Sunday, November 6, 2011

From the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
      Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    "Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!
From the hymn, "His Eye is on the Sparrow"
When Jesus is my portion?
A constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches over me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Funny how God works. Speaking in the moment. Making everything come together. Making you shake your head, thinking, "He did it again! He still hears me! He knows when to bring lessons to me to stabilize my faith." He is faithful.
So, the lyrics that I opened with were no accident (nothing is). He brought these songs to me from the music group Selah this afternoon as we were driving all over the countryside following church.
The lyrics penned. . .exactly the thoughts I was gathering to blog about. . . .
Our Sunday School session as well as our homework this week from the Beth Moore study (A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place) focused on "manna". So, you may say, "Really, manna? There's a lesson in that?" Yes, there is, and a great one at that!
Exodus 16:14-18 NASB
"When the layer of dew evaporated, behold, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground. When the sons 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 which the LORD has given you to eat. 'This is what the LORD has commanded, 'Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.'" The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little.
When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat."

The focus of our study was on the underlined portion. We are given what we need for the time. Not excessive. . .not too little. Grace for the moment. Mercy for the moment.

Recently, in reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, she tells this story that her dad gave when she asked about the topic of sex, but she was too young to understand the answer. (Corrie speaking):
“And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, "Father, what is sex sin?"
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he said.
I stood up and tugged at it.
It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
It's too heavy," I said.
Yes," he said, "and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
(Later she restates it this way)
“Some knowledge is too cannot bear it...your Father will carry it until you are able.”

When we think about situations "before" we are in them, we think that we could not do that, we could not survive it. . .but that's what is amazing about God (his grace and his mercy), HE CAN! He gives us just enough "manna" for the moment. Oh, it's always there, miraculously given by God, but we have to gather it. It's not up to us to make sure we don't have too much or too little. If we do one or the other, HE will give us what we need in that moment.
When Jesus came down to earth, He said that He was the bread (manna) of life.
John 6:32-35
"Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 'For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.' Then they said to Him, 'Lord, always give us this bread.'
 Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'"
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means "House of Bread".
Then, when teaching us how to pray, He says "Give us THIS DAY our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11). Not bread for tomorrow, not bread to store up, but bread TODAY! And, guess what? It will be enough b/c it's the bread of life. (If you read more in Exodus, you will find that manna stored for the next day was full of maggots. . .a death of sorts).
Or, another way to pray that prayer, "Give me this day. . You, Jesus. . enought grace and mercy to make it through today! Because I also know that "Your mercies are new every morning. And, Your faithfulness is Great!" (paraphrased from Lamentations 3:19-24). I love the last verse of this section, which goes so well with the lesson today, "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."

So, imagine that as this lesson came into my life, I have been given the opportunity to pray for those around me who need more "manna". . .more of the Bread.. ..more of Jesus. A relative just buried her 38-year-old son, who died suddenly. A loss that came, not long enough, after the death of her husband. A family friend from childhood lost her husband last night to a tragic accident at the age of 31. A family with 4 young children, and they were in the process of adopting a 5th.

There are rarely good answers in this world, but prayer. So, would you pray? Pray that they would receive the size "omer of manna" that they need for today. And, each day pray this as His mercies are new every morning?
I hope you have been blessed by God's Word as I am. It is alive!
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
When Jesus is my portion?
A constant Friend is He:

 "Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!
Don't forget to look around! The lesson He has for you today is FOR today! He will bring it. . .not too early, and NEVER late!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A thorn in our side. . .Healed by thorns in His crown

Because our Sunday School class is doing "A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place", a Bible study by Beth Moore, many of my posts will be a reflection of that study.
So far, this is a thought that has intrigued me. Try to follow my scattered thoughts for a moment.
Genesis 3:18 "It (the land) will produce thorns and thistles for you."
Genesis 22:13 "Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket (thorns) by his horns."
Mark 15:17 "They put a purple robe on Him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him."
Psalm 18:2 "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Before sin, no thorns. After sin, thorns. After sin, a need for salvation. Abraham's son about to be sacrificied and Yahweh provides the ram. . .stuck by his horns in the very object that resulted from our sin. . . thorns. Christ referred to as "the HORN of our salvation". As he becomes our sacrifice because of our sin, the horn (Jesus) is caught in the thicket (crown). . .which is only their because of our sin. What a reminder. . .it was ever-present in the mind of Christ as the thorns pressed into his skin, "This is why you are here. . .to remove their SIN to bear it yourself." Always present, always reminding Him. And, it reminded the faithful around that their sin was being "worn" by their King.
Wow! Talk about a God of detail. I really believe everything means something. We don't always see it. When time is no more, I look forward to Him whispering to me. . ."Look back, see what I was showing you there!" Even then, He will be glorified for His presence in my life even when I was too blind to see it! What a day when I will receive sight! Can't wait for the clouds to clear!