When I was in seminary I had a spiritual mentor who offered wonderful direction for my life. Furthermore, his life matched what he taught. One of the things that stood out about him was his love for God’s Word. I believe his love for Scripture was one of the key influences on my life.
He used to talk about a dear friend of his who, every time they would see each other would ask, “Got any fresh bread for me?” The goal of the question was to find out if these two brothers in Christ had been spending time in God’s Word. And not just within the last week or two…but that day. Was the bread FRESH?
Our Lord referred to himself as the Bread of Life. One of the chief ways we encounter him is when we meditate upon his Word day and night. His Spirit fills us and ministers to us when we do.
Interestingly, Jesus teaches us to ask God, in prayer, to give us each day our daily bread. The implication is that we need to depend on God DAILY for his gracious provision. To make such a request each day reminds us that we are in constant need of him and what he supplies – whether it’s spiritual, physical, or emotional nourishment.
The children of Israel were taught the same lesson. After they had escaped from Egypt they wandered around, not quite sure where they were heading. And they were hungry…which didn’t help their attitudes much.
Therefore, God is his great mercy, promised them food – manna from heaven. But there was a stipulation about this divine sustenance: One could gather only enough manna for each day (except on the day before the Sabbath…when one could gather enough for two days). No storing was allowed. In fact, if they tried to store the manna it would begin to rot immediately. Why? I suspect for two reasons, at least. The first reason is the same as why Jesus told us to pray daily for our bread; it shows our continual dependence upon God.
The second reason, I imagine, has a great deal to do with our fallen human nature. If God had set no limits on how often the manna could be gathered (and that it wouldn’t spoil if it was stored for more than a day), I believe the children of Israel would have started to believe that they, and not God, were responsible for meeting their needs. They would have robbed God of his glory. They may have begun to actually believe that they were smart enough, righteous enough, industrious enough to diligently collect, store, and even sell the bread.
God’s message was clear: “You must depend on me each and every day. My grace will have to be sufficient for you. Trust me…I’m all you need.”
So it is in our spiritual lives. We must turn to God each and every day. We can’t store up enough grace on Sunday morning and coast on it the rest of the week. We need fresh bread to sustain us. This is how we abide in Christ and how he abides in us.
Let us join with the psalmist who knew the joy and delight of feeding on God’s fresh bread…
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
 Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.
 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
Thanks be to God,