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Sermon On The Mount - Living in the Kingdom
By Pastor Delbert Young

18. Give Us

(video audio page)

Give Us

Scriptures: Matthew 6:7-11, Ezekiel 4:16, Matthew 6:32, Matthew 6:33, John 6:48-54, 1 Corinthians 10:17

We are studying the Sermon on the Mount which is the greatest sermon ever taught. In the center of the Sermon on the Mount, we find prayer and, specifically, the Lord's Prayer. In the center of the Lord's Prayer, we find the verse of which we investigate today. Let's read Matthew 6:9-10.

Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:9 "This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Matthew 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

Most often we do exactly at this point what Jesus told us not to do. We begin asking, begging, and justifying. Something is wrong with our understanding of Give us today our daily bread.

If I am successful at communicating what I see here, we will leave better understanding why prayer works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. We will finally understand why Jesus had total success with his prayer life and we do not. We will see how you and I can immediately improve on our answered prayers.

Are you ready to begin? Let's talk first about today.

. . . TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD: Father is concerned about far more than our going to heaven when we die. He is concerned about our today and he is concerned about our today daily. Father desires that we have an abundant life. In fact, that was the moto of Jesus. He said I come that you have life and that more abundantly (Joh 10:10). Every day the Father thinks about what we need to have a full and abundant life.

. . . BREAD: The Lord used bread to make his point. Bread didn't mean only bread, to those to whom Jesus spoke. To them, bread was the staff of life (Eze 4:16; 5:16; 14:13). Let's look at one of those verses.

(KJV) Ezekiel 4:16 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment:

(NIV) Ezekiel 4:16 He then said to me: "Son of man, I will cut off the supply of food in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair,

The nation had gotten away from the will and the kingdom of God. Because of that, the enemy (Babylon's Nebuchadnezzar) sieged Jerusalem and cut off the staff of life.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when we get out of Father's will that things go badly? Sometimes it seems that our lives are sieged and we can't get a break or a breakthrough. When that happens, we need to look around and take inventory. When we are out of Father's will and kingdom, the enemy has access to us.

The staff of bread means what we need to make it to our destiny. It's what we brace against. The staff is that which supports us and aids us. It speaks of the resources we need to have the abundant life.

PUT IN CONTEXT: It is interesting that Jesus instructed us to pray for our needs shortly after telling us not to be like the pagans who keep praying about their needs.

Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

If Father knows what we need before we ask, then why are we to ask and say "Give us today our daily bread?" Later in this same chapter (verses 25-34), Jesus said to not worry about personal needs. He will talk about sparrows being taken care of by Father and flowers dressed beautifully by Father. He tells us not to worry about such things as money, or clothes, or food. If we do then we are no different from the nonbelievers.

Matthew 6:32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

So what's the deal? He tells me NOT TO ASK for things when I pray. Then he tells me to pray and ask for my tiniest needs such as bread. Then he tells me again NOT TO ASK because Father already knows that I need things. What am I to do? Am I to ask or not ask?

If we will notice, there is no asking in what Jesus said to pray. He said to say,

Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

We could put an exclamation point after bread. It's an emphatic statement. There is no hint of asking or "please give us." The point is that we are not asking. We are expecting! If we have done his will and if we have done our part to bring his kingdom to earth, then we can expect Father to provide our daily needs. If you have done what you were expected to do for your employer then you expect your wages. My children used to come to me and say, "Dad, give me my allowance." There was only a problem if they had not done what they were supposed to have done. The only problem we will run into with the Father giving us today what we need is if we have not done what we were supposed to have done.

My having to ask Father for what I need and want doesn't fit here if Jesus meant what he said about my babbling being no different from a pagan prayer. If Father already knew my needs, then why must I tell him again?

In the entire context of Give us today our daily bread, both before and after, we see that if we do our part in bringing the kingdom to earth and doing Father's will, he will GIVE US everything we need and want. In the prayer we have prayed "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven." Then we pray Give us today our daily bread. Looking ahead at the context in this section and chapter we see the same thing. The context is seeking the kingdom and doing his will, or righteousness.

(KJV) Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(NIV) Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

We have the right to expect Father to GIVE US what we want and need if we keep our priorities correct by first seeking the kingdom and his righteousness (will).

FATHER LOVES TO GIVE:I want to make certain that we understand that Father desperately cares about our needs and our wants. Father showed us through Jesus that he is concerned about simple, ordinary, day-to-day things that would not seem "spiritual" or important to some. Do you remember when Jesus turned water into wine? Was that wine really necessary? Was that wine "spiritual?" Remember when money was miraculously supplied to pay the taxes of Jesus and Peter (Mat 17:27)? Remember when Jesus was concerned about taking time to hold and love and bless the little children. There was no 'age of accountability' with Jesus. He said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 19:14). Remember when Jesus fed thousands who were hungry. They were not starving. They were not poor and destitute, but Jesus cared that they ate. Remember that Jesus was interested in and healed the seemingly worthless and social rejects such as the lepers, the lame, and the mentally ill. My point is that Father cares about the needs of people and wants us to pray Give Us.

We are aware of the deity of Christ. He is the Son of God. But he is also the son of man. I believe that Jesus was attempting to show us a tremendous secret to answered prayer. That is, we can tremendously raise the level of answered prayers by seeking first the kingdom. The secret to the tremendous success that Jesus had when he prayed was that he sought the kingdom first. As we have said, the passion of Christ was the kingdom. Jesus sought the kingdom first. No one would argue that point. From that position, Father provided not only what Jesus needed, but what Jesus wanted and asked as well. No one ever prayed like Jesus prayed. No one ever sought the kingdom like Jesus sought the kingdom. Jesus did the work of bringing the kingdom and doing Father's will. When Jesus said, "GIVE US" things happened. Water was made into wine. The storm ceased to howl. Blinded eyes were opened. The lame walked. The dead became alive. Water became concrete to be walked upon. Demons yelled and screamed as they left. Fish and loaves were multiplied. Why? Because he sought first the kingdom of God. "Give us today our daily bread" is dynamically attached to our labor to bring the kingdom and to do Father's will. I hope we see that.

GIVE US TODAY OUR: It is 'Give us our.' It's not 'Give me my.' We see plurality in the entire Lord's Prayer. It's "OUR Father," "Give US today OUR . . . ," "Forgive US," "Lead US not," and "Deliver US." I am to talk to Father about me, but I am also to talk to Father about you - about our. I have experienced time of prayer when prayer became all about me. The perfect prayer will cause us to think and pray for the needs of others. Jesus did. We can pray for others with confidence when we know that we have been seeking the kingdom of God.

SPIRITUAL BREAD: There is another dimension of bread and the true staff of life that Jesus taught and we must include in our lesson. It's our need for spiritual bread. It's the bread of life.

John 6:48 I am the bread of life.

John 6:49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died.

John 6:50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

John 6:52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

John 6:53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

We understand the need for physical bread to take care of life for our physical bodies. We understand and Father understands that we need things. Just as our souls and bodies need things, our spirits have daily needs as well. Jesus is the heavenly, or spiritual, bread. It is when our spirits feed daily on him that eternal life is experienced and the guarantee of being raised the last day is given. The Jews had great difficulty grasping the meaning of Jesus in the previous passage. Do we?

Eternal life is not dependant upon only a prayer to receive Jesus. Eternal life is dependant upon partaking of the body and the blood of the Son of Man - Jesus Christ. How is that possible? A primary way is through communion. Jesus told us to experience communion as often as we would. The picture he gave us was the communion bread and juice is his body and blood. As our physical body must have food and drink, our spiritual person must have food and drink. We will become weak spiritually if we are not partaking of Christ.

We need to partake of Christ through prayer, through the reading of his word, through fasting, praise, worship, etc. All those are ways of partaking of him, but I must mention one specifically. It is our partaking of Christ through fellowship with the saints.

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

We cannot truly partake of the life of Christ if we will not partake of the lives of others. It's ". . . our daily bread." If we refuse to fellowship and partake of one another, we will become weak spiritually. We must partake of Jesus Christ and we must partake of one another.

The Jews didn't understand what Jesus told them about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. Do we?

DEPENDANT UPON FATHER: As we speak the words, "Give us today our daily bread," we are ascending to the realization that we actually are dependant upon Father. We realize that it truly is Father who will GIVE US our daily provisions.

Every person will need the Father at some point in their life. I have come to the place in my life that I need him daily.

I end this lesson with this thought. The most amazing thing about all of this is that Father has a desire beyond anyone's ability to orate to give us each and every day what we need. His love for us is beyond words and often seen in his provision. I know that is true in my life and I know that is true in your life. What is it that you need from Father today?

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