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Online Bible Verses - Matthew 4:4 - Man shall not live on bread alone

Updated on July 12, 2012

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’””

Matthew 4:4

We have all heard this one before, it has to do with perspective. Perspective determines our world view. Our world view determines where we stand on what has been, what is, why it is and what it will become.

We might categorize world view as that falling between two extremes: secular and spiritual. Literally secular would remove all spiritual influence, not looking nor caring about how things became, are or will be. In other words, live in the here and now, planning for the future only in the sense where it applies to being physically alive. Morality is defined by the individual.

Spiritual, on the other hand, embraces the idea of another realm in some form, a sense of eternity going forward, possibly backward as well. In other words, something beyond what our five senses can conclusively determine. In addition, some concept of God is often included in the spiritual world view.

Christ’s message was absolute. The standard for righteousness was set by God Himself and no other. It followed, then, that the origin of all that has come into being, along with its creative purpose, were also put forth by God. Jesus took it a step further by claiming to be the fleshly embodiment of God, God Himself condescending to walk amongst His created. His claim narrowed God’s identity down to a personal level and name.

God’s purpose for man, according to scripture? To enter into a relationship with the One who made him. To arrive at a knowledge of God’s person, to be His children. In doing so, to realize that complete dependence on Him would be necessary in avoiding and/or compensating for pitfalls introduced by the exercise of free will; freedom to choose, without which each of us would not have a genuine identity. Such identity required for a real relationship to exist, a need for willing participation from two distinct parties.

So bread alone might get us through the day, but one day air will no longer fill up our lungs. And so, God calls out our need for Him now and looking forward. Having union with Him in the future entails coming to know Him now. Today then might be a good day to embrace His outstretched hand, and accept His invitation of friendship. Make it a habit to tap Him daily, incorporate Him into our lives and listen to what He has to tell us.

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