Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Give us this day our daily bread": A Short Bible Study

The following is the outline I used for a Sunday School lesson on the line from the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our daily bread."

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6.11)

1.     This is prayer for daily, physical sustenance

a.     AVOID—a hyper-spirituality that denigrates the body or sees it somehow as a “necessary evil.”

                                               i.     Psalm 104.14-15

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, so that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine which makes man’s heart glad, so that he may make his face glisten with oil, and food which sustains man’s heart

                                              ii.     Ecclesiastes 9.7

Go the, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.

                                            iii.     Acts 14.16-17

In the generations gone by he permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet he did not leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

b.     God knows what we need physically (watch context for these two verses)

                                               i.     Matthew 6.8

Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

                                              ii.     Matthew 6.32

For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 

c.      We are to pray for our daily bread

                                               i.     Prayer is not opposed to, or in replace of work!

1.     2 Thessalonians 3.10-12

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.  For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.  Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

                                              ii.     Prayer for our daily bread illustrates our dependence upon the Lord to sustain us

2.     Prayer vs. Anxiousness: Matthew 6.24-34

a.     Question: What reasons does Jesus give to help us see that anxiousness is to be avoided?

                                               i.     v. 25: life is more than food and the body is more than clothing

                                              ii.     v. 26: you are more valuable than birds

                                            iii.     v. 27: you can’t add to life by being anxious

                                            iv.     v. 28-30: you are more valuable than flowers and grass

                                              v.     v. 32: your heavenly Father knows what you need

                                            vi.     v. 34: tomorrow comes soon enough; focus on today

b.     Philippians 4.6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

3.     What does it mean to pray for “daily bread” in the midst of plenty? 

a.     Deuteronomy 8: read whole chapter

                                               i.     Verses 11-14: full bellies can produce proud, forgetful hearts

                                              ii.     Verses 16-18:

1.     v. 17: “Otherwise, you might say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.”

2.     v. 18: “…for it is he who is giving you power to make wealth…”

b.     An antidote to pride and forgetfulness is gratitude and thankfulness!

                                               i.     1 Thessalonians 5.17-18

Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks

                                              ii.     Colossians 4.2

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving

                                            iii.     Philippians 4.6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.