March 30, Saturday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Daily Habit”

Exodus 16:13-26

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?”  For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted. 22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” 24 So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”

The greatest revival of my life began on May 13, 1996.  It happened to be the day after I had graduated from Penn.  A thought hit me as I was about to dive into youth ministry for the first time:  “What if I don’t know the Bible well enough?” So, for the next two weeks, I holed up in my apartment, and aside from eating meals and going for a daily jog, I spent 6-8 hours reading the Bible.  Mass reading. Initially tedious, but eventually life-changing. I honestly don’t remember much as hour after hour flew by but I was in love with God’s Word—it was so good! Less than 2 weeks later, I finished Revelation and was never the same.  In fact, for the next 3 years, before the Lord called me into full-time ministry, I would continue to read 10 chapters of the Bible daily, reading the entire Bible 10 times those three years. I would have my morning devotional, then read my 10 chapters on the train ride to work.

Experts say it takes twenty-one days to form a habit.  That means if you were to start today, you would build a habit by Good Friday! 🙂  You may be thinking, “Just 21 days of waking up early to read my Bible and then it will be easy!” Well, it isn’t that simple.

For the Israelites, manna was a supernatural provision, but it had to be gathered daily: They had to go out in the morning and gather it up.  This suggests to us that, if we are to benefit from the Bible, it must require work on our part. We have to gather it up, study it, wrestle with it, and sift through our prejudices to understand what Scripture really says.  

The manna that the Israelites gathered up one day would not last until the next day.  The Bible should be studied in the same way. It is like eating meals. We won’t die if we miss one meal, or if we fast for one day, but we will eventually die once we stop eating for good.  We were meant to eat daily both physically and spiritually. So, as the Israelites had to eat the manna daily for it to do any good, we also need to “eat” God’s Word (Heb. 5:12-14) in the same manner that ruminant animals “chew the cud” (Lev. 11:4)—carefully and meticulously. And this manna will be available until we enter our Promised Land (heaven!).

So how is your hunger for the Word of God this morning?  It is a blessing when we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to seek God’s Word and His will for our lives.  Thankfully, we have easy access to the Bible. When we cultivate a daily hunger for the Word, He will satisfy the deepest longings of our souls.  Are you reading and listening to what God has to say to you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, only Your Word can feed the deepest hunger of our souls.  It is such a blessing today to have easy access to the Bible! Give me a hunger for Your Word and the humility and wisdom to listen to You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Acts 23-24

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