This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is about Getting Connected to God in prayer based on Matthew 6:9-13.
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Give us this day our daily bread, with liberty and justice for all.
So far in this series we have talked about what kind of father God is. He loves us, keeps his promises, and He is involved and capable. Last week we talked about “letting go” in order to know God’s peace. Today we are going to talk about depending on God as we look at the third phrase in the Lord’s prayer:
Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
11 Give us today our daily bread.
1. Bread is a primary food staple
It is a picture of having what you need for the day. If you have bread, you eat. Your basic physical needs are provided for.
2. Bread is a reminder of the Word of God
The Bible is spiritual bread.
Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
The Word of God is spiritual food. Food for our souls.
3. Bread is a reminder of fellowship
Not only do we have spiritual needs and physical needs – we also have relational needs. You need people in your life.
Acts 2:42 (NIV)
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
The breaking of bread represents fellowship.
4. Bread is a reminder of salvation
Matthew 26:26 (NIV)
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
The Lord’s Supper is a reminder of what Jesus has done for us. Each time we celebrate communion we are remembering the lengths He went to so that we could be together. This bread is a picture of our need to get connected to God and others for our physical, spiritual, relational and emotional wholeness. So, how do we approach this part of the prayer? With these things in mind.
1. Give Us
It is interesting that the prayer model Jesus taught does not say give ME but give US. This does not mean that it is wrong to ask God for your needs, it means that we need to learn how to share what we receive from God with others. Why? Because God wants us to learn to be selfless instead of selfish. We are not to hoard all the blessings He gives us, we are to share them.
Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)
16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
In God’s great mercy, He had broken life down for us into 24 chunks. This is what He wants us to live in. This day. We are not to get stuck in the past or preoccupied with the future. We are to live with Him and for Him today.
3. Our daily bread
This is very interesting in that it has a double meaning. On the one hand the word used for daily means (needful or subsistence). What we need for the day. Give us God what we need for this day. To me this is the natural understanding of this verse and it is important to know that we can trust God with our needs.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
On the other hand, the word used for daily has an interesting Kingdom connection. We talked briefly about the kingdom of God last week. His rule and His reign. The kingdom was inaugurated when Jesus came. It will be consummated when He returns. The kingdom (His rule and reign) is here but not yet fully here (your rule and reign come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven). We live in the present, in the tension of the now and the not yet. So, the root word for daily is the same word we get tomorrow from. In effect, you could translate Matthew 6:11 to say, Give us today, the bread of tomorrow. This is the spiritual or supernatural understanding of this verse. It helps us to increase our faith. The kingdom dynamic, His rule and reign, is presented like this. God, since you are going to set everything right when you come back, we ask that you do it now. We don’t need to worry about tomorrow, we have faith that all the promises of the kingdom can break through in to today.
Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV)
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
In this part of the prayer, we ask God in faith not only for our daily needs, but we ask Him for the miraculous as well.