Thursday, April 30, 2015
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When our daughter got married there was one song I told her I did not want to hear at the wedding. You know, "Where is that little girl I carried, where is that little boy at play?" Okay, I'm not going to sing it for you, but you know the song. Well, the time really did fly, like the song says, "Sunrise, sunset, swiftly pass the years." It's a song that taps into some very deep feelings about the mystery of life, and I don't think I could have handled it at my daughter's wedding. It points out how that parade of Saturdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays just sort of seem to flow together into years-so just yesterday my daughter is a bouncy little girl cuddling on my lap. And then she's a poised bride on the arm of her new husband. But that song also captures the real practical essence of this massive entity we call "my life"- it boils down to those bite-size chunks called days. It's almost as if we die each night when we hit the bed and we get resurrected each new morning to a fresh new day.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Morning Meetings With God."
Exodus 16, that's where we find our word for today from the Word of God and it's not just a museum piece out of ancient Jewish history. It's a miracle that's referred to over and over in the Bible. It provides us a flesh-and-blood picture of the divine strategy for following the Lord; a strategy that could graduate you to a relationship with God that is much more real.
Exodus 16:4, "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'I will rain down bread from heaven for you." They're in the wilderness where there is no source of bread. "The people are to go out each new day and gather enough for that day." (Wait, I think I hear music in the background-"sunrise, sunset.") God says, "I will provide for you what you need for that day." Then He goes on to say, "Tell them at twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God."
For those who wanted to exceed the boundaries of a day-at-a-time provision, Moses said, "No one is to keep any of it until morning. 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." Then it says, "Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot it melted away." Exodus goes on to say that God's provision for them was there every sunrise for forty years - 14,600 days!
Remember how Jesus said we were to follow Him? He said, "Take up your cross daily and follow Me." He taught us to pray for how much bread-daily bread. It's obvious that the divine strategy for following Him, from the Jews in the wilderness to us believers today, is to take one day at a time; to do a Jesus day. To focus on what God wants to do between this morning's sunrise and tonight's sunset, so to speak.
The manna miracle shows us how to do that: First, you get fresh nourishment from God each new day. It's still your Lord's desire to meet you each new day with a word for you-a word from His heart for you this never before/never again day. Secondly, don't run ahead to tomorrow. God provides all the strength you'll need for this one day, but only this day. Worry about some future day and you're on your own!
Finally, count on enough. There will always be-as there was for God's ancient people-"enough for that day." No more, no less: enough insight, enough money, enough energy, enough strength.
Yes, the years pass swiftly. We experience them one sunrise, one sunset at a time. It's how we're made to live, to love, and to experience our God whose mercies are "new every morning."