INTRO - How Much Is $1 Billion? It is difficult to comprehend what $1 billion could be, but at least I have heard an explanation that clears the air. A man gave his wife $1 million. He told her to go out and spend $1000 a day. She did. Three years later she returned to tell him that the money was all gone. She wanted more. He then gave her $1 billion. He told her to go out and spend $1000 a day. She didn't come back for 3000 years. (Atlanta Journal-Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations) How many of you would be content with $1 million? With $1 million you could have almost anything. One of Larson’s Farside cartoons depicts a couple of cows in a luxurious house and the wife in her beautiful dress says “I’m not content.”
We live a society where we tend to think we need more and more and more. Maybe it’s because the society at large has come to believe that more is all there is. A few years ago one of the big fads was the “Prayer of Jabez,” taken from 1 Ch 4:9-10. It was a prayer for more.
Just before Jesus gives us the model prayer, He tells us in Mt 6:8b Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. While God may know what we need Jesus teaches us to pray in Mt 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. What does it mean to pray for our daily bread and are we ready to?
I. I WISH I MAY, I WISH I MIGHT - 1 Kg 3:3-5 - Would God grant your wishes?
A. The Things We Want - Have you ever sat down and made a wish list? Kids will often do so around their birthdays and Christmas, while adults may do so around tax return time. Sometimes we have running wish lists that we keep adding to. I have several of them myself. One hundred years ago it was figured that the average American had 70 wants. Now, a similar survey showed his grandson had nearly 500 on his list.(Beveridge Paper Co. - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations) This sort of fits with the old saying “The more one has, the more one wants.”
B. In The Giving Business - Mt 7:7-11 - One sharp winter day, so runs a nursery tale, a poor woman stood at the window of a king’s conservatory, looking at a cluster of grapes, which she longed to have for her sick child. She went home to her spinning-wheel, earned half-a-crown, and offered it to the gardener for the grapes, He waved his hand, and ordered her away. She returned to her cottage, snatched the blanket from her bed, pawned it, and once more asked the gardener to sell her the grapes, offering him five shillings. He spoke furiously to her and was turning her out, when the princess came in, heard the man’s passion, saw the woman’s tears, and asked what was wrong. When the story was told she said, “My dear woman, you have made a mistake. My father is not a merchant, but a king; his business is not to sell but to give;” so saying, she plucked the cluster from the vine and dropped it into the woman’s apron. (Dr. Stanford.) - Through out the Bible God tells us that He wants to give to us.
1. Ps 37:4
2. Ps 145:19
3. Jn 15:7 If
4. Pp 4:19
II. WANTING, NEEDING, AND KNOWING - The Israelites, who had been in Egypt for 400 years serving as slaves, had been set free by the power of God. Throughout the 10 plagues, the Israelites had been protected & shielded as God brought both Pharaoh and the Egyptian empire to it’s knees. Yet, after seeing all of that, after experiencing God’s provision first hand, after experiencing His protection and deliverance, you would think the Israelites would have been willing to follow God anywhere, that they would trust him with anything. That they’d be confident that every single need they had, would be met. Well, just one month out of Egypt and we read in Ex 16:1-3 - God took care of them. He supplied their need of food not their want to return.
A. Our Daily Dessert? - Gertrude, a missionary on an island in Haiti is quoted as saying “Most American Christians don't need God.” She goes on “American Christians have everything they need, If they don't pray or read the Bible for weeks, it makes little difference in their daily lives. They still have food to eat, a place to sleep, regular income. They don't need to practice their faith every day.” We end up focusing on the extras, the deserts. In a recent report I heard on the radio it was noted that Americans have smaller families, bigger houses and need extra space to store their stuff. Let’s have some more please.
1. A Springfield neighbor was drawn to his door one day by the crying of children. When he got there, he saw Lincoln passing by with his two sons, both crying lustily. "What is the matter with the boys?" asked the man. "Just what is the matter with the whole world!" answered Lincoln. "I have three walnuts and each boy wants two." - (Christian Herald - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
2. Coming downstairs one morning, Lord Congelton heard the cook exclaim, "Oh, if I only had five pounds, wouldn't I be content!" Thinking the matter over, and anxious to see the woman satisfied, he shortly after handed her a five-pound note, then worth about twenty-five dollars. She thanked him profusely. He paused outside the door to hear if she would express her satisfaction and thank God. As soon as his shadow was invisible, she cried out, "Why didn't I say ten?" - (Prairie Overcomer - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
B. Wants Or Needs - A Japanese Proverb says “He who buys what he needs not, sells what he needs.” - Do our wants get in way of our needs? A prominent United states shoe manufacturer was asked to subscribe to a fund for supplying food to the suffering poor. He entered as his subscription one hundred sacks of flour and one hundred bushels of meal, to be used for the relief of every man in the district that could be found in need of bread, who neither kept a dog, drank intoxicating drink, nor used tobacco. The committee of the poor fund have not been able to claim a single cent from him yet, as their most persistent efforts have failed to find such a one. - (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations) Should we pray for our daily bread so we can spend it on our wants? Have you ever stopped to think about what causes our desires for more? What is it that convinces us that we have to have “It?” Commercials? Ads? Jealousy? Many people want what they don't need and need what they don't want.
1. Lk 9:25
2. Ec 5:10-12
3. 1 Tm 6:9-10
C. Our Daily Bread - Martin Luther wrote in 1529; What does daily bread mean? Everything that nourishes our body and meets its needs, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, yard, fields, cattle, money, possessions, a devout spouse, devout children, devout employees, devout and faithful rulers, god government, peace, health, discipline, honor, good fiends, faithful neighbors and other things like these…” Jesus says that we are to pray for our daily bread – NOT for our daily dessert…”
1. Lk 12:15- Now the word translated as greed – is a compound Greek word that means “to have more…” Jesus is telling them to guard themselves from the desire to have more… Millions of people are killing themselves for more….More choices, More experiences, More successes, More stuff. AND we’re bombarded, every day, by millions of messages that tell us that more, eventually, will lead to contentment.
2. The Apostle Paul, sitting in a jail cell sees things differently. He writes in Pp 4:11-13
III. SATISFIED WITHOUT - Mt 6:25-33- In praying for our daily bread, in praying for our NEEDS, we are saying:
A. I’ll Trust You Lord To Provide - When we pray Give us this day our daily bread we are saying We will, I will trust the Lord to provide. It says:
1. We can be dependent - Hb 13:5- Knowing that God will always be there for us helps us to realize we can depend on Him for our needs
2. We need not worry - Mt 6:34 - knowing that our need will be met eliminates worry and anxiety about tomorrow and the distant future.
3. We only need one day at a time - The word "daily" has been the source of a great controversy. The problem stems from the fact that this is the only occurrence of the word in all of Greek literature. It was found once in a nonliterary source on a papyrus fragment that contained a grocery list where it seemed to indicate the requirements of the day, though the meaning is not crystal-clear. Linguists today tell us the word can mean either "today's bread" or "tomorrow's bread," though many prefer the latter. Either way we need to trust Him to provide one day at a time
B. I’ll Be Content With Your Provisions - When we pray Give us this day our daily bread we are saying we will, I will be content with just my needs.
1. F. C. Blyth, M. A. Is quoted as saying “Contentment is a jewel which turns all into gold, yea, want into wealth. Covetousness is a canker which eats into the richest robes and the costliest treasures; a dropsy which, the more it drinks, the more it thirsts.”
2. Paul says to Timothy - 1 Tm 6:6-8
3. If you are not happy with what you have, how could you be happier with more? - (Complete Book of Zingers)
CONCL - Pv 30:7-9 - When we pray, we are allowed to ask for our desires, but we need to remember our needs. Problem is, too many are not willing to be satisfied with just their needs, they’re not ready to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” Are you?