Part 3 of 4 in our “Pray Like Jesus” Series.
Matthew 6:11 (NLT) Give us today our daily bread…
Give us Today… President Woodrow Wilson assigned Herbert Hoover the task of establishing a voluntary food program during the First World War. Europe’s ability to produce food had been devastated by the war. So, Hoover appealed to the compassion of America. He asked that they conserve certain staples that could be sent to assist Europe. In one year food shipments to Europe doubled, and consumption in the U.S. was reduced by 15%. It may be difficult to imagine today, but at one time our nation dramatically reduced it’s consumption and it literally saved the world.
Philippians 4:19 (NLT) And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Our Needs Motivate Us to Seek God.
Our Needs Teach Us Humility. God sent His Nation into the wilderness for forty years and His Son for 40 days. In both cases, His purpose was to teach that, “Man does not live by bread alone.” Our needs teach us that we have deeper needs than food or possessions. Our needs reveal that our greatest need is for God.
Our Needs Reveal Our Heart. The true state of our Faith is often laid bare by our needs. It could be stated that it is easy to serve God, when things are going well. After all, marching out of Egypt in victory was probably an easy time to love God. But, in times of ease and comfort, we tend to stray and think we are okay. But what about when we are Hangry… at God…
James 4:3 (NLT) And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
God Meets Our Needs. The Problem is not that we have needs. It is that we try to meet them in any way WE CAN. We are trying to be our own God. When Jesus was in need He demonstrated that revelation and comprehension of God are more satisfying than having our needs met.
Those Who Seek God Find Him.
We Are More Than Hungry. In John 4 we find an amazing story of a Samaritan woman. She lived under the radar for the most part because of her own shame and guilt. But, Jesus found her, and gave her an encounter. Her encounter turned into quite the day as people gathered around Jesus. When the disciples arrive in the story – they had gone to get some food – they asked Jesus to eat, but He replied to them, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” John 4:32 (NLT).
Jesus demonstrated once again that our Physical Needs tend to mask our real needs. There is within us a pride that tells us we are the “master of our destinies”, but we cannot even control our own bank accounts, waistlines, families, or desires. There is often anger within us, and we cannot find lasting peace. There is bitterness within us, and we cannot forgive even ourselves. And, we experience a great deal of fear, because we cannot find the Love we so desperately need.
Remember, God Is Generous! God delivered Fresh Bread from heaven’s Bakeries everyday for 40 years, and He meets our needs day after day. Do not worry that God is “holding out on you”! He loves us and WANTS to bless us.
Matthew 7:11 (NLT) So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
We Must Learn to Seek and Trust God Daily.
Four Steps to Daily Bread Living. He calls it DAILY bread for a reason. We need Him daily.
Express Gratitude for All of God’s Blessings. We have so much for which to be thankful. A good cup of coffee, a sunrise or sunset, a mountain hike, a gentle 50 mile an hour breeze upon your skin. (For my Wyoming Neighbors) God is so Good. We can thank Him Daily.
Experience Contentment with the Things God has already provided.
Philippians 4:12-13 (NLT) I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Jesus enjoyed a number of meals with the wealthy. He was at home in any situation. But when He did the cooking it was fairly simple. Fish and barley bread on one occasion and just fish at another time. Possibly Jesus enjoyed the company more than the sustenance. A bit of contentment can be truly powerful. We can decide daily that we have enough.
Have Confidence that God will provide Day by Day. We should plan ahead but we shouldn’t worry ahead. The whole point of asking for daily bread is to teach us to take life one day at a time, while trusting God to provide what is lacking when it is needed.
Practice Generosity toward others. The things God blesses us with are often entrusted to us for others. We are really stewards. Let’s be faithful stewards and bless others in some way every day.
- Who or what does the world tell us to look to for provision and blessing? What does the Bible say about provision and its source? Who owns everything (Psalm 24:1,2)?
- Ultimately, why is Jesus the only One who can satisfy us (John 6:48-51)?
- What were God’s reminders to the Israelites about provision (Deuteronomy 8:10-18)?
- Do you trust God to provide for you? How can you grow in your dependence on Him as each day passes? Who or what do you draw your satisfaction from?
- How can you apply what you learned today and trust God more to meet your needs?
Part 2 of 4 in our “Pray Like Jesus” Series.