Monday, April 13, 2009

Matthew 6:11 God is Our Provider

I can remember growing up wanting some things that I never got. In particular, I remember a Batmobile pedal car that I saw in the Sears Christmas catalogue. I could see myself hoping in that sucker with a bedsheet tied around my neck peddling out of the driveway to the hill right behind our house and speeding down that hill chasing after the Joker or the Penguin. Of course, that road also dead ended into a ditch that was pretty deep from what I remember so on second thought it was a good thing I never got that. However, as much as I longed for that car it’s probably one of only the few things that I didn’t get. In fact, I probably got most of what I asked for and I know I got a lot more than some people. But in the area of things I needed I never lacked anything. Mom and Dad always made sure we were taken care of and that we had the food, clothes, shelter, and medical care we needed. Now my parents are not perfect and they provided for me. If they were human and made mistakes but still took good care of their kids, how much more can we depend on our heavenly Father to provide for our needs.

As we read in Matthew 6:11, Jesus says “Give us this day our daily bread”. I think there are several things that we can observe from that verse. First of all, we notice dependence—specifically our dependence on God. We live in a culture that is obsessed with the idea of being a self-made man or woman. Charlie Daniels once crooned in a popular song of his “I don’t need nothing from nobody if I can’t get it on my own”. We take pride in being self reliant and not depending on other people. In some ways that is good. I mean, we need to work and earn our own living rather than waiting for someone to just drop it into our lap. However, we as children of God need to realize that our survival is ultimately dependant on God. God is the one who provides for our needs. Certainly I have to go to work, but it is God who provided the job. Further, if something was to happen and I had to find another job, God would provide for me and my family. No matter what, I know from experience that I can trust God to take care of me. I can depend on Him and I can go to Him in prayer and ask Him for what I need. He loves me and it is His joy to provide for His children.

Secondly, observe that we don’t just depend on God when the going gets tough but rather, as Jesus says, we depend on Him “daily”. God is not a cosmic waiter who stands behind some pearly white counter and asks us “Would you like fries with that?” while wearing some paper hate and a goofy plastic name tag. He’s not there to wait on us and answer when we need Him. We are in a relationship with God. He is our Savior. He is our Father. If you are in a relationship with someone and you don’t continuously nurture that relationship, it dies. We are in a daily walk with our Father who provides for us. That is why He hears us when we pray. Not because of anything in us that makes us worthy—rather it is because He adopted us and we are dear to His heart.

Finally, notice what we depend on Him for daily. Jesus says we should pray for God to give us “our daily bread”. Now, from everything I’ve studied, the Greek here is a little confusing and there are differences of opinions as to exactly what Jesus meant here. I submit to you, and this may be due to my limited mental capacity, that the English rendering gives a good sense of what we should ask for—our daily bread. Give us what we need to get through today. We’re not looking to lay up treasure here on Earth, as Matthew records a few verses from now. We need to look at today and worry about today and be cognizant of the opportunities we are presented today. Give us what we need, our daily bread, so that we can be busy serving You and glorifying You today. As we noticed in the previous three petitions (Hallowed be Your name, You kingdom come, You will be done) we should have as our first priority the glory of God. It would make sense, then, that we request Him to provide for us what we need to be able to serve Him today. Then we can trust Him to give us what we need and praise Him for it.

Many people are scared in the US and the world today due to the economy. I submit to you that God has provided for His children and He will continue to provide. We can trust Him because He has been faithful and He will continue to be faithful. Give thanks to Him today for providing for you.


Will Sr. said...

Right on the money! No pun intended. SDG!!! and Thank you.

Joe Blackmon said...

Thank you, very much.