Monday, February 11, 2008

Daily Bread

In Matthew 6 people have come from all over to hear Jesus, and he teaches them how to pray. He is not giving words that we should repeat, nor motions to go through, but wants to train our hearts.

Matt. 12:34 states: “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in them, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in them.”
In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is instructing our hearts, not just telling us words to say. What is He trying to get into our hearts?

In Matt. 4 Satan tempts Jesus when He is the most hungry, and tells him to turn the stones into bread. Jesus' response was that man does not live by bread alone. Yet Jesus includes a request for bread in his suggestion for how we should pray daily.
Some Bible scholars spiritualize this request, but Pastor Brad believes that Jesus was talking about real food. Jesus wants to train our hearts to be aware of our dependence on God for everything. We cannot take anything for granted.

We tend to differentiate between “big things” and “little things” in our prayers. We pray for an upcoming job interview, or a big test, but we need to acknowledge our dependence on God for everything.

God gave the Israelites manna from day to day. Deut. 8:11-14 says “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God… when you eat and are satisfied... then your heart will become proud and you will forget….”

The simple truth is that we are dependent upon God for everything. Our lives fail without Him. Our very breath comes from Him.

Jesus wants us to cultivate gratitude for everything we receive including the most basic thing such as bread. Our Lord does not want us to be thankless children. Our request for bread should be followed by thanksgiving.

Jesus wants us to pray for daily bread with the words from Matt. 4 still ringing in our ears, “Man does not live by bread alone.” He wants us to be aware of our spiritual need.

In John’s Gospel shortly after Jesus feeds the multitude He tells the people not to work for food that spoils, and goes on to speak of Himself being The Bread of Life, and our need to feed on Him. When He talked of this many who had been disciples could not understand His meaning, and left. Jesus then asks His disciples, “Are you going to leave me also?” to which Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Jesus is the bread that satisfies, and he wants to train us to turn our hearts to Him.

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