Thursday, March 14, 2019

Abide In Christ - Day 14 - Day By Day (Video Devotional plus text)

Abide In Christ by Andrew Murray
Day 14
Day By Day
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. (Ex.16:4 NASB)
'THE day's portion every day...This was the rule for God's giving and man's working in the ingathering of the manna. It is still the law in all the dealings of God's grace with His children. A clear insight into the beauty and application of this arrangement is a wonderful help in understanding how one, who feels himself utterly weak, can have the confidence and the perseverance to hold on brightly through all the years of his earthly course. A doctor was once asked by a patient who had met with a serious accident: "Doctor, how long will I have to lie here?" The answer, "Only a day at a time," taught the patient a precious lesson. It was the same lesson God had recorded for His people of all ages long before: The day's portion every day.
It was without doubt, in view of this, and to meet man's weakness, that God graciously appointed the change of day and night. If God had given time to man in the form of one long unbroken day, it would have exhausted and overwhelmed him. The change of day and night continually recruits and re-creates his powers. A child easily masters the lessons in a book when each day he is only given one lesson to learn.  Yet he would be utterly hopeless if the whole book were given to him all at once. So it would be with man, if there were no divisions in time. Broken small and divided into fragments, he can bear them. Only the care and the work of each day have to be undertaken—the day's portion every day. The rest that he receives in the the night fits him for making a fresh start each new morning. The mistakes of the past can be avoided and its lessons improved. He has only to be faithful each day for that one short day.  As a result, long years and a long life will take care of themselves, without the sense of their length or their weight ever becoming a burden to him.
Most sweet is the encouragement to be derived from this truth in the life of grace. Many a soul is disquieted with the thought as to how it will be able to gather and to keep the manna needed for all its years of travel through such a barren wilderness. That soul has never learned what unspeakable comfort there is in the phrase “The day's portion every day.” That phrase takes away all care for tomorrow most completely. Only today is yours. Tomorrow is the Father's. The question: ’What security do you have that during all the years in which you have to contend with the coldness, temptations, or trials of the world, that you will always be able to abide in Jesus?” is a question you do not need to fact that you should not ask. Manna, as your food and strength, is given only by the day. To fill the present faithfully is your only security for the future. Accept, enjoy, and fulfill with your whole heart the part you have to perform this day. His presence and grace which you enjoy today will remove all doubt as to whether you can entrust tomorrow to Him too.
How great is the value that this truth teaches us to attach to each single day! We are so easily led to look at life as a great whole, and to neglect the little today, to forget that the single days do indeed make up the whole, and that the value of each single day depends on its influence on the whole. One day lost is a link broken in the chain. It often takes more than another day to replace the lost day. One day lost influences the next, and makes keeping it more difficult. In fact, one day lost may be the loss of what months or years of careful labor had secured. The experience of many a believer could confirm this.
Believer, if you would abide in Jesus, let it be day by day. You have already heard the message, moment by moment. The lesson of day by day has something more to teach us. There are many moments where there is no direct exercise of the mind on your part. The abiding is in the deeper recesses of the heart, kept by the Father, to whom you entrusted yourself. But here is the work that has to be renewed each day—the renewing of surrender and trust for the life of “moment by moment.’ God has gathered up the moments and bound them up into a bundle, for the very purpose that we might take stock of them. As we look forward in the morning, or look back in the evening, and weigh the moments, we learn how to value and how to use them rightly. And even as the Father, with each new morning, meets you with the promise of just sufficient manna for the day for yourself and those who have to partake with you, meet Him with the bright and loving renewal of your acceptance of the position He has given you in His beloved Son. Accustom yourself to look upon this as one of the reasons for the appointment of day and night. God thought of our weakness, and sought to provide for it.
Let each day have its value from your calling to abide in Christ. As its light opens on your waking eyes, accept it on these terms: A day, just one day only, but still a day, given to abide and grow up in Jesus Christ. Whether it be a day of health or sickness, joy or sorrow, rest or work, of struggle or victory, let the chief thought with which you receive it in the morning thanksgiving be this: "This is a day that the Father has given it I may...I must become more closely united to Jesus." As the Father asks, "Can you trust me just for this one day to keep you abiding in Jesus, and to trust Jesus to keep you fruitful?" you can only give the joyful response: "I will trust and not be afraid."
The day's portion every day was given to Israel in the morning very early. The portion was for use and nourishment during the whole day, but the giving and the getting of it was the morning's work. This suggests how greatly the power to spend a day rightly, to abide all day in Jesus, depends on the morning hour. If the firstfruits are holy, the lump is holy. During the day, hours of intense occupation in the rush of business or the throng of men may come, when only the Father's keeping can maintain an unbroken connection with Jesus. The morning manna fed the Israelites all day long. It is only when the believer in the morning secures his quiet time in secret to distinctly and effectively renew loving fellowship with his Savior, that the abiding can be kept up all the day. But what cause for thanksgiving that it can be done! In the morning, with its freshness and quiet, the believer can look out upon the day. He can consider its duties and its temptations, and pass through them beforehand, as it were, with his Savior, throwing all upon the One who has undertaken to be everything to him. Christ is his manna, his nourishment, his strength, his life. He can take the day's portion for the day.  He can take Christ as his for all the needs of the day, and go on in the assurance that the day will be one of blessing and of growth.
And then, as the student takes lesson of the value and the work of the single day to heart, he is unconsciously being led on to get the secret of "day by day continually" (Ex. 29:38). The blessed abiding grasped by faith for each day apart is an unceasing and ever-increasing growth. Each day of faithfulness brings a blessing for the next and makes both the trust and the surrender easier and more blessed. And so the Christian life grows. As we give our whole heart to the work of each day, it becomes all the day, and from that every day. And so each day separately, all the day continually, day by day successively, we abide in Jesus. And the days make up the life. What once appeared too high and too great to attain, is given to the soul which was content to take and use every day his portion “as the duty of every day required" (Ezra 3:4 KJV).  Even here on earth the voice is heard: "Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make your ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matt. 25:23).
Our daily life becomes a wonderful interchange of God's daily grace and our daily praise: “He loads us with benefits” (Ps. 68:19);  "...that I may daily perform my vows” (Ps. 61:8). We learn to understand God's reason for daily giving, as He most certainly gives, just enough, but also fully enough, for each day. And we get into HIS way, the way of daily asking and expecting just enough, but most certainly fully enough, for the day. We begin to number our days not from the sun's rising over the world, nor by the work we do or the food we eat, but by the daily renewal of the miracle of the manna...the blessedness of daily fellowship with Him who is the Life and the Light of the world. The heavenly life is as unbroken and continuous as the earthly. The abiding in Christ each day has for that day brought its blessing. We abide in Him every day, and all the day. Lord, make this the portion of each one of us.

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