Our Daily Bread – Matthew 6:11
September 19th, 2021

Jesus’ petition for bread is a call to for God to provide in meeting our basic human needs.  Matthew says give us this day our daily bread, and Luke in 11:3 says Give us each day our daily bread. 

Bread

God commanded that only unleavened bread would be eaten during the Passover to commemorate the hastiness of their departure from Egypt, and for use in offerings.  The shew-bread, or bread of the face, or of the presence, because it was set forth before the face or in the presence of the Lord God in his holy place. Twelve unleavened loaves represented the twelve tribes.  It was a testimony that the place of the 12 tribes was to be continually before the Lord.  So, while unleavened bread became a symbol of purity and following God, Leaven causes bread to rise and be puffed up, a symbol of pride and self-sufficiency. (see 1 Cor 5:7-8).

Bread meant survival, and so in our verse today bread stands for all of the things needed for our daily sustenance. 

Manna

Now, Jesus’ admonition to pray for daily bread called to mind the great miracle that God did for the Israelites as He provided food for them in the wilderness.  In Exodus 16:4-35. And Israel did not forget this.  In Psalm 78:24 24 He rained down manna upon them to eat, And gave them food from heaven. 25 Man ate the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance. 

Daily

Notice, especially in the parallel passage in Luke, that he says Give us each day our daily bread.  Now, in our human nature, we want to ask God for a whole warehouse full of bread—enough to last us a lifetime, so we won’t have to ask again. 

He wants us to know our provision comes from Him

If God gave us every provision for our entire life at the beginning, we’d just live like kings (literally on the throne of our own lives) for however many years the provision lasted.  Jesus, being wise, urges us to pray for our daily bread and all of our material needs are meted out day-by-day.  Like rations necessary for survival during the coming day, we pray that God provides.  And He does.  In Philippians 4:19 Paul assures us “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” God supplies our needs out of His storehouses.  Wouldn’t you rather look to God’s riches to supply your need than your own? 

He wants us to keep up communication with Him

Because God gives us our daily bread, it means that we must communicate with Him each day to ask for our daily bread.  This day-by-day existence keeps us praying.  God knows our needs before we ask (Matt6:31-2).   But, we are to take our needs and those of others to God’s throne of grace in prayer.  Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. 

He wants to change the desires of our hearts

But, in order to know what to ask for, we need to be in the will of God for our lives.  God isn’t going to give us something that will harm us.  When we are in the will of God for our lives in our prayer life, our life in our church with our brothers and sisters, our life in our work as we accomplish what needs to be done during the day—as we come under submission to Him as King, then we find that we change what we are asking for to align with His will.  We start to care more about what He wants. 

God is the Source–I am the bread of Life

You know God is not really interested in becoming your heavenly ATM, or your celestial slot machine.  That would do you no good, and in fact would undermine His drawing you to Him.  Jesus makes this point to some of the 5,000 who had been fed on loaves and fishes in John 6:26 saying 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate some of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”  They were only seeking Jesus, so that they could get another free lunch.  They were missing the point.   They asked Him in verse 228-29 28 Therefore they said to Him, “What are we to do, so that we may accomplish the works of God?”  And Jesus points them right back to God in verse 29 saying 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  They keep trying to accomplish in their own strength—what work do we have to do for God.  And Jesus says Believe in God; Trust Him for provision.  But they didn’t get it.  Some of the rabbis had taught that the coming of the Messiah would open up again the storehouses of Heaven, and once again God’s people would eat Manna from heaven, just as the Israelites did in the wilderness.  In fact, in verses 30-31, they ask Him point-blank 30 So they said to Him, “What then are You doing as a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work are You performing? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’”.  But had Jesus just kept multiplying loaves and fishes, then they would have failed to see what God really had in store for them.  Jesus wasn’t pointing them to the provision, but to the Provider—to God Himself.    And when the people, as they always do, try to give Moses the credit for the Manna, Jesus comes back in verse 32 with 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.   So, once again Jesus points them to God as the provider of their daily sustenance.  33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” He is speaking of Himself, who gives life to the world by completing His mission to provide salvation for the world on the cross.  34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”  35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me will not be hungry, and the one who believes in Me will never be thirsty. 





Your Kingdom Come – In our lives
September 12th, 2021

In our lives

When we pray “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, it also means we’re praying that God’s will is done in our own lives. 

We want to be in charge. 

We want to be in charge.  We want to be in the driver’s seat.   We want to be the center of attention of everything.

As Christians, the Holy Spirit is the one who influences our spirit to submit to the will of God, despite our fleshly desires.  It’s a fight against our flesh.  And the extent to which we grow in the spirit is dependent on whether we cooperate with the Holy Spirit and God’s plan of sanctification and purification, or whether we feed the flesh.  (see Gal 6:7-10)

Let God Reign In our lives

Trials are guaranteed to come.  And at all times, especially in the midst of trials, it’s critical that we only let God’s Spirit direct our actions. And that is why we need to make sure that our Mind, body and soul are submitted to His will.  When we pray, your will be done, it applies to our own life first, to our obedience as we face the trials of our daily life. Jesus Himself fought this battle against temptation and He overcame in the Garden of Gethsemene (Luke 22:39-42, Matt. 26:42)  It is by desiring that God’s will is done, and not ours that we overcome temptation.  We see that Jesus’ primary concern was the ultimate working out of God’s purpose for His life; His dying on the cross for the sins of the world. It is by seeking what Jesus sought—to always and only do the will of the Father that we overcome.  This is one of the most demanding prayers disciples can be called on to offer, with far-reaching consequences for the daily conduct of our lives.  When we say, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done it’s not just a call for “that world out there” to behave ethically, or just to look forward to the ‘blessed hope’ of the consummation of the Kingdom, but a call to make sure that the Kingdom is active and alive in us as we obey our master Jesus in discipleship. Following His example.

We must trust God enough to let Him have control.

But God will not overrule your own will in your life, if you choose to take control.  Who is ruling your life? Is God’s Spirit reigning or are you allowing your thoughts and emotions to run your life? When we do this, we will live in a constant state of over-thinking, constant anxiety, confusion, fear and depression.   But when I let God direct me and rule my soul, then I can remain in perfect peace no matter what’s going on around us.

It’s God’s Will Not ours

God wants to reign as king in our lives.  He has given His only begotten Son, buying our redemption with His shed blood so that we can have a relationship with us. 

In John 7:37-38 Jesus gave a personal invitation to individuals to follow Him.We have this Holy Spirit.  God loves us, and has the best life possible planned out for us.  He wants to bless us and make wonderful poetry out of our life as He sings over us.  He wants our lives to be filled with blessing, peace and joy. 

What is God’s Will?

Romans 12:1–2

Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Sacrifices are used in worship of God.  If we’re presenting our bodies and our lives as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, then that means that the proper aim of our lives in God’s eyes is that Jesus is glorified and magnified in everything we do.  So, our entire life becomes the “spiritual service” of worship.  Worship means using our minds and hearts and bodies to try to express the immeasurable worth and value of God and all he is for us so that we can appreciate Him properly in our own lives and so that we can “shine His light” to the world around us.

How do we do this?  Remember Matthew 5:6 Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  Our works, the way that we think and establish our priorities, and the words that we say reflect God’s glorious light to those around us, and let them know that He is Good!

And, as Paul continues in verse 2 of Romans 12, we receive the explanation of how we turn our lives into an act of worship of God, as well as a warning of potential pitfalls:

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Verse 2 is Paul’s answer to how we turn all of life into worship. We must be transformed. Not just our external behavior, but the way we feel and think—our minds. As we live our lives according to the will of God, everything becomes worship, because we do it in the way and to the extent that God wants us to (Rom 11:36). To glorify God is what we’re here for (Psalm 73:24-26).

So that means that we live in such a way that the way we live does not give people cause to call Christians hypocrites and that we must not do anything which would give Jesus a bad name, or diminish what people think of Him.

There is a danger that the things we do will place a stumbling block to cause people to falter when they try to seek Jesus.  Our cooperation with the sanctification that God wants to bring about in us will help prevent this (1 Thess 4:3-4) 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

Become What You Already Are

When we are saved, and regenerated and justified, then we are made newIf anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). 1 Corinthians 5:7-8.  7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  This is what is supposed to be going on in your life as a Christian.  This is God’s will for you(Col 3:8-10)





Your kingdom Come
September 5th, 2021

Matthew 6:10

It’s important to understand the meaning of the phrase “The Kingdom of God”, because it was central theme of Jesus Christ’s preaching and teaching.  The phrase ‘Kingdom of God’ (also ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ or ‘Kingdom of Light’) appears more than 80 times in the New Testament. 

Origin & Meaning of The Kingdom of God

The gospel of Mathew presents Jesus as King, the Messiah, the rightful heir to King David’s throne, the Son of David.  In the Sermon on the Mount, we see Jesus speaking with authority as a king.  In chapters 8-10 Jesus performs miracles that establish His credentials as Messiah, fulfilling all of those Old Testament prophecies to prove that He is the rightful King.  As more and more evidence piles up that Jesus is the Messiah, this rejection from the leadership of Israel grows more and more desperate.  They begin to fight for their positions as leaders, priests, scribes, lawyers, and pharisees—caring more about themselves than the people of Israel.  Finally, when we get to chapter 11, Jesus pronounces severe judgement on Israel for rejecting Him.  And then He gives an invitation—not to Israel as a whole, but to individual believers within Israel saying Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   The nation has rejected Him, so He turns to individuals.  We see this same pattern when Jesus is dealing with the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. 

The Kingdom in Parables

Back in chapter 10 of Matthew, Jesus had sent send the 12 disciples out. Matthew 10:7 says 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’    Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God and explained these parables to His disciples.  He told earthly stories with heavenly meanings, comparing something familiar (mustard seed, leaven, lost coins, a man who sowed a field) with something unfamiliar–heaven.  He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?” (Luke 13:18), and then gave us examples of what the kingdom of heaven would be like.  An overall statement that we glean from the parables of the Kingdom is that the kingdom of God is a mixed bag (especially in the 8 parables of the Kingdom in Mathew 13).  The kingdom will have both wheat and tares and it will be like a big net that drags in all kinds of fish, some to be kept, some to be thrown away.  A kingdom purchased by Jesus out of the earth, a costly pearl that Jesus gave up His place in heaven to come here and purchase, but one that goes through the process of refinement and sifting, separating the wheat from the tares.  These parables of the Kingdom are important to us, because we are still in this period of time between the first time when Jesus came, and was rejected, and the Second Coming of Jesus. 

Two Aspects of the Kingdom

So, there are two basic aspects of God’s Kingdom.  The first is God’s Universal Kingdom. It means that God rules everything, everywhere, at all times, forever.  In Psalm 29, we read that The Lord sat as King at the flood;  Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.  In Psalm 103:19, we see the extent of God’s reign: The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.  And it is this aspect of the kingdom that Jesus is instructing us to pray comes to pass in our verse:  Mathew 6:10  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 

There is a second aspect of the Kingdom of God, that we as humans have to deal with.  God decided to rule on the earth through human instruments (Gen 1:26;28).  This delegation of authority had grave consequences when Adam and Eve fell victim to the lies of Satan in Genesis chapter 3.  They gave up their authority to rule as God’s delegates, and the enemy became the god of this world.  The earth is in rebellion against God.  We’re praying “God, rule on earth the way that you rule everywhere else in the Universe” when pray in Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 

The Personal Nature of the Kingdom

Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasizes the role, character and actions of the individual Citizen of Heaven.  This has caused many Christians to understand the kingdom of God to mean just an inner spiritual experience—the rule of God in people’s hearts.  Jesus clearly emphasized this aspect of the Kingdom.  Luke 17:20-21 “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” And again, Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingship is not of this world.”

And so these verses do not necessarily imply that the kingdom has no aspects that are external to the believer, but rather that the Kingdom came near in the person of Jesus, and that for those who believe in Him as Lord and Savior the Kingdom is a present reality within us that we will someday get to experience as a reality, together, all around us.  In these verses, Jesus is emphasizing the spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God, but He is not excluding or separating this spiritual nature from the Kingdom that will be revealed in it’s future consummation. 

It’s a current reality now experienced by the believer in our spiritual life, as we are reminded of by Paul in Romans 14:17 “17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Paul also taught that followers of Jesus Christ enter into the Kingdom of God at salvation in Col 1:13: 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  So, we see both the “internal-now” and the “external-later” aspects of the Kingdom.  The apostle Peter described the future reward of those who persevere in the faith: 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. (2 Peter 1:11) (also Heb 1:14; Titus 3:7, etc.). 

Not just the Church

The church is part of the Kingdom, a very special part, the Bride of Christ, but the kingdom is not just the church.  The Kingdom of God also includes those Old Testament believers who waited for the Messiah, Jesus.  In Luke 13:28-29: “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”  The Kingdom of God is established and has it’s origin and rule with God, and grows by God’s design alone John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

We must keep our eyes on Jesus, the King.  Do we want to demonstrate the passion compassion and love that Jesus had for people? Yes, we are commanded to love people and care for them all over the Old and New Testament.  But, we must remember that these works are a result of our love for Jesus, because He loves them; they are not an end in themselves.  Jesus didn’t just call people to follow him in a way of living; He called them to die to themselves, to be born again into a new life eternal.  It’s not about reforming a reprobate life through our own efforts, but about giving our lives to serve Jesus Himself, and letting God transform us into His image.  We are under His lordship