Food, Sex, and Money
It's everywhere. It's on TV, it's in the ADs, on the billboards, and all over social media. The messaging from the world is: Eat all the food you can, sleep with all the different kinds of people you can, make and hoard all the money you can, and then you will be happy and live well.
But is that true?
Who is this message for?
It's for anyone who may not believe in Jesus but wants to know what God has to say about food, sex, and money.
It's for anyone who does believe in Jesus but is struggling to walk in truth in one of these areas or knows someone who is struggling.
Why talk about this?
I believe that truth is what actually makes one free. God has a purpose for every person but there are things in life that could hinder you from discovering your purpose or ever fulfilling your purpose.
Is it appropriate to write about these matters? Jesus wasn't afraid to confront the issues of his day and to teach people God's heart on each issue. Oftentimes, the religious leaders of his day didn't care much for his teachings.
Jesus was a friend of sinners (or non-believers), it was religious people who didn’t like him and they killed him. He never sinned but he loved being around sinners and they loved being around him.
God has a design, purpose, and intent for everything he made. And if you don't know God's design for something, it is likely that you will abuse it.
In this message, I can guarantee you that there'll be no condemning words. Only an invitation to learn God’s heart and to discover true freedom. The world and today's society cannot offer you true freedom.
Watch this same teaching on video and receive even more revelation! Click below!
There's a familiar account in the Bible about the nation of Israel. God led them out of Egypt with mighty signs and wonders. They passed through the Red Sea on dry ground and sojourned through the wilderness. After some time, they began to complain to God and ask for bread. They wanted to be fed in the same way and with the same food they were used to when they were in slavery in Egypt.
I fed you with manna, so you would know that man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV - ""So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD."
God was trying to show them something greater. God was like, "Oh, you think it's bread that keeps you alive? No problem, I'll feed you with manna so you can see that bread doesn't give you life but rather the words that flow from my mouth."
And Jesus is that Living Word who proceeds from the Father. The world wants you eating all you can, stuffing yourself with all you can. Yet, it cannot give you true life. Jesus is the living bread who gives life to all those who trust in him.
Food is for energy but food cannot give you life.
Don’t labor after the food that perishes
Another great section of scripture talks about a message Jesus gave to a group of Jews about living bread. The crowd followed Jesus because he had just multiplied loaves and fishes for 5,000 men. They were full, they ate well, and wanted more. Here's what Jesus said to them in John 6:26-58:
"Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled."
""Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.""
"Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?""
"Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.""
"Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?"
""Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' ""
"Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven."
""For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.""
"Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always.""
"And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."
""But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe."
""All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out."
""For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."
""This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day."
""And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.""
"The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven.""
"And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?""
"Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves."
""No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."
""It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me."
""Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father."
""Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."
""I am the bread of life."
""Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead."
""This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die."
""I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.""
"The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?""
"Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you."
""Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
""For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed."
""He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him."
""As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me."
""This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.""
Jesus warned this crowd not to live for the kind of food that can be digested and eventually becomes waste. It doesn't last. He told them to desire the kind of bread that gives life and is everlasting. Jesus was speaking of himself and his own body that would become bread and life for the whole world. He spoke of a higher kind of food.
If any man thirsts
Jesus was at a feast with lots of people. Can you picture it? Maybe a long table with people seated on both sides. There's lamb, beef, bread, wine, and many other refreshments. Right in the middle of all of this:
"... Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink."
""He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.""
"But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." -John 7:37-39 NKJV
Jesus wasn't referring to a thirst of the body but a spiritual thirst. The issue starts when we try to use food to meet the needs of the soul. Only Jesus and the things of God can meet the needs of our souls.
If food is so powerful how come you have to eat it over and over again? How come it doesn’t last forever?
There must be something that supersedes that; that's greater! There is!
The writer of Ecclesiastes talks about a sense of purpose that is implanted in every man's heart and mind.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP
There is a God-shaped hole in each of our hearts that only God can fill. Nothing else and no one else on earth can fill that space.
Freedom in the world is true slavery. But slavery to God is true freedom. That is why Paul described himself as a bondservant of Jesus Christ.
John Piper says, “Faith doesn't stop us from eating, but it stops gluttony; it doesn't stop sleep, but it keeps us from being a sluggard. It doesn't stop sexual appetite but . . ."
I would add this to his quote, It doesn't stop sexual appetite but stops you from meeting that appetite in a way that God doesn’t approve of.
The world says:
Eat all the food you want, as much as you want, whatever kind you want.
What God is offering you:
The bread of life where you can eat of it and never die.
Jesus said I am that bread of life.
If you go to him you won’t hunger, if you believe in him you won’t thirst.
Living waters so you will never thirst.
A fountain of water that springs up into life.
For those who are single (not married) society is definitely communicating a message to you that says it's a good idea to have intercourse before you're married. You should live with your partner before marriage because you will get to know him/her better. Let's read the story of a single man named Joseph and learn how he responded when tempted with the same offer.
"Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there."
"The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian."
"And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand."
"So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority."
"So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field."
"Thus he left all that he had in Joseph's hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance."
"And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me.""
"But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand."
""There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"" -Genesis 39:1-9
Joseph saw the act as sinning against God. He could have been victimized and entitled because he was sold by his brothers but instead he held fast to his integrity, trusting in God.
Esau is another man whose story is recorded in the Bible. He didn't respond with the kind of faith that Joseph had. He actually traded his birthright (a blessing from God) for a bowl of stew. He did not exercise patience but moved in wrath. He exchanged the purposes of God for temporary sensual satisfaction. And when he realized the gravity of what he had done, it was too late; the blessing had been given to someone else. His story is recorded as a lesson to all. Read about it here:
"lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears." - Hebrews 12:16-17 NKJV
The world and some parts of Christianity have normalized greed, covetousness, and lust. You must know, however, that Father God is not in support of lust.
Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
"For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world."
"And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
Someone once said, “Lust is never satisfied. Love is always satisfied.” Marriage doesn’t fix lust because lust is a heart issue.
The world and the lust of it is passing away. In Ephesians 2, The Message Bible says, “Why would you allow the world that doesn’t know a thing about living tell you how to live?”
Is it possible to walk in purity while single? How do you do this?
By a divine empowerment. Jesus was in all points tested yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15 NKJV - "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."
You have been engrafted into Jesus' victory against temptation.
It’s by faith. And how does faith work? It works by love. And love is by knowing him and spending time with him.
"It’s about contentment." -John Piper
God will give you help, grace, and strength through union and fellowship with him. It works through faith.
Sin will try to deceive you by telling you it's pleasurable but really it’s trying to kill you.
“Sin is walking your own road.” -Jackie Pullinger
Sin is doing things your own way. Like Adam and Eve eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
When Adam and Eve chose to do things their own way, it plunged them into a cycle of death. And not them only but also all of humanity and all of creation.
“Sin is what you feel and think and do when you are not taking God at his word and resting in his promises.”-John Piper
The boundaries God has set for intercourse don’t include same-sex or changing your gender.
He says if you practice homosexuality you cannot inherit the kingdom.
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,"
"nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."
"And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." -1 Corinthians 6:9-11
If you’re engaging in same-sex sexual experiences you’re not trusting God in that area.
It means you still don’t trust God and you don’t receive his design. God has a design and purpose for all that he made.
If you're trying to make an argument for same-sex practices, it's as though you're fighting for the right to remain in sin.
Why do you want to fight for your right to live in sin (which leads you to death) when God is offering you the cure which is righteousness and life?
God is always extending his arms of love and mercy to people.
He doesn’t condemn the world.
""For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." - John 3:17-19 NKJV
Those who are married are also not spared from the world's opinion of what you should do or not do in marriage. However, in Hebrews 13, God says,
Hebrews 13:4 NKJV - "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."
The Message Bible says, “Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.”
How do you keep the marriage bed undefiled?
Don’t bring a 3rd party into your marriage. That 3rd party could be pornography. When a married person is engaged in pornography, you’ve actually allowed an evil spirit to come into your union.
Is your heart faithful in that covenant or is your heart longing to be elsewhere?
Faith is about who you’re becoming! Faith is not for getting stuff only. Faith is for a walk. It’s blessing those who curse you. Praying for those who persecute you. It’s loving your spouse when he/she isn’t being a spouse to you. Faith is the power to walk like Christ on the earth. And it is the gift of God.
How do you manage this? Watch what you put before your eyes and in your ears. Whatever you're watching and listening to will eventually take root in your heart. So guard your heart.
When you do things your own way that’s sin. It corrupts your soul and your body just follows whatever is happening in your soul. So if your soul is in decay, which is what sin does, your body will decay also. But God put a plan in motion to get man back and give him life and that plan begins with getting your spirit reborn or regenerated. However, when you’re born again your soul is not saved. You have to get your soul saved by renewing your mind. And that happens through the word of God.
The world says:
You get to define what sex should be, what gender is.
Sleep with as many people as you can.
It’s ok to be unfaithful in your marriage vows.
What God is offering you:
A divine empowerment to live in singleness with purity and integrity by faith
Union and fellowship with him that leads you to contentment
To fill the God-shaped hole in your heart.
Contentment in your marriage relationship
The Lord really doesn’t have a problem with you having money, the issue is when money has you.
You know money has become an idol when it’s all you think about and it’s all you talk about. It’s why you get up in the morning.
The Laodicean’s had money but Jesus said they were poor
""Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see." - Revelation 3:17-18 NKJV
God's definition of wealth is much higher, greater than the world's definition. The Lord wants us to know what true wealth is.
With food and clothing, we shall be content. We can take nothing out of this world.
"Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." - 1 Timothy 6:6-8 NKJV
Paul reminded Timothy of the importance of contentment and godliness. We can acquire all the material things that the world offers but the truth is, we can take none of it with us into the age to come.
The rich young ruler
There's another great story of a young man who was rich according to the world's standard. He was in search of eternal life yet he was shocked when Jesus told him what he needed to do to receive it.
"Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?""
"So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God."
""You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' ""
"And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.""
"Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.""
"But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."
"Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!""
"And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
""It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.""
"And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?""
"But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."" Mark 10:17-27
The issue wasn't the fact that this young ruler was rich. The issue was he trusted in his riches more than he trusted in what God wanted to give him. We know this is the case because he went away sorrowful when Jesus asked him to give it up. Jesus went on to explain that it is hard for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God.
Command those who are rich
Timothy was leading a church that consisted of folks who had very little money while others had lots of money. Read Paul's advice to the rich:
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." - 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NKJV
Paul tells us not to trust in riches because they are uncertain. They can be here today and gone tomorrow. But rather we ought to trust in God, who gives us all things richly to enjoy.
It’s not everything free that is offered to you that you should go for.
It’s not all money you should go after. Did you pray and ask the Lord if you should go after that business or job? This will protect your heart from moving in greed or entitlement. Rather, you would live grateful, content and dependent upon the Lord.
God says I will freely give you all things. Romans 8. Why do you suspect me? I died for you. I will withhold nothing from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84.
The Basis of my content is God’s promise to never leave me.
Hebrews 13:5 NKJV says, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.""
God invites you into contentment by giving you the assurance that he is your source and he will never leave you nor forsake you.
God knows that you need to feed yourself and your loved ones
God knows that you have needs that need to be met. He's not suggesting that you or your family should go without your needs being met. He is saying that you should recognize that he is already aware of your needs and wants to meet them. Therefore, you can rest assured that you will be taken care of and instead focus on God's kingdom and right standing with him.
""Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." - Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV
Anxiety and worry keep you chasing after all the material things that the world tells you to run after. The root of anxiety and worry is pride. However, if you're humble and you trust in Jesus, you will cast all your cares upon him for he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
The world says:
Amass all the money and luxury that you can and spend it on yourself.
If you had all the money in the world you would be happy.
What God is offering you:
Don’t trust in riches, trust in me. I will never let you down
I know what you need before you even ask.
Trust me, seek first the kingdom of God
Be rich in good works, laying up a solid foundation for yourself in the age to come
What your heart is really looking for is peace and you won’t find it in food, sex, or money. The chastisement that brings us peace in our soul was put upon Jesus.
Do you know what it’s like to be able to sleep peacefully at night? Not needing to take any pills or to drink something or smoke something to sleep peacefully? To not have nightmares or terror at night? To go to bed talking to God and wake up talking to him?
Jesus said my peace I give to you, not as the world gives. His peace doesn’t fluctuate, it is stable. The peace you are looking for can only be found in Jesus.
Prayer: If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus and you would like to, I invite you to pray this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the son of God and that you died for my sins. I've done things my own way for so long and it hasn't brought me the peace and satisfaction that I long for. I make a decision to die to my own way and give myself entirely to you. I want to live in you and for you. God will you come upon me and change me into an entirely different person? I want to be born again and to become your child. Amen.
Prayer time: If you’re already a believer and you’re struggling in any of these areas I invite you to pray this prayer:
Father God, I know I've been in shackles, walking in quickstand and unable to run for you and live for you like I would like to. I feel that I have been out of balance in those three areas and I want my heart to go back to you. I want to put you first and put your kingdom first that I might fulfill your purpose for saving me and calling me. I pray for your divine empowerment to come upon me. I ask that I would experience contentment and satisfaction in my soul. I know that by submitting to you I will find true freedom and true fulfillment. May it be so in Jesus name.