Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
Terry and I had breakfast this morning at a local bakery. It was yummy. It tasted yummy. It smelled yummy. Those of you who have never seen me wouldn’t know it—those of you who have seen me don’t have to think too hard to realize it—I enjoy eating. I enjoy eating more than I enjoy exercising, so I tote around a few extra pounds.
Last week I was unwavering in my determination to lose a few pounds. After a week of good food but nothing “naughty,” I gained a pound. I’m sure you can image what happened this week!
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.
Give Me What I Need for Today
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 the 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…
Just the other day during surgery, a sweet little boy from my church developed a life threatening complication. I can tell you that today became very complicated—instantaneously. On that day, he and his parents needed more “bread” than they anticipated at the beginning of the day.
There it is. 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. None of us except, our Father in Heaven. He is happy to give us what we need for each day.
Asking Daily: Relying on Him
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!
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.