God miraculously provided food for Israel when they were traveling through the desert on their way to the promised land. The Israelites had never seen something like this before, so they called the food “manna”, which could literally be translated as, “What is it?”
We all long for God provision. We have those thoughts, those desires and prayers. We long for God’s provision in our lives. But sometimes when God responds, his answer looks different than what we were expecting. And like those Israelites, we also want to ask God, “what is it?”
When manna came, people were told to only take what they needed for that one day, no more. That meant you must trust God for the next day’s food. Some Israelites decided it was much easier to trust their ability to take a little extra manna today than trust God’s provision tomorrow. But Exodus 16:20 says, “some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell.”
God wants us to trust him day-by-day, step-by-step. But instead we believe that no one is looking out for us, so we had better look out for ourselves. And, perhaps, no one on this earth is looking out for you, but don’t forget you have a loving father in heaven. And a loving father never forgets his children. He just wishes we wouldn't forget him so often.
This is true for you as an individual, but also as a church. The church is God’s forever family. We are Christ’s bride. God is our father. This means we don’t need to fear the future, but we trust God day-by-day, because he is taking us on this journey.
In a couple of weeks we are holding our missions conference, and I’m really excited for it. We’ve arranged to get some great food. We will hear about how God is providing for our missionaries. We’ll also hear from a guest speaker who will teach us about our unity that we have in Christ.
We don’t call our missions giving “faith promise,” for nothing. We pledge this money in faith, because we trust God will provide. And God has provided! One encouraging thing that I’ve seen happen in the two-plus years I’ve been here is that God has blessed us financially. Even though we’ve given away so much, God has blessed us with more. Even though our monthly giving fluctuates, the average internal giving at this church has been at some of the highest levels in the past two years.
As you consider your faith promise giving, do so in faith. God is our father, he provides. He doesn’t want us to hoard, but to trust him day-by-day and step-by-step. God never forgets us. Just like manna, God’s mercies are new every morning.