Daily Manna

Scripture: Psalm 63:1, Mark 1:35, Daniel 6:10
How do you maintain a vibrant walk with God? One of the most neglected areas is the devotional life. Many want to maintain a connection with God but only look to the pastor or minister once a week. Just as we need to eat every day, so we need to abide in Jesus every day.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our Host Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible and talk about themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Gary Gibbs. Hi Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi John, we have a very interesting topic today. We're going to be looking at how can we maintain a vibrant spiritual walk with God.

John: Today we're going to discuss some of the biblical keys to spiritual success in the Christian life. Let's talk about something that is perhaps one of the most neglected aspects of the Christian life today. I mean this all across Christianity, across old churches and among Christians as a whole. Let's discuss today how to have a real vibrant, strong, devotional life and be connected to God.

Gary: It's so important, because a lot of times as Christians, what we're depending on to maintain that Christian feeling that we look to serve Christ. Where we're following the Word of God, we depend upon the pastor feeding us. Spoon-feeding us once a week.

John: Yes, that's very true. Too many people make that mistake. Going to church is good; I think a necessity receiving the Word in a church setting is great. But what do you do the rest of the days of the week?

Gary: They have to eat yourself everyday in order to maintain your strength and it's the same way in our spiritual life. Jesus said in John 15, He said that "We have to abide in Him and if we abide in Him," He says in verse four of John 15, that "We can then bear the fruit of a Christian life." We can have patience. We can have love. We can have joy. We can have long suffering. All these fruits of the Spirit come by abiding in Jesus Christ, but you're not going to have that if you're not spending daily time with God.

John: Jesus described the relationship He wants to have with us as being that like a branch connected to a vine. I've got grape vines in my backyard, plenty of them. Here's what I know, when it's time to get out there and prune them, you take those pruning shears and cut off one of the branches. When there's a disconnect that branch shrivels up and dies. Jesus wants us to be connected to Him, the parent's stalk. It's only when that connection is there that we can be healthy spiritually. Let's talk about how to have, how to maintain a healthy connection with Jesus.

Gary: In our world today, we're so busy. There are so many things demanding our time and our energy that by the end of the day, people are exhausted. Then they get up the next morning, and they're right back into it on the fast pace track of life. Where do we find this time, John? Where do we find the opportunity to spend with God and how do much time do we really need?

John: OK. Where do we find it and how much time? Firstly, let's establish you've got to have it. You've got to have that time with Christ. Relationships are made out of time. Aren't they? If you're not putting time in the relationship, before very long it's going to be no relationship there. We've got to take the time. Where do you find it? Now I'm thinking of the verse in the Bible in the Psalms. Psalms 63:1. Where the Psalmist says, "Early will I seek thee." Now that indicates that ideally we ought to be spending time with God early in the morning.

Gary: And it's not a bad thing to do that was Jesus' example. That's a practice that He had in Mark 135. It says, "In the morning, rising up a great while before day, Jesus went out, found a solitary place and there He prayed." It's a good practice. In fact, John, you remember the story about the children of Israel as they were exiting Egypt. They spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land. Every morning, they received something very special from God. What was it?

John: That was the manna, the bread that came down from Heaven. That manna.

Gary: Jesus says in John 6, that manna represents His word. The children of Israel had to go out early in the morning before the sun came up to get that bread. It was a little tiny seed and they ground it into flour and they made bread. They could not keep that overnight or it would rot. Daily they had to find the bread and Jesus is actually giving us an illustration there, daily we have to feed on the Word of God ourselves if we're going to have strength to live for Him during that day.

John: Now if they didn't go out and get that manna early, after awhile it would just melt away and dissolve. You think that's saying that if we don't spend time with the Lord early, chances are the opportunity is going to dissolve? And we just won't get that time in?

Gary: Practically speaking, from experience that's exactly what happens. If I don't get up first thing in the morning and spend that time with God, the business of the world just comes crashing in on me. I have to find that time with God but what if I'm not a morning person? Does that mean I've missed my opportunity? What would you say to that?

John: I'd say whenever your day starts. Start with time with the Lord if at all possible. Generally it's possible, whenever your day starts, that's where you start with the Lord. Now if your day is so busy, maybe you just want to get out of bed just slightly earlier than you do it that's possible. I'm thinking though, of the moms who are saying, "Man, you don't get it. I've got this children and I'm so busy." And the dads who say, "I have a hectic schedule. Why don't we say to mom who says the danger starts with babies crying before I'm awake? And I just can't find time?"

Gary: Many mothers that's their alarm clock in the morning, as the baby is screaming and hollering. I've got one child. The way she wakes up, she wakes up crying, but we try to get up before that. And I'll tell you the truth actually John, even with the children, once we get the children started for the day, we find our quiet time. We still take that time. My wife is very religious about that and so am I. We find the time to spend with God and we're setting an example for our children.

John: It might be different for different people but somewhere there, you've got to find that quiet time away from the hassles. Away from the distractions, just you and Jesus and just really connect and you know that in this day, you've given your heart over to Christ. You've allowed Him to see to it that self is dead. He reigns on the throne of your heart, that's how you're going to have peace and a really settled. Going forward in your day.

Gary: Now the first thing we've talked about here then is that is we need a time everyday. Some people might not be morning people. Their brain just doesn't function real well. Maybe they'll spend less time in the morning with the Lord, but they need some time with Him and maybe their big bulk of time is later in the evening. But we need a time no matter where we find that time but we also need a special place to do this, a little ritual. A place where we go to, we have our books. We have a comfortable place to spend time with God.

John: I'm going to get to that in just a moment. I want to encourage you listening today to get a hold of our special free offer that we have for you today. We've got a tremendous book that we want to share with you. It's called "The Armor of God." You will be blessed. So, get our telephone number, grab that address that we're about to give you at the end of the program. Call or write and ask for "Armor of God." You'll be charged as you read this. You will be blessed and I'm pretty confident it will be a real addition to your spiritual existence. Gary, the place? Where do we find the place?

Gary: Well you find the place that works for you. There was a time where I was planting trees many years ago for a living and this was a winter job down in the southeastern United States. It was the dead of winter. And it was very cold because it's kind of a wet, damp, cold and just cuts right through all the layers of clothing you put on. I was living John, in a back of a pickup truck, essentially. It was one of these camper's trailers that slide in to the pickup truck bed.

John: Not much room with one of those.

Gary: No. And I was sharing it with another gentleman who actually owned it. Every morning I would get up and I would have my Bible reading time, my study time but to pray, and I like to pray out loud. To pray I need to go outside, and going outside meant going out into 30 degree weather or below that. I would go out and I had a little pup tent and I would have that time to pray. I always had a place to go.

Now that's the most extreme, now today I have my office. My wife likes to have her quiet time in her living room but we always have a place to go. That's part of our ritual where we have our books and we can sit and we can be comfortable. And we can think about the Word of God.

John: It's important to establish a time. It's important to establish a place. We've talked about this, a connection, establishing a connection through prayer. There's a lot we'll say at another time about prayer. But prayer is not only it when it comes to your devotional time. You've got to spend time in the Word of God, am I right about that?

Gary: You really do and that's often a challenge, because how many times has someone picked up the Bible. I've done it myself where I start reading and it's just not speaking to me. I'm not getting anything out of it. How do you make the Word of God come alive?

John: Part of that is going to be learning how to mine the Bible. Learning how to mine a Bible and find the gems in there. Another part of this is you get the people to say, "I'm going to read the Bible thru this year. It's my New Year's resolution." They start in Genesis, man and things are going great. They get into Exodus. That's pretty cool too, and Moses and the Plagues and Egypt and the Exodus. By the time they get to Leviticus, the wheels have fallen off the chariot.

They got bogged down, like they're on quicksand. Someone says, "I'm going to start reading Ezekiel. I'm going to wade through Jeremiah." Nothing wrong with that but a lot of people aren't going to clearly hear the voice of God speaking to them, where they are and about what they're dealing with.

If you go to the Bible and find those parts of the Bible that speak to your heart, reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and Acts and some of the Epistles of Paul. And go with the Psalms and the wisdom of the Proverbs.

Don't worry. My advice is about the parts of the Bible you cannot understand. Work at those and increase your understanding but if you go to the parts of the Bible that speak plainly and clearly and you can't understand. Oh! There's so much in there, you're going to grow and be blessed.

Gary: And there will be some days where you will study Leviticus.

John: Oh sure!

Gary: When I go to eat, you don't eat the same food everyday. You get tired of the same meal and so you have variety and some days you go out and you're eating Indian food, another time it's Italian.

John: Those would be good days, both of them.

Gary: If we invite you to eat, any day is a good day for you, isn't it?

John: Amen.

Gary: It's the same way when we come to our spiritual diet. Sometimes I want to study Jeremiah, other times I want to read First John. It's how I am lead that morning, How I feel, what were my appetite is.

John: It's important as a person is spending quiet time with God, that's what it is. You come to the Word of God. Let the Lord lead you by whatever means to whatever part of the Bible you're going to focus on. And then, not just read it for reading's sake. But read it and listen for the voice of God speaking to your heart. That's important.

Gary: You personalize the Word of God as you're reading through it. What does this say to me? I like to pray about it after I have my Bible study time. I like to actually kneel in prayer and talk to the Lord about what I've just read. I like to pray out loud. I find an example in Jesus, he prayed out loud. He'd find a psalm and prayed out loud and others thru the Bible, because we have their prayers reported. As you pray through what you have learned, it actually makes it more real and personalizes it.

John: There's another character in the Bible who had a real connection with the Lord and that was Daniel. He was someone who prayed three times a day. Obviously feared on the Word of God. When you get that in Daniel 6. Daniel is in a jam. His life was on the line, he's faced with a death penalty. Is he going to be faithful to God, or is he going to recant his faith? He's faithful to God. He goes home and he prays. And just to read that is a powerful passage. He goes home. He's in his house. He's in a regular room. He kneels and he faces Jerusalem. He does it not once or twice, but three times.

If my life was on the line, I might come to your house or to your garage or your tool shed and pray, so nobody's going to see what I'm doing. But Daniel is open about this. He wants to be faithful. Notice the key in Daniel 6:10, he did what he did a four time.

That was his habit. That was his daily practice, so when his life depended on faithfulness to Christ, his spiritual life was on the line even. He was faithful because he was always faithful.

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Gary: His entire life sprung out on that personal time with God. That's why he was able to live for God in the midst of a very pagan culture and to always be God's man and in our day-to-day activities. We need God with us every moment of the day, and it will spring out of our quiet time in the morning.

John: The time for Bible talk has come and gone. Thanks for being with us. We look forward to seeing you next time for more on this subject with Gary Gibbs, I'm John Bradshaw, God bless you. [music plays]

John: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed. It expands on the subject including information you want to know. To receive this free, informative, Bible study guide, simply call, write or email and ask for the "Armor of God." The toll free number is 866-Biblesays. That's 866-2425372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, PO Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org. Bible Talk is being produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of LifeTalk Radio.

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