THE LORDíS PRAYER

 

Matthew 6:11

GIVE US THIS DAY

#5 of 8 in a series on The Lord's Prayer

(Note: If you have missed any of the previous 4 outlines on the Lord's Prayer, please e-mail me at jpeters@alltel.net and I will gladly forward the parts you need.)

 

Who needs to hear about God's miraculous provision for His Saints?We do!We have lived in relative wealth and prosperity for so long, we take it for granted.

But that could be coming to an end!

 

The stock market continues to tumble.

Businesses continue to cut jobs.

The "mad cow" and "hoof and mouth" diseases are threatening meat supplies in Britain.

Gas and oil prices remain high.

There seems to be much concern about recession.

 

And although I'm no fan of recession or economic hard times, perhaps these financial challenges are good for us. When times are real good people kind of forget about God.

When times are bad we are reminded that we are absolutely dependent on God.

 

We have been studying the model prayer, the Lord's Prayer. We said that the Lord's Prayer is a skeleton for prayer, and that we need to put meat on that skeleton by elaborating on these requests as we pray.

 

The first part of the Lord's Prayer centers on God and His glory ("Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.") The next part of the Lord's Prayer centers on the things that concern us.

 

"Give us this day our daily bread."

 

Bread is basic food. I think every culture has a form of bread. When we are praying to God for our daily bread, we are asking Him to provide for our basic needs. Does this mean that man does nothing in order to provide for himself? No! Proverbs 13:4, 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Ephesians 4:28

 

Why does God tell us to ask for our daily bread, even if we seem to be able to provide for ourselves? We are dependent on God to send the sunshine and the rain, and the proper weather conditions. We are dependent on God to give us good enough health so that we can work.

 

We are dependent upon God to provide us the wisdom and ability to work.

 

We are dependent on God to make jobs available so that we can work.

In order for us to pray properly concerning our daily bread, I think that we need to consider three things, all three of which are covered here in Matthew 6.

 

PRIORITIES

 

Everybody has a list of priorities, those things which are most important to us. And everybody's list of priorities is different. The priorities of the young ladies who sang this morning are different than the priorities of their parents. The priorities of our young adults are different from the priorities of senior citizens.The priorities of our grammar school children are different from those who are middle-aged.

 

One of the things that we must realize is that all two often my priorities are different from God's priorities.As Christians, our priorities should be God's priorities.If we expect God to answer any of our prayers, including the prayer for our daily bread, we must make sure that our priorities are in line with Him.

 

In Matthew 6 I find that God has much to say about priorities. I've summed them up with four words beginning with the letter "F".

 

* First

 

Matthew 6:33

When you wake up in the morning, what do you think of first?

I mean other than having to make a trip to the bathroom.

Your first thoughts are probably a good indication of where your priorities are.

 

Jesus says to seek first the Kingdom of God.

Now let me tell you, you can't productively seek God's Kingdom unless you are a member of God's Kingdom. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 - Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.See Romans 3:10-12, Ezekiel 18:4, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Once you are a member of God's Kingdom, it means that God the Son, is your king.After all, we can't have a kingdom without a king, can we?

 

Jesus said in John 13:13, Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

 

As Christians, how do we go about making sure that Jesus is king in our lives?By following Him as disciples. Luke 9:23

 

* Faith

As members of God's Kingdom, our faith should squarely rest on God.But all too often we get worried or anxious about our needs.In Matthew 6 Jesus assures us that our loving Heavenly Father has everything under control.

 

Read Matthew 6:25-32.

God is simply telling us that we are not to worry, but we are to trust!

Let us realize that God loves and is concerned about us.In fact, God considers us very important. Luke 12:6-7

 

* FACT

Jesus shares a very important fact concerning priorities in Matthew 6:24.

 

It's amazing what people will do for money.

They will become traitors to their countries, as this recent spy scandal has shown us.

They will become immoral.

They will lie.

They will steal.

They will sacrifice the well being of their families.

They will work themselves to death.

 

Jesus is saying in this verse, "You can't serve God and money."

 

For so many, money and the things that money can buy become a God.Wanting money and the things that money can buy is idolatry! Colossians 3:5

 

Very often we are anxious not about the basic needs that we have, but we are anxious or worried because we want things that we don't need or put ahead of God on our priority list.

 

In the context of this passage Jesus says you can't serve God and Money at the same time.

But the truth is not only can you not serve God and money simultaneously, but that you can't serve God and anything else simultaneously.The fact is we will only have one master.The question is who will that Master be?

 

We wonder sometimes why God doesn't seem to be providing for us as well as we think we could. Could it be it's because we have the wrong Master? Deuteronomy 6:4-5

 

* FORMULA

 

READ MATTHEW 6:19-21 - Jesus is giving us a formula here for true riches.

If you are putting God's Kingdom first

If you have faith that God will provide for your needs

And if you believe the fact that you must serve God instead of money,

The logical conclusion is to invest what money you do have into the Kingdom of God.

 

Jesus is not suggesting that we must live in poverty.

Jesus is not suggesting that you shouldn't save for retirement.

Jesus is suggesting that we are not to hoard or stockpile our wealth.

When we invest our treasures in the things of God, there is eternal reward.

I think especially of investing in missions.

 

PROMISES

 

Matthew 6:33

Here is God's great promise.

As you put the Kingdom of God first, Jesus says all your needs will be met.

You will have the food, clothes and shelter that you need.

It is as if God is saying, you take care of my business, I'll take care or yours.

Also see Philippians 4:19 2 and Corinthians 9:6-8

 

As we give cheerfully, with the right attitudes and for the right reasons, God is able to make it so that we have what we need can share in every good work.

 

So let's believe these promises!

 

PETITIONS

 

Give us this day our daily bread

You probably thought we'd never get to this verse!

But I feel that it's only as our priorities are right and as we claim the promises of God, that we will experience the full impact of our prayers.

 

Thinking of bread as our basic needs, we bring them to our loving Heavenly Father.We ask Him for them, because we realize that He is the true source of all blessing.

 

And notice we are to come daily to ask!

It's daily bread.

It's daily needs.

Matthew 7:7-11

 

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