A Wisdom Retreat - November 30

Food for the Taking

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

When Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years, God supplied bread for them to eat. Without God's provision, they never would have survived.

It's the same for us. We, like the Israelites, are walking through the dry and dreary wilderness of life, with constant dependency on, and need for, spiritual food—God's Word. Just like the manna that fell from the skies, His Word is offered to us fresh every morning, bringing nourishment to all who will eat.

There are many other similarities between the manna sent from heaven to the Israelites, and the food sent from heaven to us. Manna basically fell right into the Israelites' laps. They didn't have to search far and wide to find it; it was there for the taking. In the same way, a meal in God's Word is available to us if  we will only reach out and take it.

Manna was available in abundance to those who would collect it. Similarly, the Word is available to those who will study it. It would have been foolish for the hungry Israelites to step outside their homes and gather only enough manna to whet their appetites, instead of gathering enough to satisfy their hunger. It is just as foolish when Christians open the Word of God and read only a verse or two, rather than studying it to savor the nourishing truths God has provided in the writings.

Manna was never force-fed, but the Israelites had the opportunity either to eat it or go hungry. In the same way, you will never be forced to feed upon God's Word. It will have to be your choice, whether or not you eat or go spiritually hungry.

If a friend complained of lack of energy, you would ask when she last had anything to eat.  Her reply that she had skipped breakfast and lunch would tip you off to her problem, and you would be perfectly in order to say, "No wonder you're weak . . . get some food in you!"  If someone came to you and told you that he was spiritually weak, you would be justified in asking, "How often do you study the Bible?"  The reply would reveal the reason for his weakness: "Well, I read it a couple of times during the week, but I get a good dose of it on Sunday."  He's starving himself!

Spiritual anemia is the condition resulting from not spending time in God's Word. That Word is readily available—in fact, you probably have three or four Bibles in your home and a few more in your family vehicle.

Just because it isn't force-fed, it doesn't mean that it should be ignored. The truth is, you can't live without it. You will never survive the harsh desert winds of doubt, fear, materialism, gluttony, lust, and pride if you are not reaching out every morning and gathering the food that God has offered you. You simply cannot live without physical food . . . how do you expect to live without spiritual food?  You can't.

One of the critical differences between  manna and Scripture is that God's Word never grows stale. Unlike manna when it was hoarded, God's Word is still fresh when you store it away in your heart; you can gather, save, stash as much as you want for future needs.

So . . . when's the last time you had a solid meal?

Prayer Point: Thank the Lord for the availability of His Word. Confess your lack of desire to know His Word better and ask Him for additional discipline to daily read and study His Word.

Extra Refreshment: Read several paragraphs from Psalms 119 and notice how each verse mentions God's Word.


The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

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Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
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