by Pastor Tim Burt
Two of my granddaughters now live in Peru as my daughter and her husband are missionaries there. Before moving there, they used to live next door to Renee and I. Madeline and Macy were 7 and 6 years old. We saw them almost daily and they each loved taking turns sleeping over and have special time with Papa and Mimi. As much as they loved it, we loved it more! Our special time consisted of shifting all our attention and focus on them. We took them to Culvers (a local hamburger and milkshake spot) because that's where they liked to eat. When we came home we did the things they loved to do which consisted of watching their favorite movies, wrestling, playing hide-in-seek, dancing around the house to their favorite Christian songs, and playing games. And we began each morning and ended each evening reading Bible stories and praying together.
When we had the granddaughters over, it was like getting to relive the greatest stage of our lives—raising our own children. I always loved when my children were young. They were so innocent, happy, fun, and excited to learn about God. They would get up every morning while I was having quiet time with the Lord and come find me in the living room. They'd walk over to their pile of ARCH Bible story books, pick one out and bring it to me to read to them. They loved reading them over and over. Even though they were simple children's books, the Lord always managed to speak to me through them. I was astonished and thankful for that because it never left me feeling deprived of my own personal Bible reading.
I remember one morning Madeline and I reading about the Lord giving the Israelites manna in the desert. What a powerful story filled with lessons that are relevant today. When Moses was leading the people to the Promised Land, he had to take them through desert places. In those places, life was tough and it seemed to them as though they were always without provision. Consequently they often whined to Moses. Moses felt burdened and took it to God who would then instruct Moses how to receive provision for the people. He would feed them supernaturally with manna—a type of angel food that tasted good and would nourish them. Each morning the ground would be covered with this manna. They had to go out and collect just enough for the day.
God’s Word reveals that this lesson about trusting God for manna daily is relevant to our lives today. It reminds us that the world we live in is a desert, void of God and full of anxiety for those that won’t seek God. When people don’t seek God, they become anxious over many things that surface in their life every day. God ministered to them supernaturally providing manna—something they had to go out, pick up, and eat, every day! They weren't allowed to hoard up or save up the manna beyond that day. If they did it would turn to maggots. The only exception to that was on the sixth day where they were allowed to save enough for two days so they could rest on the Sabbath. Did they follow this? No, just like us they liked security and wanted more than enough. But, when they disobeyed God, the extra they had turned to maggots.
God gives us insight in how that applies to our life today. He wanted them to know that this dependency upon Him—every day, was about more than just about food. It was about learning to depend upon the promises of His Word daily. Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT) "Yes, He (the Lord) humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
Jesus and the Word of God are one. We see that in John 1:1 & 14 (NIV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” This is saying that Jesus and His Word are the same.
Jesus gave further insight pertaining to manna being His Word that we needed to eat daily saying, “Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread (God's Word) will live forever. (John 6:31 & 58 NIV)
These scriptures are telling us that we are to no longer think in terms of eating manna from off the ground but we are to instead, feed on the bread of life—Jesus and His Word. Jesus and His Word are the same and His Word is the bread that when fed on, will cause us to be supernaturally nourished. God’s Word will give us direction, bring hope, build faith, and usher in supernatural help and peace. This is why when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them this. Luke 11:3 And Jesus said, "When you pray, pray like this, “Give us day by day our daily bread." He wasn't talking about asking God for food to eat. He was teaching them to ask God to speak to their heart from His Word! This is the manna they were to eat daily! It was what would build their faith and trust in Him!
As Madeline and I read through that story, we were nourished by God. We learned that He brought water from a rock and angel food from Heaven to take care of His own. They never went without provision! God always provided for them! When we lean on and trust in His promises and have faith that He will take care of our every need, then His word will bring us the peace that passes human understanding. All this from eating manna—God's Word and promises that are to speak daily to our heart as we eat His daily bread. Manna is for everyone, at every age, every day! We love “manna time!”
Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT) "...man does not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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