Thursday, November 23, 2017
Luke 11:3 Give us each day our daily bread.
Proverbs 30:7 – 9 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: 8Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
As a youngster, and still today, I think I enjoy Thanksgiving more than any holiday. I know, that sounds so secular and unspiritual, when Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior, and Easter the celebration of His resurrection. Yes, the significance of Christmas and Easter are supreme, but the memories of Thanksgiving still stir my heart. Maybe it’s because of my love affair with food. I think it mostly is because of my love affair with family. (Just ask my kids what I say at every family gathering.)
We have had a family tradition since I was young that before we could eat the turkey and all the other great side dishes, we each had to express a thought of thanksgiving while we sat around the table. One thing I have noticed over the years is that this has become an uncomfortable experience for most. The sentiment is just not there. We say thanks for shallow stuff, and anything deeper and “mushier” draws snickers (giggles, not candy) and moans. Spiritual stuff hardly ever gets mentioned. Why has it become so hard for us to express heartfelt thanks?
I think one of the main causes of an ungrateful heart is independence and self-dependence. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He taught them much more than just words to say: He taught them about the condition of the heart. One of the attributes of a person who prays is to be humbly dependent upon God for all things. When Jesus told the disciples to ask for their daily bread in their prayers, he was emphasizing an attitude of the heart that honors God as the provider of all things.
In the book of Proverbs there is a warning given to all who would be ungrateful and self-dependent: you may end up disowning God or dishonoring His name. Look at this carefully:
- If we ask God for more than just our needs and demand that we become rich, we will be tempted to trust in our riches and not in the Lord who gave them to us. Riches are not wrong, but the wise writer of this passage recognized the danger of self-dependence that could result from having too much, and he specifically asked God to not let that happen to him. His faithfulness to God was of far greater significance than the pleasures of riches.
- If we don’t ask God to provide for our daily needs, then we will eventually fail at providing for ourselves and turn to illegal means to maintain our lifestyle and thereby dishonor the name of God by our behavior. The author knew that if he was dependent upon God, God would be glorified by all his choices, and honoring God was of far more importance to him than his financial security or status.
So, on this Thanksgiving, no matter what you are able to eat, be thankful that God is your Provider. He knows your every need, and will never fail to provide for those who trust Him. Listen to these words of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 33:14-16.
14The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” 15He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil— 16this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.