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MANNA BIBLE FELLOWSHIP

WELCOME TO

Doing

Life

Together

Manna is a Life-Group of Valley Baptist Church that features in-depth expository teaching in a lecture format.  Quarterly study booklets are provided so members may study ahead.  It is a large class, yet includes prayer time and snacks each Sunday.  Since Manna believes in doing life together, there are fellowships throughout the year that develop deeper friendships.  The class also produces the lessons as podcasts under Manna at Valley Baptist Church – available on most of the podcast applications.  This makes it easy to review a lesson, or catch one you missed.  Manna may be a large class, but it’s a friendly class.  

About

Upcoming Events

  • Manna Baked Potato & Salad Supper & Beginning Line Dance Lesson
    Manna Baked Potato & Salad Supper & Beginning Line Dance Lesson
    Thu, Jun 27
    VBC Fruitvale Fellowship Hall
    Jun 27, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:45 PM
    VBC Fruitvale Fellowship Hall, 4800 Fruitvale Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93308, USA
    Jun 27, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:45 PM
    VBC Fruitvale Fellowship Hall, 4800 Fruitvale Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93308, USA
    Join us for a fun evening of fellowship over a light, healthy supper! Thursday, June 27, 2024 5:30 - 8:45 PM VBC Fruitvale Fellowship Hall For those who which to participate, we will have a beginning line dance lesson after supper! $12 per person covers cost of food, beverage, and supplies.
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  • Manna Ice Cream & Dessert Social July 25, 2024
    Manna Ice Cream & Dessert Social July 25, 2024
    Thu, Jul 25
    Fellowship Hall, VBC Fruitvale Campus
    Jul 25, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM PDT
    Fellowship Hall, VBC Fruitvale Campus, 4800 Fruitvale Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93308, USA
    Jul 25, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM PDT
    Fellowship Hall, VBC Fruitvale Campus, 4800 Fruitvale Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93308, USA
    Save the Date! Join us to beat the heat with an ice cream social! Thursday, July 25, 2024 -- evening (5:30 pm or after) VBC Fruitvale Campus Fellowship Hall Details to be announced closer to the date!
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  • Manna Ladies Luncheon 8/15/24
    Manna Ladies Luncheon 8/15/24
    Thu, Aug 15
    Location is TBD
    Aug 15, 2024, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    Aug 15, 2024, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    Save the date and join us for a ladies' luncheon around noon, Thursday, August 15, 2024. More details will be provided closer to the event.
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"Selfish Praying" •  Manna Quarantine Devotional #90
06:21

"Selfish Praying" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #90

Dear Manna Family, How many of us pray because we want God to change something? Sometimes, God says yes, sometimes He says no, and sometimes He says wait. Sometimes God says no because we pray with wrong motives. James 4: 2b You do not have because you do not ask. Vs 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. An example of someone who made a selfish request of Jesus is a woman named Salome, and part of her story is told Matthew 20: 20-23. Jesus and his disciples were traveling from the area near Jericho up to Jerusalem where Jesus would soon be crucified. HIs aunt Salome came up to him with her two sons James and John. James and John were Jesus’ cousins, and since there was a family connection, Salome thought she would get an inside track for her two sons. Listen to her request. Matthew 20: 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. Vs 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” Vs 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink” They said to Him, “We are able.” Vs 23 He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” Vs 24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. In the coming kingdom, Jesus will sit on His throne ruling over all. Salome wanted her two sons to have the highest honor of sitting closest to the throne. She wanted her two sons to be exalted over the rest of the disciples. The other ten disciples became angry because they wanted that honor as well. Now, in fact, someone will sit closest to God’s throne, but that is God’s choice, not ours. Jesus told them, “You do not know what you are asking.” That’s so often true of us as well. We ask God for things that from our earthly point of view make perfect sense. However, God knows how our request fits into His infinitely wise plan. We are like little children who see a bright shiny object and ask to play with it, not realizing that it’s a sharp butcher knife that can harm us. Salome’s request was selfish, pure and simple, and James and John were in on it as well. But Jesus didn’t just say “No.” He asked them if they knew that the cost of following Him involved death. James and John didn’t know what they didn’t know, and so they confidently said, ‘We are able to drink the cup You will drink.’ In fact, they did. James was beheaded for his faith, and tradition says that John was boiled in oil for his faith. He survived and was exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation. Drinking the cup that Jesus drank referred to His coming death on the cross. Those who want to follow Jesus will experience what He experienced. Jesus followed the will of His Father even to the point of death. In the same way, those of us who follow Jesus must die to our own selfish desires, and follow Jesus wherever He leads. Prayer is people on earth communicating with God who is in heaven. The purpose of prayer is not to persuade God to do what we want. Prayer doesn’t move God into alignment with our plans. Prayer moves us into alignment with God’s plans. Prayer is God centered, not me centered. It’s comforting to know that even when we ask with wrong motives, our heavenly Father will never give us anything except what is best. So when God says “No” to a prayer request, that’s an act of love. Our heavenly Father really does know what’s best! That’s why Jesus ended His prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane with the words, “Your will be done.” Remember, God designed us to “do life together!” Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved
"Stop Praying, Start Obeying!" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #89
06:22

"Stop Praying, Start Obeying!" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #89

Dear Manna Family, The Bible tells the stories of people who were both famous and infamous. Joshua 7 tells the story of a man named Achan whose theft created a national crisis. It was so bad, that God told Joshua to stop praying. The nation of Israel has crossed the Jordan River, and with God’s power they have conquered the city of Jericho. They next attacked the small city of Ai, and incredibly they were defeated. Joshua and the leaders of Israel were devastated. Joshua 7: 6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. Vs 7 Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! Vs 8 “O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? Vs 9 “For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?” This is a national crisis. God promised that Israel would possess the land of Canaan, and now Israel has been defeated by a very small enemy force. Joshua asks why. O God, why did you ever bring us over the Jordan River, and why did You allow us to be defeated? Their assumption is that Israel’s defeat is God’s doing, and that Israel will be destroyed by their enemies in battle. And if Israel is destroyed, then everyone will know that the God of Israel is weaker than the gods of Canaan. Furthermore, God broke His promise to give Israel the land. God tells Joshua to stop praying and stand up. Vs 10 So the LORD said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? Vs 11 “Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things. Vs 12 Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.” God immediately informs Joshua that Israel’s defeat is due to their sin. Before the battle of Jericho, God had commanded that all the treasures from Jericho were to be dedicated to the LORD and brought to the tabernacle. A man named Achan disobeyed God, and stole treasures from Jericho that belonged to God. God hates sin and curses it. So God told Joshua to stop praying and clean house. Prayer never takes the place of repentance and obedience. God refuses to be with, or bless anyone who practices sin and refuses to repent. Psalm 66: 18 “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the LORD will not hear.” When God tells you to do something, and you refuse to do it, God stops the conversation. When you tell your child or grandchild to do something, but they keep talking so they can delay obeying, it’s the end of the discussion. What is required is compliance, not conversation. Most of the time our problem is not a failure to understand the will of God, it is refusing to obey the will of God that we already understand. If there is known sin in our life, the only prayer God wants to hear is a prayer of confession and repentance. We need to turn away from sin, and turn to God in faith and obedience. So Joshua stopped praying and started obeying. God revealed Achan’s sin to the nation, he was executed, and then after sin was dealt with, God blessed Israel with victory over their enemies. There is a time to pray and confess our sins to God. And there is also a time to stop praying and start obeying what God is telling us to do. Remember, God designed us to “do life together!” Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved
"A Prophet & A Prostitute" •  Manna Quarantine Devotional #88
06:44

"A Prophet & A Prostitute" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #88

Dear Manna Family, We are studying the lives of Bible characters and our study today is about an arranged marriage between a prophet named Hosea, and a prostitute named Gomer. Hosea, whose name means “salvation,” was active as God’s prophet in Northern Israel from about 755-710 B.C. At that time, Israel was economically prosperous, but spiritually bankrupt. Idol worship was rampant as Israel turned away from God, their first love, and committed spiritual adultery with many false gods. When Jeroboam 2 died in 753 B.C., anarchy prevailed. Between 753 and 722 when Israel was conquered by Assyria, Israel had 6 kings, 4 of whom were assassinated by their successors. And we think we live in uncertain times! Hosea 1: 2 When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.” God is going to use Hosea’s marriage as a dramatization of HIs relationship with Israel. Hosea represents faithful God, and Gomer represents unfaithful Israel. It’s likely that Gomer became a prostitute after her marriage to Hosea. In the Bible, adultery was a picture of spiritual infidelity and unfaithfulness. Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness consisted of idol worship and trusting in foreign alliances instead of trusting in God. It’s easy to point fingers at Israel, but the truth is, anything you value more than God has become your idol. The theme of Hosea is God’s loyal love for Israel, despite their spiritual adultery. It’s about sin, judgment and salvation based on God’s forgiving love. As hard as it must have been, Hosea obeyed God’s command. Vs 3 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. Ultimately Gomer had three children. God named all three children to illustrate His attitude toward Israel. Jezreel means ‘God will scatter,’ and refers to Israel’s coming exile following Assyria’s invasion. Lo-ruhamah means ‘she is unpitied or unloved.’ God’s love is unconditional, but for a time, He is going to withhold mercy and impose judgment upon Israel for her sins. Lo-ammi means ‘not my people.’ God is rejecting Israel and renouncing the covenant He made with them; ‘you are not My people and I am not your God.’ It is like a divorce decree where a husband turns his back on his unfaithful wife. However, God’s rejection of Israel is not the end of the story. Vs 3: 1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” Vs 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Vs 3 Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” Gomer’s adultery had broken her relationship with Hosea, and they were separated. She had probably become the legal property of someone who hired her out as a temple prostitute. God commanded Hosea to pursue his estranged wife, and love her despite her infidelity. This is a searing image of God’s unquenchable love for His people. This second command to Hosea may have been more difficult that the first one. However, Hosea obeyed God and bought Gomer back, probably at a slave auction. The total purchase price was about 30 pieces of silver, the price paid for a common slave. Hosea and Gomer lived in the same house, but they remained celibate for ‘many days.’ Forgiveness is immediate, but restoration of trust takes time. Like Hosea loved Gomer, God loved us, even when we were at war with Him. All Christians have been redeemed from the slave market of sin with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. This is a lesson not only in radical love, but also in radical obedience. We are commanded to love others like Jesus loved us. We are also commanded to obey our heavenly Father just like Jesus and Hosea obeyed. Now is a good time to ask God to help us to do both. Remember, God designed us to ‘do life together!’ Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved
"Stuck On Stupid" •  Manna Quarantine Devotional #87
06:40

"Stuck On Stupid" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #87

Dear Manna Family, Today, we are studying a conversation between a wise prophet and a foolish king. It is October 12, 539 B.C., and the situation in the Babylonian Empire was dire. The city of Babylon was under siege by the Persian army. Instead of defending the city, King Belshazzar threw a huge party in the palace where every appetite was indulged. In light of an imminent attack, he should have been praying and preparing, not partying. Incredibly, he orders that the sacred gold and silver vessels that were captured from the Jewish temple be brought out and used at this drunken orgy. Then God crashes his party. Daniel 5: 5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand emerged and began writing opposite the lamp stand on the plaster of the wall of the kings palace…. Everyone is terrified, and no one can interpret the meaning of the writing. Eventually, the queen mother advises them to call the 80 year old prophet Daniel out of retirement. Daniel arrives and confronts Belshazzar. Daniel 5: 18 “O king, the Most High God granted sovereignty, greatness, honor and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father. Vs 20 But when his heart was arrogant and his spirit became so overbearing that he behaved presumptuously, he was deposed from his royal throne, and his dignity was taken away from him. God had given Nebuchadnezzar the empire, and then warned him against pride in a dream, which Daniel interpreted. But Nebuchadnezzar boasted that Babylon existed for the glory of his majesty, not God’s. So God took away his reason, and Nebuchadnezzar went insane. He lived outdoors with the animals for seven years, until God restored his reason and his throne. Daniel 4: 34…….I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; Vs 37b…..all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride. Daniel then confronts Belshazzar’s pride. Daniel 5: 22 Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this, Vs 23, but you have risen up against the Lord of heaven;…..and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see, nor hear, nor understand. But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and all your ways, you have not glorified. Belshazzar had seen his grandfather’s pride, as well as his repentance and restoration to the throne after he humbled himself. And Belshazzar still chose to mock God by using God’s sacred vessels from the temple to get drunk and worship false gods. He took what was dedicated to God and used it to sin with full knowledge. God is merciful, but He will always judge sin; we just don’t know when. Daniel 5: 24 Then the hand was sent from Him and this inscription was written out. Vs 25 Now this is the inscription that was written: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.” Vs 26 This is the interpretation of the message: ‘Mene’—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. Vs 27 ‘Tekel’—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. Vs 28 ‘Peres’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Vs 30 That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. Vs 31 So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two. God had taken away Nebuchadnezzar’s mind, and now He took away Belshazzar’s life. There is a time and a season for everything, including our lives and the life cycles of empires. The Persians conquered Babylon that very night. Lessons: God controls everything; from galaxies to subatomic particles, including nations and presidents. Everything we possess is loaned to us by God, and everyone will give an account to God for how they manage what belongs to Him. Everyone chooses to live life God’s way as revealed in the Bible or their own way. Prideful people and nations will be judged by God in His time and way. When you humble yourself before the LORD, you will experience blessing and not judgment. When your faith is in the LORD, you can ‘dare to be a Daniel’, and speak God’s word without fear. Remember, God designed us to “do life together!” Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved
“From Agony to Ecstasy In An Instant” • Manna Quarantine Devotional # 86
06:02

“From Agony to Ecstasy In An Instant” • Manna Quarantine Devotional # 86

Dear Manna Family, We are studying the lives of ordinary people in the Bible. Today we are looking at a woman who gave birth to a son, watched him die, and saw him raised from the dead. Her story is told in 2 Kings 4. Elisha was a circuit riding prophet who traveled throughout Israel. On his travels he met a woman from a village called Shunem which is about 25 miles east of Mount Carmel. This prominent, pious and wealthy Shunemmite woman understood that God was at work in and through Elisha. She had the gift of hospitality, and she and her husband built an enclosed room for him on the flat roof of their home. Elisha appreciated all she had done for him, and asked her what she would like him to do for her. 2 Kings 4 Vs 14 So he said, “What is to be done for her?” And Gehazi answered, “Truly, she has no son and her husband is old.” Vs 15 And he said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. Vs 16 Then he said, “At this season next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God, do not lie to your maidservant.” Vs 17 And the woman conceived and bore a son at that season the next year, as Elisha had said to her. Her husband was old, and a widow without a son would have no one to protect or care for her. Evidently she desired a child, but had given up hope. Nevertheless God blessed her with the birth of a son 12 months later. We can only imagine the joy of this couple. Vs 18 When the child was grown, the day came that he went out to his father to the reapers. Vs 19 And he said to his father, “My head, my head.” And he said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” Vs 20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her lap until noon, and then died. Vs 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door behind him, and went out. He probably died from sunstroke. This mother was not paralyzed with grief, she was galvanized into action and galloped 25 miles to Mount Carmel to meet Elisha, the man of God. Her son was a gift from God, and she believed that God was the only solution for his death. Vs 32 When Elisha came into the house, behold the lad was dead and laid on the bed. Vs 33 So he entered and shut the door behind them both, and prayed to the LORD. Vs 34 And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth and his eyes on his eyes and his hands on his hands, and he stretched himself on him; and the flesh of the child became warm. Vs 35 Then he returned and walked in the house once back and forth, and went up and stretched himself on him; and the lad sneezed seven times and the lad opened his eyes. Vs 36 And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Take up your son.” Vs 37 Then she went in and fell at his feet and bowed herself to the ground, and she took up her son and went out. She had gone from agony to ecstasy in an instant. His birth was a miracle, and his death was allowed so that God’s infinite power and love would be revealed when he was raised from the dead. Remember that Jesus allowed his good friend Lazarus to die, for the express purpose of demonstrating His deity by raising him from the dead. Application: 1. God’s plans are sometimes mysterious, but they are always perfect. 2. There may be something in your life that God wants to take away so that He can bring something better in its place. Whether it’s an attitude, an action, a relationship or a goal, surrender it to God, and let Him bring new life into your life. 3. There is power in prayer; talk with God before you talk to anyone else. 4. God delights in blessing His children, in HIs time and HIs way, so trust Him. Remember, God designed us to “do life together!” Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved
“Following God Or Your Sister-In-Law” • Manna Quarantine Devotional #85
05:20

“Following God Or Your Sister-In-Law” • Manna Quarantine Devotional #85

Dear Manna Family, We are studying Bible characters. Today’s lesson is about two women, one honored, the other obscure. They are sisters-in-law, and they couldn’t be more different. Their names are Orpah and Ruth, and their stories are found in the book of Ruth. This story takes place during the period of Israel’s history called the Judges which lasted from the death of Joshua to the crowning of King Saul. The book of Ruth opens by describing a drought and a famine in Judah. As a result of this famine, a man named Elimelech and his wife Naomi move with their two sons to the neighboring country of Moab. Soon after Elimelech dies, and Naomi’s two sons marry Moabite women. After ten years, both sons die, and now Naomi and both her daughters-in-law are widows. Ruth 1: 6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the land of Moab, because she had heard in the land of Moab, that the LORD had visited His people by giving them food. Vs 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to your mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. Vs 9 May the LORD grant that you may find a place of rest, each one in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they raised their voices and wept. Vs 14…….Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. Vs 15 Then she said, “Behold your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” Vs 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Vs 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do so to me, and worse, if anything but death separates me from you. We see two different decisions and two different destinies. One returned to her homeland, the other ventured by faith into a new land. Orpah chose to go back to her own country, her own family, her own religion and her own culture. But Ruth had seen enough of the God of Israel that she wanted to know and follow Him. Ruth was willing to abandon everything she had known in order to follow the God of Naomi. This was more than love for her mother in law; it was hunger for God. This is faith on display. Ruth was like Abraham who left his family and friends, neighbors and nation in order to follow God into a land that he did not know. The truth is that Elimelech and Naomi should never have left Israel, which was the land of promise. They should have trusted God to provide for them instead of moving into a pagan idol worshipping nation. As a result, their sons married outside the Jewish faith. There is no record that they prayed about this decision to move away from God’s community of faith. But despite their bad decisions, God was at work. God had a divine plan for Ruth and Naomi. Ruth married a godly man from Judah named Boaz, and had a son named Obed. Obed was an ancestor of King David through whom would come Jesus, the Savior of the world. All of that hinged on this one single decision Ruth had to make: go back home to Moab, or by faith, go forward and follow where God was leading. God calls us to follow Him everyday, and He often calls us to follow Him into new places and new experiences. Following God always requires faith because we’re not in control. When you follow God, you will discover that He has a much better future planned for you than you had planned for yourself. The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened to Orpah when she turned back from following God. But the short book of Ruth reveals that following God one day at a time produces a life filled with faith, hope and love. It’s a picture of God’s love for us, and shows us how we can love each other. Remember, God designed us to ‘do life together.’ Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved
"When God Finds You" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #84
05:54

"When God Finds You" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #84

Dear Manna Family, We are studying the lives of Bible characters who are not famous, and todays lesson is about a woman named Hagar. Her story is told in Genesis 16 and 21. Context: God promised Abraham that he would father a son, even through he was 75 years old, and his wife Sarah was 65. After waiting 10 years, Sarah became impatient, and decided that God needed her help. She advised Abraham to take her maidservant Hagar as a second wife or concubine, and have a child through her. This practice of surrogate motherhood was not an uncommon practice at this time and Abraham follows Sarah’s advice. When Hagar becomes pregnant, she begins to despise Sarah, who cannot become pregnant. Sarah then blames Abraham for the problem that her suggestion created in the first place! Abraham tells Sarah to do whatever she thinks is right, and Sarah begins to treat Hagar harshly. Hagar then runs away into the wilderness. Genesis 16:7 Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. Hagar was alone in the desert running away from Sarah when God found her. You may not know where you are, but God always knows where you are, and that’s comforting. Vs 8 And He said, ‘Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?’ And she said, “ I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress, Sarai.” Vs 9 Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority. Vs 11 “…..you shall bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.” Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep by name. The Good Shepherd knew that His lamb Hagar was not in the sheepfold where she belonged. She was running away from God’s plan for her life. God told her to go back and submit to Sarah’s authority, even though Sarah was harsh. God had plans for her and her son. The name Ishmael means “God hears”, and God promised to make him into a great nation. Vs 13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” It seems as though she not only heard God speak, she actually saw Him, obviously in a veiled form. Fourteen years later, Isaac was born. Sarah then demanded that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away, and God told Abraham to listen to Sarah. Hagar gets lost in the wilderness, and her water is all gone. She and Ishmael are literally dying of thirst, when God calls her name for the second time. Genesis 21: 17 God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Vs 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” God hears us whenever we call, no matter where we are, and He always has the perfect solution to our problems. God opened her eyes to see a well of water which saved their lives. The text says that God was with Ishmael, and he grew and became an archer. Applications: Abraham and Sarah made multiple poor decisions, yet God used them to bless the world. Life often includes a wilderness, where everything seems hopeless and lost. Even though we may be lost, God always knows where we are. He finds us because He loves us, even if we are not rich and famous. God has a good plan for your future, regardless of your past. On two separate occasions, God found and spoke to an Egyptian slave woman by name. God heard Ishmael, even in the middle of a wasteland, when he was near death, and He will always hear you when you call out to him. Never forget, God is only a prayer away. Remember, God designed us to ‘do life together!’ Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved
"Poise Under Pressure" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #83
06:09

"Poise Under Pressure" • Manna Quarantine Devotional #83

Dear Manna Family, We are studying the lives of everyday people in the Bible. Today we are looking at a woman named Abigail, and her story is told in I Samuel 25. Context: God has chosen David to succeed Saul as king over Israel. Saul is paranoid and tries to kill David, so David hides out in the southern desert of Israel. David and his band of 600 men have been protecting the flocks of a very rich but evil man called Nabal. If you didn’t protect your flocks, bandits would kill your shepherds and steal your herds. When Nabal had his annual sheep shearing feast, David sends messengers to ask Nabal if he would share food from his feast as payment for their services. Nabal insults them and refuses to give them anything. David becomes furious and promises to kill every male in Nabal’s household. I Samuel 25:3 now the man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. And the woman was intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings, and he was a Calebite. Talk about beauty and the beast! It must have been an arranged marriage! Abigail has gotten word of David’s goodness, and her husband’s insulting behavior. She prepares a substantial gift of food for David and his men. David and four hundred armed men are traveling to Nabal’s camp, when Abigail intercepts them. Vs 24 And she fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your maidservant speak to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant. Vs 25 Please do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him….. She is physically powerless against 400 armed men, but she humbly appeals to David to listen to her proposal. She acknowledges that her husband is a fool, and asks David to pay no attention to what he says or does. Her words may sound disloyal, but in fact, she is interceding to save Nabal’s life. She takes the blame for Nabal’s bad behavior. Vs 28 Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant; for the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battle of the LORD, and evil shall not be found in you all your days. Vs 30 And it shall come about when the LORD shall do for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and shall appoint you ruler over Israel, Vs 31 that this will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. When the LORD shall deal well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.” She knows that God will keep His promise to make David king over Israel. She appeals to David to not do anything in the heat of anger today, that he will regret after he becomes king. Killing Nabal and his men for refusing to share food would be murder. David recognizes that God has sent Abigail to him. Vs 32 Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, Vs 33 and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed, and from avenging myself by my own hand. The giving and taking of life are God’s prerogative, not man’s. So is vengeance. "Vengeance is Mine”, says the LORD, “I will repay.” And God did. When Abigail told Nabal how she had saved his life, he had a stroke, and ten days later, God took his life and he died. Lessons: 1. It is always wise to encourage people to honor God and avoid sin. 2. Don’t make major decisions when you’re angry: pray, cool off, sleep on it, think, and listen to Godly counsel, like David did to Abigail. 3. Don’t retaliate; trust God to enforce justice; His justice is perfect and ours is often corrupt. 4. When you see one of God’s children straying from the truth, get involved like Abigail did. She saw how a decision made today would harm David in the future. That’s seeing like God sees and acting like God acts. Remember, God designed us to “do life together!” Love and prayers, Brad ••• Subscribe to listen each week as the Manna class learns and grows together through their in-depth study of God's Word. This comprehensive, expository series is taught by Brad Hannink, a gifted communicator of the Bread of Life. Manna is a Bible study life group that meets at Valley Baptist Church, located at 4800 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield, California. Manna believes in doing life together. If you’re in need of prayer, email us your request at mannabiblepodcast@gmail.com and our class will be happy to add it to our prayer list. Members of Manna get together each week to pray for those on the prayer list. For more information, visit mannapodcast.com. ©2018, 2019, 2020, & 2021 - Brad Hannink - All Rights Reserved

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“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” 

Hebrews 4:12

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