Manna Daily Devotion

devotions written by Deborah Galyen

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May 25: Mark 15

Mark 15

“And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (v38).  Mark tells us that when Jesus “breathed his last,” the enormous, heavy curtain in the Temple that protected the “Holy of Holies” was split in two.  This sacred place, forbidden to all but the high priest, now burst open to women, centurions, thieves, and repentant religious leaders like Joseph (Mark 15).  Hebrews 9 explains that by his sacrifice, Jesus accomplished this; He entered heaven, the true holy place, and carried us with Him.

Now, anyone “looking for the kingdom of God” (v43) can find it.  Jesus is both the way into the Kingdom and the King; when we find Him, we find everything.

May 24: Psalm 30

Psalm 30

“Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me! O LORD, be my helper!" (v10).  Many of the psalms are unapologetically self-focused, as the psalmist put his own desperate prayers into the form of songs to be sung by the whole congregation. Through the sharing of personal experience, the anointed psalmist “taught” the truth about our total dependence on God, and His love for us.  “By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed” (v7). 

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (v5).  When we hear about God’s kindness, our faith increases that He will turn our own “mourning into dancing” (v11).

May 23: Numbers 19-21

Numbers 19-21

“And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink” (20:5).  God had been sustaining the people in the desert for years, miraculously providing both food and water.  They had seen Him in the cloud over the tabernacle and witnessed His hand of punishment on Korah and other rebels.  Yet in their hearts, they resisted putting their trust in Him.

This generation called God’s provision “worthless food” (21:5), and they would not enter the Promised Land (14:23).  They lacked the only essential thing for following God - faith.

May 22: Numbers 17-18

Numbers 17-18

"You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel” (18:20).  After the leadership crisis, God restated the rules concerning the tribe of Levi, which included the priests.  The priests presented the sacrifices and offerings, and the Levites were in charge of the tabernacle.  All of them were supported by the people’s offerings (18:12), because the Levitical tribe had no land inheritance. 

“I give your priesthood as a gift” (18:7).  The priests and Levites, as living examples, pointed toward God’s plan for all people in Christ: to be holy, entirely His, living daily in God’s presence.

May 21: Numbers 15-16

Numbers 15-16

“And would you seek the priesthood also?” (16:10).  Some of the leaders of the Levite and Reubenite tribes (v1) rose up in rebellion against Moses and Aaron’s leadership.  Their complaint was that “all the congregation are holy” (v3) and thus Moses and Aaron should have no special authority, but Moses saw that what they really wanted was power.  Israel had no king, and therefore the priests who controlled the ritual sacrifices and stood before God symbolized real power.

Korah and the tribal leaders thought God’s power was something to be seized, and they lost their lives.  The heart of godly power is service – living for the sake of others, rather than grasping for ourselves (Phil 2:7).  

May 20: Mark 14:27-72

Mark 14:27-72

“And Jesus said, 'I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven'" (v62).  Jesus had not always proclaimed His identity so publicly, but now, before His death, it was the right time to announce His authority.  His words evoked Daniel 7, in which the Son of Man was given “dominion and glory and a kingdom” by the Ancient of Days.  The religious leaders knew what Jesus was claiming, and they condemned Him.

Jesus is the Messiah who received His kingdom by dying on a cross.  He did accomplish “dominion and glory,” but through serving, not being served (Mark 10:45).

May 19: March 14:1-26

Mark 14:1-26

“And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, 'Take; this is my body'" (v22).  As Jesus was breaking bread and instituting the new covenant, Judas Iscariot was in the room, plotting to betray Him.  Throughout Jesus’ ministry, crowds heard Him preach and saw Him perform miracles; some believed, and some rejected Him.  While men were sharing a meal with Jesus, one woman anointed Him for his burial, and Jesus said it was “a beautiful thing” (v6).

Jesus doesn’t force us to acknowledge Him as Savior or trust Him.  He gave Himself for us (v24), but we have to receive Him.

May 18: Mark 13

Mark 13

“And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake" (v37).  Jesus didn’t intend to alarm His disciples when He talked about the end; He wanted to give them perspective and wisdom so that they would “stay awake” through difficulties.  They shouldn’t attribute every disaster or surprising event as a “sign” (v7).  They should be prepared for real tribulation, but through it all, the good news would be preached to the whole world (v9-11). When the Messiah returns, everyone will see Him (v26).

Jesus’ word to us is still, “Stay awake.”  Whether in tribulation or safety, we must live as His witnesses, continuing His work (v9, 34) until He returns.

May 17: Psalm 29

Psalm 29 

“The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty” (v4).  The psalmist tells us that God’s power goes out into the universe through His voice; God speaks, and things happen, as when He spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1).  His voice “breaks the cedars … flashes force flames of fire … shakes the wilderness” (v5-8).  For those who have ears to hear, God’s voice sustains life, and “in his temple all cry, “Glory!” (v9). 

The power and glory of God’s voice speaks throughout the Bible.  “All things were made” through the Jesus the Word (John 1), and He is God’s ultimate message to us of salvation (Hebrews 1:1).

May 16: Psalm 28

Psalm 28

“To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit” (v1).  According to the psalmist, there is no middle ground in life.  With God, we are saved, helped, loved, and forgiven, in this life and the next.  Without Him, we are lost, in this life and the next.  The psalmist knew that God was Israel’s only hope.  “Save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever” (v9).

The Good Shepherd is trustworthy.  “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped” (v7).

May 15: Numbers 11-14

Numbers 11-14

"Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it” (13:30).  Caleb saw the same giants and fortified cities of the Promised Land as the other Israelite spies, yet his response was radically different.  The other men compared themselves to the Amalekites and others and decided they couldn’t win; their lack of faith was fatal (14:29).  Caleb and Joshua recognized the facts and yet believed in God’s power to bring victory: “The LORD is with us; do not fear them” (14:9).

More than anything else, God wanted the Israelites to trust Him. The “exceedingly good land” could only be theirs by faith (Num 14:7; Heb 11:6).

May 14: Numbers 8-10

Numbers 11-14

"Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it” (13:30).  Caleb saw the same giants and fortified cities of the Promised Land as the other Israelite spies, yet his response was radically different.  The other men compared themselves to the Amalekites and others and decided they couldn’t win; their lack of faith was fatal (14:29).  Caleb and Joshua recognized the facts and yet believed in God’s power to bring victory: “The LORD is with us; do not fear them” (14:9).

More than anything else, God wanted the Israelites to trust Him. The “exceedingly good land” could only be theirs by faith (Num 14:7; Heb 11:6).

May 13: Mark 12:12-44

Mark 12:12-44

"You are not far from the kingdom of God” (v34).  Jesus preached about God’s kingdom, explaining by His words and His behavior what God’s reign looks like.  Jesus couldn’t be confounded by intricate questions about marriage or taxes (v14-19) because He understood the Father’s heart, and He pointed people to the main commands: love God and love others (v31).  He warned people not to be deceived by celebrity spiritual leaders who were seeking their own glory (v39), but to recognize real virtue (v43).

Jesus calls us to set aside our religious pride and wrong ideas about spirituality.  When we look at Jesus, we see the perfect image of the Father (John 14:9, Colossians 1).

May 12: Mark 12:1-11

Mark 12:1-11

“He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'”(v6).  Jesus’ parable about the vineyard wasn’t subtle; he was declaring that God had sent prophets for centuries, and people had rejected them (even killed them).  Now, God was sending “a beloved son,” who would also be rejected because the workers wanted to possess the vineyard and its fruit on their own. 

The inheritance that the workers wanted (v7) can’t be taken by force; to insist on our own way is to lose everything.  But when we receive the Son, we are invited to become God’s children and to share in everything good (John 1:12). 

Daily Manna Archive

May 20: Mark 14:27-72 (05/20/2015)

May 19: March 14:1-26 (05/19/2015)

May 18: Mark 13 (05/18/2015)

May 17: Psalm 29 (05/17/2015)

May 16: Psalm 28 (05/16/2015)

May 15: Numbers 11-14 (05/15/2015)

May 14: Numbers 8-10 (05/14/2015)

May 13: Mark 12:12-44 (05/13/2015)

May 12: Mark 12:1-11 (05/12/2015)

May 11: Mark 11 (05/11/2015)

May 10: Psalm 27 (05/10/2015)

May 9: Proverbs 4 (05/09/2015)

May 8: Numbers 6-7 (05/08/2015)

May 7: Numbers 4-5 (05/07/2015)

May 6: Numbers 1-3 (05/06/2015)

May 5: Mark 10 (05/05/2015)

May 4: Mark 9 (05/04/2015)

May 3: Psalm 26 (05/03/2015)

May 2: Psalm 25 (05/02/2015)

May 1: Mark 8 (05/01/2015)