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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