Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Grace In Receiving And Grace In Cultivation

Looking at the transition from manna to seeding.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." - John 12:24-26 ESV

"And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year." - Joshua 5:12 ESV

Manna represents the daily supernatural provision that God has for us. We gather new mercy each day. We look at the Bible and God feeds us a fresh provision.

The kernel of wheat that falls into the ground and produces life out of death represents resurrection life. It is a long term investment. It requires cultivation and not just harvesting.

Both are grace provisions. God gives manna and He gives growth.

When Israel left Egypt they left as slaves. They had a slave mentality. God fed them manna and taught them to trust. Later when they entered the promised land there was a transition. Stewardship requires investment.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it." - Revelation 2:17 ESV

A mature believer has moved beyond the old identity and takes this new self into a life of seeding that has hidden manna.

Manna could only be collected for an individual or a family. It is a solitary experience. Seeding cultivates a crop that feeds many people not just the individual.

I have heard people teach grace that emphasizes solitary life. A new identity that is solitary. It is foundational teaching. People need to know who they are and that they have been set free from slavery. They need to develop a strong vertical relationship with God. But there must be seeding grace balance. If folks are isolated they will never learn stewardship. People must learn to live with other people in the horizontal. There needs to be investment that takes time to blossom. Dealing with people requires a death to self that the solitary manna gatherer will not experience unless they make the transition to stewardship.

God has promised hidden manna to those that overcome. It has a daily grace provision that is available during planting, watering and harvesting. He isn't talking about winning on the outside only. He is talking about the battlefield of the mind. The battlefield of the soul. Those who war a good warfare from the new guilt free identity of freedom find manna they didn't see before. It is right there on their doorstep when they wake up. Hidden from the rest of the world but given to them and them alone. It becomes oil for the lantern of the soul.

Every morning can be a morning of new mercy. Lets live a seeding life where we are in the process of long term investments to see redemptive outcomes.


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