Friday, November 11, 2005

Daily bread: Jesus' challenge for our daily lives

Jesus often quoted the Scriptures of his day -- the Law and the Prophets. When we read the writings of the godly men of the ages, we see things that Jesus brought from those pages and highlights again for us. One of those things that Jesus highlighted for us I'd like to discuss today. It's in the prayer that Jesus taught us, the Lord's Prayer. How often have we prayed, "Give us today our daily bread"? Bread is a humble, simple thing, but it is enough. When Jesus taught us to pray "Give us today our daily bread", he highlighted something written long before. You can read it yourself in the book of Proverbs. A God-fearing man's prayer is recorded for us beginning at Proverbs 30:7:
Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die.
Keep falsehood and lies far from me.
Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

When you pray for daily bread, you may have known you were praying not to be too poor. But did you realize you were also praying not to be too rich? "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." We pray for our bodies not to be too hungry. But we also pray to be content when we have this much. Otherwise, our greed may start to hunger for things that do not satisfy. Because the greed is never satisfied, it is always hungry. "A little bit more" and "one more thing" -- but after each thing, there is always still one thing more. We pray to be free from that, to be content with what we have.

I'll also say a quick word about Christians and riches. It is too easy for us to say, "If God would make me rich, then I would serve him better." But he asks us to serve him now. Are we looking at what we have and saying it is not enough? Are we again proving Jesus right when he says, "You cannot serve two masters; you cannot serve both God and wealth"? If we are waiting on wealth before we serve God better, then which master are we serving better now?

When we pray, "Give us today our daily bread," we pray for enough but also for contentment. What we have is enough. We can serve God now.


Andrey said...

Midday Open Thread
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