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Your Daily Lenten Devotional
March 3, 2015


 

Bread of Life

Symbol: a jar of manna

Memory Verses: "I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry." John 6:35 (NIV)

"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." John 6:27 (NIV)

Songs to Sing:
"Grumblers"
"Guide Me, 0 Thou Great Jehovah"
"Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God"

Bread of Life
(CHILDREN)

Scriptures: Exodus 16:1-5, 13-16, 31-35; John 6: 48-51

Devotion: Have you ever smelled baked bread fresh from the oven? It fills up the kitchen with happy feelings, doesn't it? What about your favorite sandwich with that good bread wrapped around it? Eating it just seems to warm your tummy inside, making you feel good all over. But what would happen to that sandwich without the bread? It would fall apart, and most of it would get on your hands, or worse, on the floor. Neither you nor your mother would be very happy about that. You'd get all grumpy, and you'd still be hungry!


God had told the children of Israel to trust Him. But they had run out of food in the wilderness, and they were hungry! Everything was falling apart! No sooner did their stomachs grumble than their mouths began to grumble. They cried, "Lord, we're hungry! Give us something to eat, and we want it now!" He didn't like their grumbling, but God didn't want His children to be hungry. So the next morning, little flakes of white food rained down from heaven and covered the ground. The people asked, "What is it? Are we supposed to eat this?" It was the special bread that God had given them to eat, and each day, they were to trust Him to send more.

Jesus said He was the Bread of Life, and if anyone ate of that bread, they would live forever. I'm sure the people who heard Him must have thought, "What is this? Are we supposed to eat Jesus?" What do you think Jesus meant? Jesus didn't mean for us to take a chunk out of His arm and eat it. But He does want us to think about Him like we think about bread. God holds everything together. When something good happens, it is His love that wraps around us, filling us with joy inside. When we are sad, it is that same Love that helps us feel better. And just like the "what is it" bread, He is all we need.


Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." Everyday, we are to come asking and trusting that He will give us "His" bread. The next time we complain that we are hungry, let us remember Jesus is the Bread of Life, and He will take care of us. And when we do eat that good sandwich, let us thank Him for giving not only the sandwich but also Himself, so that we will be full of His Love forever!

Questions:
Who gives us our food?
Instead of complaining, will you thank Him for everything?
Who is the Bread of Life?

Prayer: "Our Father who art in heaven ..."

A Lenten Activity: Make homemade bread.


Bread of Life

(ADULTS)

Scriptures: Exodus 16; John 6:22-58; Psalm 4, 27:13; Philippians 4:4-13

Devotion: The children of Israel needed food, and so they were provided with the gift of manna, raining from heaven. To test their obedience, God told them to gather only enough for their daily needs. But the Israelites were not satisfied with receiving just what they needed. They wanted more. They were grumblers, a people of endless ungrateful complaining.

Are we not often like these pilgrims in the wilderness? When we encounter danger, inconvenience, or difficult circumstances, are we prone to complain bitterly? We know that God loves us. We know of His promises, but somehow we can't seem to focus on trusting Him. Instead, we bulldoze ourselves forward, paying no attention to what God is telling us to do. Yearning for immediate happiness, we complain about having to wait for God's purpose to be fulfilled. We settle into the world's view of delusion and skepticism, simply because it's easier to doubt and complain.


How can we break this habit of grumbling? How can we trust Him when we don't feel He is meeting what we need or want in our lives? We first must realize we cannot solve life's everyday problems by ourselves. We will be too overwhelmed, and bitterness will eat away at us. We must not yearn for experiences of the past, for they will rot like the manna if we rely on them instead of Christ. The answer is simply resting in Jesus, the Bread of Life. We must come to Christ daily for His grace, not trusting in yesterday's strength or in what remains over. Taking one step of faith at a time, we will find that He is all we need.


The Lord commanded the Israelites to keep a jar of manna as a reminder of how God had provided for them in their everyday needs. Once you are out of your wilderness, don't forget the goodness God showed you there and how He sustained you. Today, on your Lenten journey, stop and remember God's goodness to you. Give up complaining, and eat of the Bread. Hunger for Him. When you put Him first over all things, then you will know true contentment, no matter what the circumstance.

Prayer: Jesus, we hunger for You. Just as the disciples heard and began to eat the bread, may we take You, our Bread of Life, to meet all our needs. Forgive us when we grumble or have less than a grateful heart about where we are, and help us see Your abundance in our everyday moments. Supply us with Your grace. It will sustain us in everything. Amen.


 

Excerpted from:

The Lenten Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for Christ's Death and His ResurrectionThe Lenten Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for Christ's Death and His Resurrection
Dean Lambert Smith
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In this book, author Dean Smith, has compiled eighty-two devotions for both children and adults that will enable individuals and families to travel on a meaningful journey through Lent, the season before Easter. The Lenten Tree begins on the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, and ends on Easter day.
     

Reprinted from The Lenten Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults by Dean Lambert Smith. Copyright 2001. Used by permission from Abingdon Press.


 

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