paul wrote to the Philippians:

Philippians 1:9–10 9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,

Pray, praise, hope, grow—all continual, without ceasing. Brother Nichols summarized it at the end of his General Letter:

Read…meditate… grow.

And we might add: LIVE.

Bread in one form or another is beyond question the most basic form of food in practically every human society, past or present, so much so that it is often called “the STAFF OF LIFE.”

If we want to be sure to live, we will, like those stalwart men and women of old, believe the word of God and His anointed. They will feed us the bread of heaven as long as we are thankful for it. We will take joy and praise God for the glorious privilege of our daily bread, every day without fail. If we eat this bread of heaven with a relish, we grow…grow unto holiness and to the full stature of Christ.

There is a lot of work involved in eating, digesting and growing…and our way will not always be to our liking. We are going to have some growing pains. But when you do, rejoice! Our suffering in the cool of the day seems to pale compared to those who lived 1,260 years earlier.

Though they suffered shame, pain and even death, they did not complain. They counted it an honor to suffer for Christ.

Acts 5:40-4240 … they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

So determined they were that they would not be stopped. They rejoiced in trials and persecutions.

1 Peter 4:12-13Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Here is the secret to their determination and loyalty, ready to suffer loss if by any means they may live when Christ returns.

Matthew 16:27For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

They wanted to live, and so do we…a life of glory, peace and joy. Let go that you might live. This life, so short, is worth the sacrifice.

Jesus said, I am the BREAD OF LIFE: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” 

Eat this bread continually, assimilate it into our life, and we will LIVE FOREVER!!