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Friday, March 8, 2019

“And give us today our daily bread...” some insights...

We have heard and recited it thousands of times, so much so that we might have missed one of the profound truths it contains. The Model Prayer Jesus gave in Matthew 6:9-13 is a storehouse of insight on which we need to meditate often.  One truth in particular that has recently come to focus in my devotional time is the phrase, “ and give us today our daily bread.”

I’m sure that the disciples would have remembered how the children of Israel would have gathered manna daily during their sojourning in the wilderness and were commanded to only gather enough for that day, except in preparation for the Sabbath. Through this, they were to learn not only was God in control but that they needed to learn to trust Him for daily provisions. When they failed to do so as commanded, they were rebuked by God through Moses.

In learning to trust God on a daily basis for food, they would learn more of Who He was and is; the Ever-present “I AM” and Lord over all things. Yet, I believe that there is more than just understanding that God is our daily provider for food.  The prophet Jeremiah gives us insight into his Lamentations, specifically in 3:21-24:
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

In the midst of the tragedy of the fall of Judah and the prophet’s lament of all that the sin of Israel had caused, he sounds a note of hope: God’s great love and mercy still surrounded them; God’s “compassions never fail, they are new every morning.” God’s faithfulness is shown by His daily granting His love, mercy, and compassion, day after day. Part of the “daily bread” we need is this realization of His giving the love and mercy we will need for that day.  As Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” So we must appropriate that love and mercy for this day and trust that tomorrow it will be there as well.

When we begin to look at a problem, difficulty, or circumstance in its entirety, it will seem like too much and we get overwhelmed. Our solution is to trust in the God that provides for us today; to thank Him for “today’s bread,” for today’s love and mercy and not worry about tomorrow. We must be obedient today and trust Him for the future. In Philippians 2:13 in the Living Translation, Paul states: “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Commit to being obedient for today; claim the promise of God that He is the One that can give you the power to be obedient, but the desire to do so as well. We may feel too weak to do so, but we can identify with Paul again: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” [2 Corinthians 12:9]

Let “today’s bread” be not only the physical food that you may eat, but also the love, mercy, and grace that God gives His children as they trust in Him. Don’t give up focusing on the enormity of the task ahead, but trust the loving Father for the grace of that day

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