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Clean your plate!

Clean your plate!  How not to waste the Word of God and experience ALL of its' benefits.

When you were little, did you live under the "clean your plate" rule?   I remember this vividly at my childhood friend's house.  You were to clean your plate even if there were lima beans on it.  Yuk!  lol.

Growing up, I don't remember being told to "clean your plate" because thankfully, everything my mom prepared I liked, and the portions were allotted so that my brothers and I didn't have more on our plates then we could eat.  Yet interestingly, as an adult, I seem to have this sense that I must clean my plate because it would be wasteful to take food and not eat it.

My children were told that if they didn't finish what was on their plate, they would see it again for the next meal.  So, yes, if they didn't finish their dinner they would see it at breakfast.  That tactic was highly motivating and did not have to be implemented more than once or twice.

There are a few Biblical applications here that we will explore in today's post...

Clean Your Plate! - There is no wastefulness in God's economy

Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man
 shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household.  And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.

And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; 
anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.
Exodus 12:3-4;10

Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; 
they kept part of it until morning, 
but it was full of maggots and began to smell. 
Exodus 16:19-20a

There is no wastefulness in God's economy...

The Lord has provided a bounty for our daily plates through His Word - plates that He indeed wants us to clean and to take second and third helpings!  Just like food provides nutrients to our physical bodies that keep them operating properly, God's Word provides nutrients to keep our souls operating properly.  

Too often though, we take in a large portion of Scripture, but then don't apply it to our lives.  Essentially hoarding it...

But be doers of the word, 
and not hearers only, 
deceiving yourselves.
James 1:22

We are wasting God's precious Words.

And because we don't apply God's Word to a specific area of sin in our lives, the Lord may repeat lessons (trials) over and over again, until we walk in that specific Word.  {I wrote about how to avoid "repeat lessons" in my blog post Tests and Make-up Exams which you can read HERE.}

Clean Your Plate!  - Especially in the wilderness

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew
 lay around the camp.  And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness 
a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground.  When the people of Israel saw it, they 
said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, 
“It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 

The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. 
They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
Exodus 16:13-15;35

The Lord has provided the beautiful Words of Scripture for us when we find ourselves in the wilderness.  Like the Israelites who were provided manna the entire 40 years they wandered in the desert, God's Word is our provision during this Pilgrim journey. We can never exhaust His Words or the nourishment, application and most especially comfort they provide this side of Heaven.

God having provided manna to be his people's food in the wilderness, the remembrance of it was to be preserved. Eaten bread must not be forgotten. God's miracles and mercies are to be had in remembrance. The word of God is the manna by which our souls are nourished, Matthew 4:4. The comforts of the Spirit are hidden manna, Revelation 2:17. These come from heaven, as the manna did, and are the support and comfort of the Divine life in the soul, while we are in the wilderness of this world. Christ in the word is to be applied to the soul, and the means of grace are to be used. We must every one of us gather for ourselves, and gather in the morning of our days, the morning of our opportunities; which if we let slip, it may be too late to gather. The manna must not be hoarded up, but eaten; those who have received Christ, must by faith live upon him, and not receive his grace in vain. There was manna enough for all, enough for each, and none had too much; so in Christ there is enough, but not more than we need. But those who ate manna, hungered again, died at last, and with many of them God was not well pleased; whereas they that feed on Christ by faith, shall never hunger, and shall die no more, and with them God will be for ever well pleased. Let us seek earnestly for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to turn all our knowledge of the doctrine of Christ crucified, into the spiritual nourishment of our souls by faith and love.
Matthew Henry Concise Commentary Exodus 16

Clean Your Plate! - Share the beneficial nutrients

There is another way that we tend to waste the Word of God, and that is by not sharing it.  The Lord tells us that His Words do not come back void.  They are alive and active.  In my post, I've got the Cure!, I mentioned a quote by Kathie Lee Gifford who said, "You know what? If you had the cure for cancer, would you keep it quiet, or would you hold it and keep it a secret?’ And I always say, I have the cure for the malignancy of the soul – and He has a name – and it’s Jesus.”

Are you withholding the "cure for the malignancy of the soul", by not sharing what the Lord has done in your own life or what He has done for mankind?

“Declare His glory among the nations, 
His wonders among all peoples.”
Psalm 96:3

 “And He said to them,
 ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'”
Mark 16:15

As each has received a gift, 
use it to serve one another, 
as good stewards of God's varied grace:
1 Peter 4:10
Let us not be wasteful with the precious Bread of Life.  But feed upon it daily...

The paschal lamb was not to be looked upon only, but to be fed upon. So we must by 
faith make Christ our own; and we must receive spiritual strength and nourishment from him,
 as from our food. It was all to be eaten; those who by faith feed upon Christ, must feed upon a whole Christ; they must take Christ and his yoke, Christ and his cross, as well as Christ and his crown. It was to be eaten at once, not put by till morning.
Matthew Henry Concise Commentary, Exodus 12

For more posts about the emotional and spiritual benefits of spending time in the Word of God, please check out the following posts:

    Remember to Clean Your Plate at God's banquet table (the Word of God)              where you will experience all of its' benefits!  

 You might find me on these link-ups:

Grace & TruthWoman to Woman Ministries, Inspire Me MondayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Good Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog Hop  Tuesday Talk   Faith 'N Friends Sitting Among Friends   House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Literacy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceDance with Jesus Booknificent Thursdays  Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays , Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Sunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday God Sized Dreams Link-Up Sitting Among Friends Be Thee Inspired Graceful Tuesday Link-up Aprons & Pearls Link-up Trekkingthru Link-up  Encouraging Word Wednesday  Grace Moments Link-up  Encouraging Hearts and Home Worth Beyond Rubies Seeking Sabbath Scripture and a Snapshot IHeart Verse Welcome Heart Kingdom Bloggers Outdoorsy Mommy Anchored Truth Tuesdays IHeart Verse InstaEncouragements


  1. Dear Karen,
    Oh, yes, I belonged to the "clean plate" club when I was growing up! And that thought has definitely stuck by me as an adult too, still having a hard time not finishing up everything! But I love how you applied that thought to Manna and God's Word. He does come to feed us, and nourish us throughout the days with His Word in us. And, He is teaching me to be more willing to share my own stories of how His Word has been so fulfilling in my life. Blessings to you this Easter week!

    1. Bettie, Thank you so much for joining in on the conversation. I so appreciate your thoughts and insights. You are such an encouragement.

      Happy Easter!

  2. Oh, what a great analogy! I've never thought of applying the 'clean plate rule' to what I learn in my daily study time with God's word. Sure, I try to apply it to my life, but I don't always share it with others.

    1. Hi Anita, Thank you. :-)

      And thank you for sharing so transparently here. We all certainly can struggle in the area of sharing our faith. Praise be to God for his gentle nudgings to do so.

  3. I had to clean my plate. : ) Loved your analogy and the reminder of how God provides His Word for us when we are walking through the wilderness. Blessings!

  4. My parents grew up on working farms so there was no waste of anything, so that carried over to my childhood and we were instructed to clean our plates and leave nothing behind. Loved how you connected this to fully ingesting the Word of God and then finishing off by sharing it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Karen, Oh I didn't think about how much farmers would have a "no waste" policy ingrained into themselves and their families.

      Thank you so much.

      Happy Easter!

  5. Yes, I surely did grow up under the "clean your plate" rule, too! It taught me not to waste, as an adult. Mom and Dad would tell me, "there are children starving in other parts of the world". The thing I never could understand though is how cleaning my plate would help them! LOL! I guess we have all probably heard that and our parents used it as a way to "shame us" into eating our food and not wasting the bounty God provided for us! Thank you for these wonderful spiritual applications and truths, sweet friend. :)

    1. Hi Cheryl, Oh yes, I think we've all heard that said to us by our parents. I loved your sense of humor here! lol.

      You are very welcome dear friend.

      Happy Easter!

  6. Can't live on yesterday's manna - tho I don't mind the leftovers for breakfast! (Wish I'd thought of that when our girls were little!) happy good Friday, karen!

    1. Hi Sue, Thanks so much for visiting! :-)

      Happy Easter!

  7. great post Karen! I was a member of the clean plate club and I didn't not want to be. Oh boy, the things we endured when we were little lol... I love your analogies and have given much food for thought today. Thank you. It seems we are linking up at the same time - we are neighbors at #Faithonfire and also #Fridaysatthefirestation

    1. Hi Debbie, Thank you very much for your kind words.

      Howdy neighbor! :-)

      Happy Easter!

  8. This is a nice thought! It's a great connection between the food our bodies need to eat and not waste and our spiritual food!

    1. Hi Kevin, Thank you!

      And thank you so much for stopping by. :-)

      Happy Easter!

  9. Yes, we always had to eat everything on our plates, I taught my children the same but only gave the portions they could eat...Thank you for this reminder to constantly share the bread of life through our stories.

    You're most welcome to drop by for a cup of inspiration.
    Blessings for Easter!

    1. Hi Jennifer, You are very welcome.


      Happy Easter!

  10. What an awesome analogy! Thank you for such a precious reminder to apply God's Word to our lives and share the blessing!

    1. Miaismine, Thank you for your kind words.

      You are very welcome!

  11. I enjoy that quote by Kathy Lee Gifford. It really makes you think, doesn't it? Let us not be wasteful with the Word of God! <3

  12. Thanks for sharing this good word at Booknificent Thursday on!

  13. We always had to clean our plates if we wanted dessert. :) I like your analogy and how we should not "waste" the precious Word of God. May God help us to be doers of His word. Blessings to you! Thank you for sharing with us at the #LMMLinkup.

    1. Hi Gayl, That would motivate me for sure! ;-)

      Thank you for your kind words. You always encourage me to keep on writing. :-)


      You are welcome. Thanks for being a hostess. :-)



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