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Dear Partner,

I have been reflecting again upon some things the Lord taught me that I call, "Lessons From The Manna." We are all familiar with the fact that the Lord fed the children of Israel with manna during their forty-year sojourn in the wilderness. Why did the Lord do that? He tells us very clearly His reason for it in these verses:

Deu 8:2-3  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; THAT HE MIGHT MAKE THEE KNOW THAT MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY BREAD ONLY, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE LORD DOTH MAN LIVE. [Emphasis mine.]

What is the lesson? GOD IS OUR PROVIDER! We live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. God is the SOURCE of our very LIFE! Jesus is the WORD that proceeded from God. Christ is our life. Jesus said of Himself,

John 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Think about the manna in the wilderness for a moment. What kind of seed can man sow in order to produce a crop of manna? There is no such seed. There is nothing man can do in order to produce manna. Mankind could have worked hard to prepare the ground to produce a crop of manna and it would have been forever useless because there was NOTHING man could sow to produce manna. Manna didn't come from the ground. Manna came from above. Man didn't sow any seed to produce manna. Manna was 100 percent a product of God's grace period. Man couldn't produce it. All man could do was receive it, eat it, and live by it.

It is the same with salvation. No amount of good works, good intentions, or anything else would ever have provided salvation for man. Man needed a Savior! That Savior could not be produced from fallen man because man was a species already ruined by sin. Man was lost in the wilderness and doomed to eternal death unless God moved by His grace to provide LIFE for them. The Old Testament "shadow" was the physical manna, sweet wafers of bread that appeared every day for them. That "shadow" pointed to the day God would manifest His WORD and the WORD would be made flesh and dwell among us. Only by receiving (eating) this Bread of Life from heaven can man LIVE spiritually. Christ is literally our LIFE!

Again, what was the lesson God wanted Israel to learn? That God is PROVIDER! The lessons learned in the wilderness were not exclusive to our spiritual life, but to our physical life as well. Even the apostle Paul alluded to the lessons learned from the manna when he gave counsel to the Corinthian church in the New Testament. He quoted from God's instruction in the Old Testament (Exodus 16:18) connected with manna when he urged them to share from their abundance with those suffering famine in Judea:

2 Cor 8:13-15 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. [Underlined portion is a quote from Exodus 16:18]

God used those forty years in the wilderness to teach Israel many things concerning His own views concerning provision and stewardship. Paul refers to these same lessons when giving counsel to born-again Christians in the New Testament. Jesus used the lessons learned from the manna to teach many of the foundational principles of financial discipline and stewardship during the Sermon on the Mount. Understanding these foundational principles brings a life free from stress regarding finances. Not understanding them results in a life of fear concerning lack and bondage to a financial system Jesus called Mammon.

Years ago the Holy Spirit said to me, "If you don't learn how to live by God's manna, you will spend your life in bondage to Mammon." God's system is by grace. Mammon's system is by works. God's system is based on love. Mammon's system is based on fear. God's system is based on abundance. Mammon's system is based on lack. God's system will never change. Mammon's system is constantly changing. Over the next few months I will do my best to present these "Lessons From The Manna" in such a way they will bring a whole new level of LIBERTY to you and yours.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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