Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bread from Heaven

"Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them."
Genesis 42:25

"And what will our true Joseph give us? With what will He replenish the exhausted vessel? It was corn, real food, with which Joseph filled the empty sacks of his brethren. Our Lord Jesus gives His brethren "the true bread from heaven." There is no mockery, no delusion in His gifts. We shall receive nothing at His hands but what will enrich, strengthen, and advance our soul's well-being. It may come in a disguised form- a rebuke, a reproof, a warning, a lesson difficult to learn, a cross heavy to bear; it may empty us from vessel to vessel, may fill us with shame and self-abhorrence, may lay us low in the dust, nevertheless, it is the true bread He gives us, and just in that form which our soul's necessities required?

"He fed them with manna in the wilderness that He might humble them."
The truth of God is humbling, the grace of Christ is self-abasing; and the soul that is the most emptied of self, self-dependence, self-seeking, self-will, who walks the nearest and the most softly with God, gathers the most abundantly of this divine, this heavenly, this precious manna. Oh, there is nothing so promotive of our soul's abasement, so humbling to self, as living by faith, poverty, and nothingness, upon the fulness and sufficiency of a crucified and present Christ.
The gospel is humbling, faith is humbling, grace is humbling- the place, the circumstances in which we are found, are humbling; and He feeds us with this manna in the world's waste howling wilderness that He might humble us.

Oh, blessed discipline this! "You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness to humble you." "And He humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that He might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord does man live."

As Christ is taken into our hearts by faith, He becomes a part of our moral nature, an integrated element of our spiritual being. Consequently we grow Christ-like, or rather, Christ grows in us. We become more holy, more meek, more gentle, more humble; in a word, the image of our Lord is more developed in us, and we grow less man-like and more God-like; and the quietness of our spirit, and the courtesy of our demeanor, and the lowliness of our minds, and the gentle, winning sweetness of our whole carriage and speech are but the image and reflection of Christ.
In view, then, of this statement of Christ's fulness let me exhort you to bring your needs, your sins, your trials, your case, whatever its character, to Christ. He will not send you back to a creature-power, or to human compassion for that which will replenish and solace you, but will unlock the hidden treasures, the full fount of His own resources, sympathy, and compassion, and pour it like a tide into your soul, and your heart shall abound with joy. Come when, or where, or how you may, He will cast into your emptiness, nothing but His own infinite and unwasting fulness- nothing but Himself! And then, with Mary, you shall exclaim- "My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He has sent empty away."
~ Octavious Winslow


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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1