The Core Sunday Gathering

August 21, 2011

Series: Avinu (The Prayer of Jesus)
Week 3: The Daily Bread

-QUESTION: If you had to eat the same thing for dinner every day for a year, what would it be?

        -I didn’t hear anybody say “Bread”

                -[SLIDE] Matthew 6:11 “Give us today our daily bread”

                -[SLIDE] Luke 11:3 “Give us today our daily bread”

                -OK, so Matthew and Luke are in agreement here about Jesus’ words.

        -QUESTION: Does Jesus want us to just eat bread every day? Why doesn’t he say “meat”? or “food”?

                -Because the word Bread is symbolic of all the food we eat, isn’t it?

                -[SLIDES] The word is “Lechem” And one place it’s found prominently is the word “Beit-Lechem”

                        -Do you recognize this word? Beitlechem? It’s Bethlehem. “Beit” means “house” so it’s “House of Bread”

                        -It might even be interpreted “Bakery” or “Bread store”

                -Can you see the significance of Jesus being born in the House of Bread? What does Jesus say about himself?

-Assign Scripture: John 6:35 - Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

-So we’re talking about unlimited bread, here. But Jesus doesn’t just tell us about unlimited bread.

        -He shows us. He gives us an illustration of it when he feeds the 5000, and then the 4000.

        -Earlier in the prayer he shows us that God is close like a Father, but so much higher

        -While an earthly father may or may not provide, and if he does, it’s limited.

                -But the Heavenly Father’s provision is LIMITLESS.

                -So does that mean his children should have whatever they want, all the time?

-Let’s answer some of those types of questions by looking at what Jesus DID NOT SAY.

        [SLIDES] Can you pick Jesus’ words out of a line up?

        -“DENY US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD” (so that we can starve ourselves, and be proud of our righteousness)

                -Some early church leaders taught us the Jesus was teaching bare subsistence, to keep the spirit sharp

                -But this doesn’t hold up to Jesus’ identification of himself as the bread of life.

                -It’s easy for us to hate the rich, and to justify it by assuming that we’re more righteous than they are.

                        -And if you are in a very unstable financial situation today, and meals are not a given

                        -You might assume that you are spiritually superior to those who eat well.

                -Being hungry is harsh, but it doesn’t make you righteous any more than being full.

        -“GIVE ME TODAY MY DAILY BREAD” (so that I can have the advantage over others)

                -This sentiment lies behind so many wars and civic struggles. You have food, and I need it.

                        -So I pray that God will give me the advantage over you.

                -Jesus’ word “US” especially includes the starving and the needy.

                -So what should a Christian do who prays this prayer every day, and has a cupboard full of “bread”?

                        -It’s like a professional athlete asking for a cost of living increase, to pay his bills.

                -I was a pretty big baseball fan as a kid, and living in KC I followed the Royals

                        -But it was never the same after the 1994-1995 strike.

                        -What irked me the most were the million-a-year players who wanted to make 1.5 million.

                        -So they didn’t mind shutting down the league and putting all the support staff out of work

                -We can’t forget that, virtually every time God answers a prayer, he uses one of us to do it.

                        -We imagine that’s what Angels are for. But Angels, by definition, are God’s messengers

                        -They speak on his behalf. We are the ones called to ACT on his behalf. We are his hands and feet.

        -“GIVE US THIS WEEK OUR WEEKLY BREAD” (so that we don’t have to trust you.)

                -Most of us are used to getting paid weekly, or monthly

                -But some of us are more accustomed to Day Labor. Or at least you’ve done it in the past.

                        -And it’s a whole different philosophy. You show up each morning with hope…

                                -hope that you can end the day with a  paycheck

                        -This is what happened in the story of the Workers in the Vineyard

                                -They had to hope, and trust that the Vineyard owner was a good man, looking out for them.

                -But if you’re used to getting paid weekly, or monthly, and maybe even have some job security

                        -It’s hard to know what TRUST really means.

        -“GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY CAKE” (so we can have the best of everything)

                -We need to ask ourselves if this is really what we’re saying when we pray for provision.

                -Is it the high car payment that causes us to have to pray for the money to put gas in it?

                -Is it the large house or nice apartment that keep us praying for rent or mortgage money?

                -Marie Antoinette didn’t say it, but somebody did. “If the people have no bread, let them eat cake.”

                        -The French aristocracy couldn’t even understand a food shortage. If one thing is out, eat the other thing.

                        -Some of us live the same way… the luxuries have become standard. We think we live modestly,

                        -But we have much more in common with the French aristocracy than we think. We’re used to cake.

        

        -All four of these phrases are guilty as impostors, and they frequently show their faces.

                -Because the real prayer, remember is, “Give us today our daily bread”

                -Please meet our needs, and let us forget our wants

                -So that our hearts can be conformed to yours, that your desires would be our desires

                        -This is how we can participate in the coming of God’s kingdom

                        -That HIS WILL can be done on earth as it is in heaven

                        -It’s when His People delight themselves in him, and seek after him with their whole hearts

                        -Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

-But we can’t take delight in our heavenly Father unless we know we can trust him

        -Jesus gives us the prayer we need to pray

        -And Paul gives us the answer to that prayer in Philippians

Assign Scripture: Philippians 4:19 my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

        -We can trust him! Not like a good boss to simply give us what we need

                -But like a good Father who knows exactly what we need, far better than we do.

                -Because sometimes bread really is short… and sometimes our lives slip through our fingers

                -And that’s when we can remember that our bread is Jesus. He himself is bread of life. And water of life.

                -When we remember that, we will never go hungry, because our spirits will always be filled.

COMMUNION