Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
When I was a child, I thought baking bread was a huge endeavor and I vowed I would never make bread when I got big. My mom would spend what seemed like all day baking bread, rolls and cinnamon rolls. Mom had a huge mixing bowl for the dough. I remember her kneading huge batches of dough. During the day, pans of rising dough filled every available spot in the kitchen. My brothers and I would wait at the oven door for the hot, fresh-baked goodies to come out of the oven. It was an all day project. My brothers and I gobbled up her work without really appreciating the work mom put into those tasty morsels.
As I got older, I realized mom made such big batches of bread because she was feeding a small army of boys. I broke my vow and made bread—but it’s never been as good as mom’s.
Man Cannot Live on Bread Alone
I’m glad Jesus said, “Man cannot live by bread alone…” because I like all kinds of food—including bread. Today, in Jesus’ lesson on prayer the instruction is to ask for bread. Since bread is an obvious reference to food and bread alone isn’t enough to live on, let’s extend that to mean what one needs to live.
Jesus offers a very interesting perspective on how the believer is to live with one sentence. Let’s be honest with each other for a minute—today is not too much of a problem for most of you. I woke up this morning with a list of things to do. It’s 10:24 AM and I’m about one-third of the way through the list. There are those things that slop over from one day to the next—ongoing projects, the daily activities of living—you know—those things. If we are truly honest with each other, on a regular day—we think we have today in hand.
Until that phone call comes with its devastating news. Until your boss calls you into his or her office and tells you you’re no longer needed. Until you feel that lump that wasn’t there yesterday. Until your spouse doesn’t come home one evening.
Until… That’s when your need surpasses your ability to make your own bread.
The Need: Our Daily Bread
We have a daily need. Sure, we will need things tomorrow, next week, next month and next year—but before that—we need bread daily. The truth is, on any given day, none of us really knows how much we’ll need—no one except our Father in Heaven.
He is happy to give us what we need for each day.
Jesus teaches to ask daily. After all, how can one trust God to provide for the future, if he or she is unsure of God’s provision for today?
People have short memories and a super-need to be independent. If God gave you bread for next week—by the time you needed it next week you would probably think it was your bread—made by your hands, your efforts, and your skills.
Come on, I know I’m not the only one who thinks I’m a “baker” now and then!
God the Supreme Baker
Without daily bread you and I would take the credit that belongs to our hallowed Heavenly Father alone—or the opposite would be true—we would find ourselves wondering why God abandoned us to make our own bread during the tough times of hardship.
God is a God of today. He is not shocked by your past. He is not worried about your future. He IS interested in your daily life. He so wants to be a part of your daily life, that in His infinite goodness and grace, He offers untold blessing to those who come—daily.
Father, give me what I need today. Open my eyes to see Your goodness and grace for me today. Teach me the benefit of coming to You daily for my every need, for Your blessing, and for Your glory.