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Fresh Manna

When I first started writing for this site, I made a list of topics in my phone. I would try to brainstorm every couple of days to add to the list. I wrote on things I knew, but each day I was writing out of fear. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t have anything to say or that I’d run out of topics. As I shared my fear with an author, he told me I was approaching it all wrong. He said, “You need to go to God each day with an empty bucket and say, ‘Here i am, Lord. I need a fresh word. Will you fill up my bucket with enough for today?’” That conversation changed how I write and how I approach writing. It’s forced me to quit trying to use my knowledge, and to go to God each day seeking to hear Him.

In Exodus 16, the children of Israel had crossed the Red Sea and were on their way to Mount Sinai. They were hungry and began to glamorize their slavery. They complained that at least they had food in Egypt. God heard them and decided to supply them with what they needed. Each night, quail would fly into the camp and rest on the ground to provide them with meat. In the morning, the dew would turn to a thin bread like substance called manna. They were to take their buckets out in the morning to collect about half a gallon of it per person as food rations. They did this every day while they were in the desert.

In Exodus 16:15-16 Moses said, “This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs, two quarts for each member of his household” (GNT). I believe the same is true for us. To move from a head knowledge of God to a heart relationship, we must go to Him each day seeking Him. Sunday’s sermon wasn’t meant to feed you all week. God is looking for you to meet with Him daily to feed your spirit. It’s time we started getting fresh manna from above each day. If you’re not sure how, pray, “Lord, I need fresh manna from you. I open my heart to hear from you today. Show me what you want to hear from you today.” Then open your Bible and read until you hear from Him. It’s not about the quantity as it is the quality. God will speak to you through His Word and fill your bucket daily.

Photo by Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

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A Prayer For God’s Love

Dear Heavenly Father,

When I stop and consider who you are, I’m humbled that you would desire to use me. Everywhere I look in creation, I see your fingerprints. I see your handiwork in the stars at night and your compassion in the love of a child. I can’t help but try to imagine how big you must be since everything exists in you. I also can’t help but wonder how you care so deeply for me when you have so many other things you’ve created that you can be proud of. I’m in awe that you bless me daily with your presence.

I confess that I’m imperfect and am unworthy of your love. I do things that grieve you and make you disappointed in me. I fall short of who you want me to be so often. I don’t understand how you can still love me or desire to use me. My life is full of broken pieces that somehow you use to create a beautiful mosaic. Your desire is that when I sin and when I’m broken that I come to you and offer the pieces for you to use. My sin may be great, but your grace is even greater. I’m thankful for the forgiveness you offer when I don’t deserve it.

Thank you for the work you did on the cross. The blood that flowed from your body still offers forgiveness and healing today. The stripes you took on your back from the whip still offer healing. The crown of thorns that they placed on your head still pierces my heart and convicts me. Thank you for not calling 10,000 angels to come and rescue you. Thank you that you chose the Father’s will instead of your own. I’m forever grateful that your love for me was stronger than the pain you endured. It was stronger than the desire to come down from the cross, destroy the world and to start over. I don’t ever want to think of the love you have for me as ordinary.

I pray that you would help me to not only receive your love daily, but also help me to show it to others. Teach me to extend grace to those who need it most. I don’t want to be like the man in the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor. I recognize that you have forgiven me for a lot. Help me to forgive those who have wronged me. Help me to express your kind of love to them. I want to overflow with your love until that’s all that comes out of me. Let me be the expression of your love here on Earth. Let your love flow through me so I can point others to you. It doesn’t matter what I do in my life, if I don’t show your love, it’s all in vain.

Walk with me today. Open my eyes to see those in need of your love. Open my ears to hear what others are really saying that they need. Open my mouth to speak the words you want me to speak. Open my hands to give what you want me to give. Open my path to lead me where you want me to go. Give me the strength to go where you’ve called me and give me the courage to do what you ask me to do. Let my life make a difference in someone else’s today. Let others see you in me today so they can see how you can take an imperfect, broken vessel and use them anyway. I love you, Lord.

I ask these things in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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