Time to Stand!

When my second child was getting to that sweet stage of just-about-to-take-her-first-step, we were so excited! Our eldest had taken that first step alone on his first birthday. Now our second was right on track to do the same. She was already pulling up, and would even stand up in the middle of the room on her own. She walked round and round the coffee table holding on. She walked into Sunday School holding our hands every Sunday. We just knew she would do the same thing her big brother had done.

The evening of her 1st birthday, once all the guests were gone, my husband and I sat down in the living room floor about 8 feet away from each other. Far enough, but not too far. I had Little One in my lap. I stood her up on her feet, turned loose, and proclaimed, “Walk to Daddy.” She stood there a minute, turned her head to grin at me and promptly sat down.

Daddy was going to fix it. “Give her to me,” he said, “I know she’ll come to you.” So we reversed roles. This time Daddy got the grin and the girl plopping down at his knees. It was kinda comical. We decided she was tired from all the fun and we would let her try tomorrow.

Tomorrow came, and you guessed it, same story. It became a daily routine, and a little game for Miss La-La. It didn’t just go on for a week. No. Nor a month. No. And she heightened her game. It got to where she knew what was about to happen, and if we tried to stand her down on the ground she would pull her little legs up to her tummy so her feet would not touch the floor. As weeks turned months we inquired of our pediatrician whether we should be worried or not, and he proclaimed her to be “Fine. She’ll do it when she’s ready.”

At 15 months old, she was the odd-ball in the church nursery. One particular Sunday, the nursery workers were giving me grief about it as usual and I laughed it off as we hurried out the door to go visit my sister, Phyllis. Arriving an hour later in my sis’s home, we hugged, ate lunch and started the social “catching up” we Southerners do when we haven’t gotten together in awhile.

My sister is the heart of the family – loving, accepting, gregarious, and never without a huge welcoming smile. Everyone is drawn to her, including my Little Miss La-La, who laughed and spoke gibberish to her from the moment my sister hugged her. There were about a dozen of us seated around Phyl’s living room on couches, the floor, and kitchen chairs we dragged in. La-La was happily playing at my knees when there was that natural lull in the conversation. Phyllis smiled, held out her hands, and out of the blue said, “Lauren, come see me!” And you know what? She did! La-La stood up and took off across the room. Her first step was about 10 steps, and not the wobbly, baby kind. She just walked. We were all shocked, and my sister was thrilled that Lauren chose to walk to her first.

By the time we got back to the nursery that night, La-La was running. Yes running! And all the nursery workers were amazed that within a span of 6 hours the non-walker had become a runner. It’s a favorite humorous story our family loves to retell at all our get-togethers.

So why do I tell you this story?

Many times I’ve read Ephesians 6:10-18 and have been told to “put on the armor of God.” I always pray that, and want to do that, but in a crisis situation I would end up flattened – feeling totally laid bare and not sure where my armor even was nor how to use it. As I read this passage in Ephesians recently my mind caught on the words of verse 13.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…

Put on the armor… so I’ll be able to stand my ground…

After I have done everything else, to stand…

Stand firm then.

Hmmm… Stand firm then.

Suddenly those images of my 15-month-old came flashing into my mind. She did everything to be able to stand and walk. But she wasn’t walking. After she had done everything to learn to stand and walk, then she had to do it. Stand firm then. Walk then. It was her choice. And she chose not to. She didn’t stand and walk for a few months.

How often are we like my baby girl? How often do we do everything at church? We go to worship, sing in the choir, go to Ladies Bible study, help with ministry projects in the community, serve and encourage and seem to be mature Christians old enough to “stand” when the tough times come. Yet when they come, we buckle our little legs and collapse in a heap. After we have done everything to mature in the Lord and to learn to “stand” in Christ, we still allow ourselves the option of not doing it. We simply don’t stand firm. We choose not to, just like my little one chose not to stand and walk even though she could have.

Ladies, it’s time for us to no longer be babes. It’s time to grow up in the Lord and decide to stand firm under our own will. We have trained. We are ready. Will we choose to stand or will we cry out like dependent children for someone to hold our hand? It’s time to Stand!

Digestion

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. Psalm 119:15

Charles Spurgeon, in his devotional book Morning by Morning asks, “Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life?” A great question to ponder today.

We have all, most likely, found times in our lives when we were doing all the Christian disciplines, yet growing in Christ seemed to evade us. We felt stagnant maybe, or perhaps legalistic. We read the word faithfully, but it fell on our hearts with a cold distant feeling. We prayed, yet without fervency of spirit we had known before. We attended services with believers, but went away unchanged. We probably asked why, and evaluated our lives for any sin and prayed to be delivered from that drought of the soul.

Spurgeon makes a very interesting observation as to why this may be that we can “go through the motions” yet not advance in our Christian walk. It all has to do with digestion.

In the physical world, digestion is crucial. Food can go in the mouth, but if an illness causes the body not to be able to digest the food the body goes without nourishment. I saw this happen with an elderly family member whose body was declining. Her chart was first labeled her with “failure to thrive.” Food was no longer enticing to her. And eventually, because her body was no longer processing the food it received, her system began slowly failing.

In the spiritual world just as in the physical, digestion occurs when the nourishment taken in is processed and broken down in order to benefit the health of the person. Our stomach digests food slowly over hours. Similarly, our spiritual food cannot be used effectually if it is gobbled down in a quick ten minute reading of scripture before work or listening to a 30 minute podcast from our favorite Bible teacher on the commute home. Those are simply ways to take the spiritual food into the mouth. This food needs to be mentally digested too. Do we ever go on to chew up this food and begin to digest it in a way that it nourishes our soul?

It takes active meditating on the things of God to get the real soul-nourishment from them. Time needs to be spent dwelling on it to digest it. Don’t just read the Word of God, meditate on it. Don’t just listen to the podcast, contemplate its impact on your life. Spend time as my granddad used to say “ruminating on it” to get its full flavor and meaning and benefit.

We are a microwave society and want to have everything now. But the deeper truths of scripture that will grow us more and more into the image of Christ come only through a deep contemplation and consideration of the meaning of scripture, in order to apply it to our lives. Find a quiet place away from the bustle – which isn’t quite as hard during this coronavirus pandemic – and focus on God’s Word. Meditate on it. Pray over it. Journal what God is speaking into your heart. Allow His Word to do its job of feeding you and growing you into His likeness.


I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. Psalm 119:99

Flying From the Nest

The nest is empty. But the nest of the heart still holds the fledgling offspring as if they were newly hatched. A mother’s heart doesn’t turn loose just because a warm body is no longer in the bedroom each night.

Whether just down the road in their own place, hours away at college, married and establishing their own family, or halfway around the globe; they are still her little nestlings. Her heart thrills and mourns with every joy and tragedy she hears they experience. She grieves and prays over their heartaches and losses. She exults over their accomplishments and adventures as if those achievements were her own.

When the babies take flight our heart realizes that the pains and joys of childhood do not hold a candle to the grown up pains and joys that cause the heart to ache with overwhelming despair or rapturous delight.

Today Mama Bird, if you find yourself fretting over a little birdie who is eternally tied to your heart yet physically out of reach, try to remember our Father in Heaven and His care for our little birds.

~ I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. Psalm 37:25

~ May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. Psalm 90:16

~ But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. Psalm 103:17

~ Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

~ Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112:1-2

~ May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children. Psalm 115:14

~ Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Psalm 127:3-4

~ Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord. Psalm 128:1-4

~ And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:21

He meant for them to fly from the very beginning! And it is good. Trust Him!

Snapping at Flies

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise. Ephesians 5:15

Our cute little black Grand-dog brings much humor to our lives. One of the funniest things to watch him do is chasing flies. Yes, you read it right. He hates flies, and chases them gnashing his teeth trying to catch them. If he does catch them, he actually eats them. Gross! I know.

One day as I was watching him, I began to wonder if Satan doesn’t sit back and laugh at us some days watching us snap at the flies he sends buzzing around us. You know what I mean? Flies like: a comment on Facebook that we just can’t let go and keep checking to see if the OP (original poster) has responded to our comment, a relationship based on jealousy that constantly buzzes around our heads as we say to ourselves, “She just did that to 1-up me,” or even the flies at church of little slights or offenses or feeling “Uninvited” as a recent book title proclaimed.

Satan knows how to bug us. Pun intended. He knows how to get us distracted with silly, meaningless situations that grab our whole focus and leave us unobservant of the things The Father would have us notice. Things like: the pain that Facebook poster is dealing with that makes her post harsh, critical things, the friend’s need for unconditional love that God wants us to give to them while letting Him (not others) fill us, or the loneliness and emptiness of those around us wanting to feel accepted and significant just like we long to be.

Let us not go around acting like silly dogs, ladies. It’s not near as cute when we do it as when my little dog does it – not cute at all. Satan knows how to bait us. He wants to get us so distracted with useless flies, that we miss the important things worthy of our focus and attention and energy, like nurturing and discipling our families, caring for the lonely and broken, and steeping our minds in His Word.

I know I’m not the only one who has ”read my Bible” with dozens of those flies buzzing around my mind and gone away totally unaware of having heard from the Father. Sometimes I can’t even tell you later in the day what I read about because my mind was so distracted.

And I’d bet I’m not the only one who has gotten a case of the mulligrubs, feeling so sorry for myself that I don’t have the mental energy to reach out and take a meal to a hurting person, or call someone who is down, or even bother to speak kindly to the people in my household. I become so self-focused because of those flies that I am not living out even the basic commands of the Word of God. I waste my energy on a useless chasing after things that don’t matter.

It’s time we focus on God’s purpose for our day. Let’s give up the petty distractions of the enemy for a rich life of obedience to God that will yield joy in our souls and something much more worthy of our time and effort than those silly flies.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9

A Meditation on Psalm 121

Open in a time of prayer, turning your heart to your Father.

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?

Lift your eyes to heaven.

My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

You’re Helper is your Creator. Tell Him the areas you need help.

He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

He won’t bail on you, but will be there to help you in all your struggles.

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.

He offers shade and rest when you are weary and battle-worn.

The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

He offers round the clock protection from all the forces of nature that come against you.

The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

He offers protection from evil and guards us forever!

Praise His name and worship Him today!

Gratefulness

I recently read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It truly opened my heart to the great value of gratefulness and the disservice we do to ourselves and those around us when we move through the world operating with ungrateful hearts. Worry builds, self-focus controls our thoughts, and we lose sight of the wonderful things God does for us when we take things for granted.

We are reminded over and over in scripture to be thankful. Do we heed those instructions, or do we selfishly walk through life feeling like things are owed to us rather than being grateful for all we have?

They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” Ezra 3:11  

Do we thank God simply because He is good to us? Or do we take it for granted?

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7

Do we thank Him when He helps us and strengthens us? Or do we take it for granted?

I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. Psalm 35:18

Do we join together in worship and thank Him corporately? Or does that seem unimportant to us in this modern age?

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Do we thank Him for making us the way we are, and who we are, and where we are and when we were born? Or do we ungratefully complain about parts of how He made us?

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Psalm 110:4

We are told the proper way to enter the King’s court; do we adhere to protocol? Would we if He were an earthly King? You bet. So let us honor Him even more so by entering into His presence with thankfulness on our hearts and tongues.

So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. John11:41

Do we thank Him for answered prayer, or do we chalk it up to “good luck” when something happens that we prayed about? 

And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. Mark 8:6

Do we even bother to be grateful for our food and take a moment to thank Him before we eat? Or do we ungratefully rush on through with our meal without a thankful thought at all?

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Do we thank Him and give Him credit for all our victories?

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Do we at least thank God for His best gift of all – giving His son Jesus to die for our sins?

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Everything? Really?! The hard? The sad? The mean things people have done to us? In everything God calls us to a spirit of gratefulness. Why? Because it is good for our hearts. To be grateful, you must acknowledge the Someone to whom you are grateful. Gratefulness keeps us humbled before God and focused on Him in all things. This thankful attitude is the solution to fear, selfishness, worry, and most every negative emotion we embrace, because an appropriate view of God from a thankful heart keeps us ever aware of His place of omnipotence as creator, provider, and ruler over us. It has been said that Gratefulness is to worry as antibiotics are to an infection. So today as you battle negative emotions and situations, bow a head and offer a prayer of thankfulness to find a proper perspective for life and healing for your heart.

Fill Up Your Tank Little Mama!

When my four, now adult offspring were babies and young children, I struggled. Loving, kissing booboos, doing laundry, feeding, cuddling, entertaining, picking up the mess, resolving quarrels, teaching them – these constant needs, demands, and responsibilities left me depleted. Frankly, my husband got worn out with my complaining and weariness and lack of energy for him. I wanted to enjoy my family, but I never seemed to find a chance to recharge my self.

It came to a head one day as I was whining about how house was a wreck and the kids seemed constantly clingy and needy to the point that I had no time for myself and not enough time to get everything done in a day.

After a long day of work, while Randy was sitting listening to my normal litany of failure and disappointment with life, he offered some unsolicited advice – which we all know is never appreciated in the moment. He said, “Deb, I think if you’d get down in the floor and play with them for 30 minutes or so first thing in the morning, they’d go play on their own and leave you alone for a bit.” I don’t remember my response (I’m probably blocking it out because it wasn’t pretty), but at a minimum I’m sure I huffed off thinking he was insensitive and just didn’t understand.

As often happens, God worked on me with Randy’s words after the fact. As I mulled them over in my thoughts, his idea sounded more and more plausible. Our family always talked about filling up our “love tanks,” wasn’t this just another way to do that? We even had a little hand signal that meant “hug alert.” (In other words, I’m feeling down and need a hug!) I knew my main job as mom was to love and nurture my kids and raise them to love God and others. But why did it seem like all the duties of the home trumped my willingness to just sit and play and love on them and fill up their little love tanks?

A couple of mornings later I tried my husband’s suggestion. After breakfast I parked myself in the floor with my 4 kids with Barney and Baby Bop blaring in the background.

I vividly remember that morning – we played with the 4-year-old’s Barney’s Tree House, moving the characters around and singing their songs. She was happy. The 10-year-old sat building amazing things with his legos and explaining all the intricacies of them to me. He felt I was interested in him. The baby lay gurgling on his blanket beside us slinging and chewing on toys and trying to “talk” to us, while the 7-year-old played mama to him and ended up bringing nearly every baby toy we owned to him. Those 2 were content. It was a joyous morning.

It was actually less than an hour before the eldest took to his room to complete his lego fantasy and the two girls headed to play with the Barbie house, Barney being long forgotten. I fed the baby and put him down for a nap. As I sat back down I realized the house was quietly running with just the babble of happy children in the background. I put on blinders to the housework that needed to be done and spent almost the baby’s entire nap contently reading. Lesson learned. My husband did know something about mothering!

Not every morning afterwards went perfectly smoothly like that one, but a new way of thinking and behaving was born out of that experience. What were my take-aways?

  1. Listen to the wisdom of my husband.
  2. Children are a treasure from the Lord – even when it doesn’t feel like it.
  3. Savor the moments / engage with my children. That moment – that day – will never be available to me for a redo.
  4. There is grace and a fresh start and hope for every thing I felt I have failed on.
  5. Don’t feel any mama-guilt over taking some healthy downtime.
  6. Spend time with the Lord.
  7. And last but not least – I am not always right, contrary to what I like to believe. I still have lots to learn.

Sweet mommies out there, give yourself grace. Kids learn even from, or maybe especially from, our mistakes. Take time to sit and love on and play with the little ones even when the house is a wreck. Take time for yourself – Bible reading, listening to good music, enjoying a workout, sitting on the back porch with lemonade – when your tank is full and your spirit and body are nourished you are more energized to pour into your kids and to nourish your family. Treasure your children and husband. And for heaven’s sake listen to that man God gave you, he may have the winning idea after all!

Remembering 9/11/2001

Do you remember what you were doing that morning 19 years ago tomorrow?

If you were beyond childhood you probably do. The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon marked that particular morning indelibly in our minds.

But oh how easily we forget.

Today, the unity and crying out to God have faded away and been replaced by taking sides and a self-focus and willingness in society to ignore, deny, and despise our Holy God. The palpable feelings of “we’re all in this together” and the seeing the person beside you as someone you can and should help have gone. We are more self-centered these days, and evil seems to be prevailing.

So what are we to do? Throw our hands up in despair? Rant about it on Facebook? Write a blog? (Wink!) Join in the fray? Look out for number one and have a get-them-before-they-get-you attitude? These are human tendencies of ways to respond. But as Christians we are commanded to live up to a higher standard.

We are to have the mind of Christ.

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8

We are to keep always in our minds that we live in a sin-ridden world until Christ returns to redeem all of creation.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4 NASB

We are to love God and love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27

We are to act with justice, kindness, and humility.

O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

We are to remember. Remember the Sabbath. Remember God’s covenantswith us. Remember the past and learn the lessons it offers. Remember all God has done for us. Remember that we are the created and He is the Creator.

I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders, You have made known Your strength among the peoples. You have by Your power redeemed Your people. Psalm 77:11-15

20/20 Vision: Light to See

“A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week without knowing the gospel.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

I was captured by this thought this morning as I read my devotional. It hit me very personally. My family – who live with me day in and day out – how do they perceive Christ through me? What am I reflecting of Him? What about those friends who know me best – is my character such that they see me as Christlike? Or am I thought of as the center of attention, the gossiper, the party girl, the one who has an answer, the one who’s always right, the shopper, the whiner, the worrier? Does it hit too close to home for you too?

We all are walking billboards. Within minutes of being around us, people can tell the things we are most passionate about. We, like the giant glowing jumbotrons in the end zones, boldly broadcast our beliefs and commitments, often without even realizing we’re doing it. We all stand for something. And it shows. But does what we show match what we really want to show?

Philippians 2:14-16 states,

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…”

Shine as lights in the world.

I can’t help thinking of Times Square and the stories-high, glowing billboards. They flash their ads 24/7 brightly for all to see. What message am I flashing to the world?

Am I giving a message of legalism or grace? Acceptance or partiality? Genuine care or busy-ness? Love or hate? Kindness or gruffness? Hope or despair? Faith or fear? Joy or gloom? Turmoil or peace? Purity or evil? Obedience to Christ or disobedience?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24

Have I crucified my fleshly passions and desires so that Christ lives through me and shines to the world? Or does my life advertise a religion, a political party, a prejudice, or some other guiding factor other than My Creator God and His will and His love for the world?

What am I inadvertently telling the world about My Father God? About Jesus? About Christians? About the church? About my world view? My approach to the world, my mindset comes through in all I say and do.

Light shines. Light pierces darkness. Light makes manifest what cannot be understood in the gloom and darkness of this sinful world. Light is necessary for us to see clearly. Are we light givers to the world around us? Are you that trustworthy glow of a fully charged flashlight when the power goes out? Or are you a faulty dusk-to-dawn light leaving a dark corner for crime and mischief to flourish?

We have been given light, and therefore we have a responsibility to shine the light of Christ to the word around us. Let us be bright beacons for the wandering. Let us be illuminating lanterns that give a warm glow of truth, love, and comfort to all who come within our circle. Let us be a spotlight that boldly focuses the attention of all we meet on the One Thing of importance. Let us be the glowing billboard capturing people’s attention with the magnificence of the love of God. Let us be a flicker of a candle that helps others see truth through their dark situation.

Twenty-twenty vision requires light. Let us give that light to help others see.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12

Shine the love of Jesus today!

Fresh Bread

As I was reading through the exploits of David in 1 Samuel recently, I came upon a little tidbit in chapter 21 that is often forgotten. It follows right on the heals of the story of David and his true friend Jonathan, which any kiddo raised in the church can tell you about. You all remember it I’m sure. The one in which David’s life is in danger and Jonathan warns him by a secret code phrase, “Look the arrows are beyond you,” Which meant “Run! my dad is after you!”

While we all recall that story, what happens next grabbed my attention as I read through God’s Word this year. David, on the run for his life, comes to Ahimelech, a priest in God’s house, and asks for food. The priest has no bread for common consumption, but he does have the Bread of the Presence that was put out in the temple each Sabbath and replaced with hot fresh loaves when it was removed. David was given the holy bread, not common bread, and he was given stale bread, not fresh-baked bread.

Now I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid my family regularly shopped at the “day old bread store.” I don’t know if you’re familiar with these or not. The idea is this. Fresh bread from bakeries is sold to grocery stores. When the grocery stores remove it from their shelves to bring in fresh bread, it is downgraded to go to the “day old bread store” for people pinching pennies to buy it for a reduced price. We were definitely a penny pinching family.

I didn’t really like the semi-stale breads we purchased, but it was food. I prefer fresh baked bread and the yeasty, rich smell that comes with it fresh out of the oven. As I mulled over this fresh and stale bread, several other scriptures popped into my mind.

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

I am the bread of life. John 6:48

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26

And then these thoughts followed:

  • Jesus is the Bread of Life. He is the fresh bread that sustains me day to day.
  • Do I seek out my daily spiritual bread as eagerly as I do that loaf of bread that satisfies my physical hunger? Do I breakfast as quickly on Him and seek Jesus first thing each day as I do heading to that toaster and coffeemaker each morning?
  • If we don’t live on physical bread alone, but God’s Word, are we feasting on that word daily? Would you and I be spiritual anorexics or would we be richly nourished to carry out our missions He has for us each day?
  • Are we taking in the bread of life and allowing Jesus to become a part of us and sustain us? Or are we more apt to go through religious ritual that shows on the outside, but depletes the soul instead of nourishing it?

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Amos 8:11

Are you in a spiritual famine? Is your soul hungry for the words of the Lord?

God will provide manna for your soul just as He provided the physical manna to the children of Israel in the wilderness. They had to go gather it and so do we. We must dig into His Word for the spiritual food that sustains us through the ups and downs of life.

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it  without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

And when we consume His Word, there will be good results in our life. God’s Word yields results – bread for today’s needs and seed to plant and harvest at another time in the future for another need. When we take it in, His Word brings about what He desires in our lives. His Word will achieve His purposes as it works in us.

Let us not settle for day old bread. Or is yours the stale bread of not just days, but weeks? Maybe you are even going on moldy old bread from months ago. Has it been quite a while since you have gotten fresh baked bread warm from His Word? Are you settling for “less than” in your spiritual food? Are you starving spiritually?

Let it be said of us as it was of the Christians of the early church in Acts:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

Devote yourself today to seeking the Bread of Life through His Word.