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09 January 2022

Leftovers

Exodus 16:4 NKJV

[4] Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.”

 

I remember the time when my wife Ciela found this amazing new recipe that she tried out - an Uzbek rice and lamb casserole called Plov. It was such a great success the first time, so she made it a second time, and decided to make extra for leftovers.

 

Meal after meal, day after day, we continued to eat this dish - the saucepan would somehow stay full! The dish lasted us so long that I even nicknamed it “Paulo”. As you can imagine, the first plate was delicious and enjoyable, but then re-heating the same dish over and over turned happiness into determination, and determination into dread. I could not wait to finish it off and move onto a new meal on a new day.

 

What does this have to do with our passage of Scripture? Jesus, when tempted by the devil in the wilderness, responded to the first temptation with reference to OT Scripture by saying that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Just like we feed our bodies daily, we ought to feed our spirit daily with spirit food - the Word. 

 

But why daily? Take a look at our key Scripture in Exodus 16:4 - The NT points to the OT and says that all these things that happened were provided as examples to us today, as visual representations of our daily walk with God. These things were provided as instructions for us to go by. Jesus re-affirms this when He teaches His disciples how to pray - He teaches them to pray “give us this day our daily bread”. 

 

Why was it not “give us this day Plov for the next week and a half”? Just like we desire to eat a new thing everyday, our spirit desires to be sustained, instructed and propelled forward by a new word from God every day. Sure, manna was consistent day in and day out, but (apart from Saturday) there was none left over, none re-heated, none consumed again the next day. There was a fresh batch for a new day!

 

I was sharing spiritual experiences with someone at church just recently who then asked me - how do you memorize all these verses that you are sharing with me? I wasn’t sure how to answer that, and I thought about it. The answer is this - I don’t memorize words on a page, but I remember the fresh experience of how these words sustained my spirit and strengthened me through a specific day or a period. It is just the same as remembering a memorable dinner, or better yet remembering that time when a parent, a mentor, a teacher, a big brother or sister said something that stuck with you or helped you exactly where you were and pushed you through to where you needed to go. That word wouldn’t have been as helpful 1 year down the line. I always say this - everyday God gives you a new Word for a new work!

 

So let me ask you this - are you eating spiritual leftovers? Are you trying to re-heat spiritual experiences? Are you trying to gain today’s strength from yesterday’s fuel? There is a new Word for a new work in your life right now - are you making room to receive it?

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Gilbert Massaad

Beirut Team Member