Give us our needed bread day by day;Luke 11:3
I have chosen the LITV because I believe the focus is both “daily” or “day by day” and our needed bread.
Remember the options from yesterday:
“That which is necessary for existence”, derived from [epi] meaning “for” and [ousia] meaning “existing”.”For the current day”, or “for today”. “For the following day” from the construction [he epiousa]. I.e. “Tomorrow” Relating to that which pertains “to the Day of the coming Kingdom” from the construction [to epion] meaning “the bread of the future”.
The idea of there being a link to the bread of the future is interesting. Could there be a link here to the food of the Age to Come? Well, it certainly fits with the message of praying that His Kingdom will come and we will get to taste life as God intended it to be. But I think it is too fanciful for this to be the focus of what is being said here. Besides that, the grammatical construction has to be forced to conclude that this is the meaning of the passage. I “don’t buy it”.
While these fanciful suggestions are interesting, let’s not lose sight of the main thrust. The word bread contains both a focus on our physical needs but also contains the component of our spiritual needs. We need to feed on the flesh of the Son of God and drink His blood or we don’t have life within us. We have physical needs and spiritual needs. These need to be in balance. Life is not all physical. We need to keep the spiritual aspect of our lives to the fore as well. After all, that is what Jesus was doing, and did regularly, which prompted the disciples to ask Him to teach them to pray. They saw the intimacy Jesus had with the Father and wanted that too. I am convinced that the focus is “daily” and the need for this day rather than tomorrow. Remember the Old Testament teaching relating to manna? They were to gather manna each day except on the Sabbath. Their spiritual food was to be gathered daily. Isn’t that true of us? Why? Because it reminds us this is a relational thing. We need to be feeding on Jesus each and every day. We are told not to worry about tomorrow but to focus on today. God will take care of tomorrow. Make sure your manna is fresh. Your spiritual food needs to be fresh and vibrant.
Let’s look at the need for physical food for a moment. Yes we do need to remember that God is the One who supplies our daily food. How can I say that? some will ask. I thought I provided it. I go out to work and earn the money which enables my family to eat. “I am the bread winner.” We need to be grateful to God for so many things related to the meal on our tables every day. Oh sure, we may go out to work each day to earn the money. But you have a job. It is so easy in this day and age to not have a job, or to lose your very good job suddenly. In the light of global climate patterns being disrupted for various reasons, we can’t take good stable weather and adequate rainfall for granted. Ask any farmer how quickly the growing cycles and temperature ranges can alter dramatically. It can by no means be taken for granted that you will have 3 square meals a day as the Message version puts it. I live in a society now and also when I am back home in New Zealand which is resource rich and has an abundant variety of food to choose from. But we are not all fortunate enough to be able to buy just what we want to eat. The number of people nowadays who have to rely on food banks or other organisations to help them feed their family is worrying. Poverty levels are certainly concerning here in Indonesia for many people. Not something to be taken for granted.
I feel Tania and I have been privileged to live as we have lived since the end of 1981 when God called us to follow and serve Him in a full-time capacity. We have seen and experienced so much. I remember the years when as Wycliffe’s Director in New Zealand for eight years I had a frequent flyers gold card and had access to all the airline lounges in the Star Alliance network. Oh, very nice thank you. I would joke with people from time to time and say “I could get used to this.” Yes, so true and so sad. Because when and if I did, complacency could creep in and soon I could start feeling like I deserved it. I well remember one flight I took from Brisbane to Auckland and had been upgraded to First Class. A man sat next to me and asked what I did. I told him I was the Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Let me tell you that was a conversation stopper or a conversation opener. It depended on the person. In this case it opened the conversation wide and ended up with the man getting interested in spiritual things again. When he found out who I was and the fact that we didn’t get a salary, he asked the obvious question: what was I doing in First Class? I told him I had been upgraded. He smiled at my answer and I told him I thought I had been seated there in First Class for him. He said, “Yes Ian, I think you have been.” He asked more and I told him of the lessons we had learned about knowing and experiencing the secret of contentment whether in plenty or in lack. (Phil 4:12). As I shared some of those stories he was amazed, both at the lessons learned and at the examples of God’s provision. See, when you are in need you cherish the lessons learned of the way God leads.
Tania could tell you what it is like to go around the supermarket “hearing God’s voice” telling her to “put that back, you don’t need it”. Or telling her, “take another of “those” because you will need that this week.” That is exciting because God becomes so much more real. That is the reality of having a heightened sense of God’s provision of all of your needs. You tend not to take things for granted so much. I am grieved when people blame God for those who are starving in this world. It is not God’s fault. World Famine is NOT a God problem. It is not a problem of supply; it is a problem of uneven distribution. There is more than enough to feed everyone in this world. The problem is that food is so unevenly distributed and those who realise “there is a buck to be made” in feeding people, seem to play with world commodity prices to get the most gain out of what they control. At times they dump masses of food to prevent a glut on the market which would drive prices down. All carefully manipulated to the benefit of a chosen few. (Not chosen by God I hasten to add.) I applaud organisations, churches and individuals who attempt to redress the balance by giving away food to the needy. I have seen some remarkable things they do to ensure that one family doesn’t have a glut and another family doesn’t suffer extreme lack.
Food for thought isn’t it. Maybe calling for some lifestyle adjustments.
Maintaining Perspective – a reality check!
If you woke up this morning; You’re ahead of 1 million people who didn’t survive the week.
If you can sit down and relax with the newspaper and a cup of coffee; You’re ahead of the 500 million experiencing the ravages of war, torture, starvation or imprisonment.
If you can attend church without persecution; You’re envied by 2 billion others who’ve never been inside one.
If you have food, clothes and a roof over your head; You’re richer than 75% of earth’s inhabitants.
If you’ve money in the bank; You’re among the world’s top 8%
If you have a Bible to use in your Quiet Time; You’re better off than 1.5 billion who have never seen one.
If you can read this; You’re ahead of 1/3 of the earth who are illiterate.Anonymous
Count your blessings people and give thanks to the Lord for blessing you as He has. It could so easily have been otherwise.Ian Vail
Now do something to redress the balance for even just one person.Ian Vail