As I look back at my morning devotionals that I've read lately, I've noticed a pattern surfacing. It seems as though the underlying message has been to make spending time with God a priority. It started with the story of God providing manna for the Israelites in the desert, and the command that they go out and gather enough manna for the day, only for yourself, and only enough for that day (if they tried to stock up it would spoil), six mornings of the week. And on the sixth day to prepare for the Sabbath, when they prepare what they have gathered, it would be twice as much as the daily ration (Exodus 16:4-7). God used this morning manna-fest to test the people to see if they would be obedient to Him.
"Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Jesus is the Bread of Life. Just as our the people of Israel were tested to be obedient and trust God for fill the needs of their physical hunger, we are daily tested to trust God to fill our spiritual hunger. When Jesus taught us to pray "and give us this day our daily bread..." he was reminding us that just as the Israelites gathered manna daily, we need to seek out and gather our spiritual food, the Word of God, on a daily basis as well.
This challenged me. Had I been spending time in God's word every morning? No, not really. On a scale of 1 to 10, I gave myself about a 6. True, I've been sending out and posting a Daily Blessing (a Bible verse with a short meditation, usually written by someone else ... posted at www.thedailyblessing.blogspot.com), but mostly I would read, copy, paste, and send, without giving the passage a second thought. When put into the context of a "test" from God to see if I will walk in His law, I see how I continue to fall short. With Jesus, I walk in God's grace. I still fall short by my own effort, but Jesus bridges the gap to where I can pass the test.