Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread- Part 2

Throughout the Bible, God urges us to pray for our individual needs. But here, the wording is OUR daily bread—not MY daily bread.  What’s the catch? Two things:

imgresFirst, Jesus is reminding us to be corporate. To pray not just for our own needs, but also for the needs of our family members, friends, church leaders, leaders in government, locally and nationally.

But there is a second point:

In the book, The Lord’s Prayer, Ed Macartney wrote, “When you sincerely utter this prayer  you must think of the millions of your unfortunate fellow beings today, and of their need for daily bread, and according to your opportunity give of your own bread to relieve their distress.”  And not just food, but whatever you have in abundance.

Can you imagine the impact the Christian church would have if we acted on this principle?  Stephen Sorenson from Colorado Springs, Colorado writes the story of a “nonChristian” neighbor of his who recently demonstrated this type of love in a dramatic way. When he moved to the area, he had to renovate the home he purchased. But instead of contracting with an experienced firm, he hired people from the Red Cross shelter and trained them on the job. He took a special interest in Bill, a man with an eight-year old son. Today, Bill lives in a rented cottage and is regaining his self-worth.

I need to emphasize the word “daily” here. Our society’s priority on long-term financial security is what it’s all about from a secular standpoint.  We sometimes take our daily bread for granted, and focus on long term retirement goals, and insurance etc. Just yesterday, a major league baseball player signed a 10 year deal for $292 million. Puts the craziness in perspective, does it not?  We could be gone imgrestomorrow. Our lives are but like mist. Jesus is encouraging us to trust Him for today’s needs while we “let go” of tomorrow’s anxieties. He thoroughly taught this principle to the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21, who had some pretty big barns.

We struggle with daily dependence on God, and Jesus knows it. Our tendency is two things. One, we like control. We want to know  the future and what’s coming down

imgres

God gave us a compass

the road. God doesn’t give us a map for the future. But He does give us a compass! God’s supply is sufficient. That doesn’t mean one can’t plan for the future, but a preoccupation with it can be detrimental to one’s faith.

Two, we have a very short memory span. We can forget about God. Not only hours at a time, but days. Yes, that is possible. And Jesus is telling us that is not a prescription for a healthy relationship with a living God who wants to relate with you.

When God provided the manna from heaven for the Israelites, what happened (see imgresExodus 16)? They hoarded the manna, just like we do. The put their faith in what they accumulated rather than being content each day with what God had given them.  The manna spoiled.

God chooses to give us different amounts of bread from what we would choose.  “Give us today our daily bread” doesn’t mean that we get extra buttered sour dough bread to last for the next 10 years.  The prayer reminds us to reevaluate what is essential for our lives.  We’re praying for the basics and not the extras.  This perspective is against those claiming that God wants every Christian to live with abundant wealth.

Jesus gives us the bottom line in Matthew 6:25, 32-33. “Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…your heavenly Father knows you need “these things). But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Next week: Forgive Us Our Debts, As We Forgive Our Debtors

 

 

Advertisements

About Dr. Robert

I am married to Janet and we have four children. I am active in Grace church in Racine, Wisconsin and serve there in leadership and teaching . I have been an internist for 30 years and keep busy by taking care of a full load of patients. On the side, I like to write, coach, mentor, spend time with my family just hangin' out, and help take care of our three dogs; a Golden and two Berneses'.
This entry was posted in Daily Bread and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread- Part 2

  1. Laurie Stecher says:

    The whole idea of our need for “control” and storing up (“hoarding”) vs. trust is so reflective of our culture of self-containment and insecurity.We are to trust God for ALL our needs….physical, spiritual, emotional, relational and financial, yet we tend to live with a scarcity (human) vs. abundance (Godly) mentality. When we are with plenty, we need to acknowledge it’s from God and learn to give it away; and when we are in need, we ask him to provide, which grows our faith. The thing is, aren’t we all ALWAYS in need (but just don’t know it)?! Acknowledging our need and trusting in his provision brings us close to the Father, and that is always a good thing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s