August 6, Sunday

The AMI QT Devotionals for July 31-August 6 are provided by Christine Li.  Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, currently lives and works in New York City.  She serves at Remnant Church in Manhattan.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

Daily Bread

Exodus 16:15b-20

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’” 17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. 19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” 20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.”

Every so often, my roommate and I will find ourselves with a plethora of snacks left in our apartment – either gifts from other people or food that we purchased for the occasion. Over time, the snacks still get stale no matter how many preservative chemicals have been added to keep them fresh.  We have to throw them out before anybody else comes over and wants to eat them. While they might be barely edible and non-toxic, they’re no longer fresh and enjoyable.

I have often found myself doing something similar with God’s blessings. Instead of approaching God’s word to learn something new each day, I’ll just reflect on something I already know from the week or month prior. Instead of asking God to grow my faith, I’ll allow a significant experience from the past to become the focal point of my relationship with Him. By overemphasizing and over-relying on what God has done in the past, I fail to be open to new things from Him, and I fail to be expectant that He can do even greater things than in the past.

God’s message to the Israelites of how they must seek Him constantly was physically backed up by this demonstration through manna, the bread from heaven that would become inedible in a short span of time: There is enough for today.  There will be even more tomorrow. But, we cannot live on what we gathered yesterday – yesterday’s portion is rarely suitable for today. The same concepts apply to our spiritual life. Each day we are to seek Him freshly; each day we are to expect that He, in love, will provide for us. We cannot keep going off what we have tasted from the past – if we want to grow and thrive, we will need to receive newly from Him.

After a while, even the best of our old experience with God will grow cold and stale. Let’s not live on yesterday’s grace when God has an abundance in store for us. Today, as we come before Him in the sanctuary, let’s remember that our Father is infinitely rich and has all things at His disposal. When we approach Him, we can be sure that He will send new grace, new sustenance, and new mercies.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your endless provision in our lives. Lord, we confess that, out of fear, we keep returning to the things we’ve received and sometimes stop asking for more of You. Help us stop clinging to hindsight and look forward to what You are able to do in our lives. Grow anticipation, expectation, and firm trust in Your goodness and Your love!

Bible Reading for Today: John 15

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