Series: Student Ministry: The Sermon on the Mount
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom (Matthew 5:1-12)
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom: Blessings One and Two (Matthew 5:3-4)
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom: Blessings 3-7
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom: You Will Be Persecuted, But Yours Is The Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:10-12)
- Sermon on the Mount: Be Who You Are In Christ (Matthew 5:13-16)
- God’s Word Will Always Stand And It’s All About Jesus: Matthew 5:17-20
- The True Meaning of Adultery (Matthew 5:27-30)
- Adultery and the Seriousness of the Marriage Commitment (Matthew 5:31-32)
- Be People Of Truth (Matthew 5:33-47)
- Giving Grace Instead Of Vengeance (Matthew 5:38-42)
- What Does It Mean To Love Your Neighbor? (Matthew 5:43-47)
- Our Only Hope Is Jesus (Matthew 5:48)
- The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father
- The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father In Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name
- The Lord’s Prayer: Your Kingdom Come
- The Lord’s Prayer: Your Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven
- The Lord’s Prayer: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
- Forgive Us Our Sins (Matthew 6:12)
- The Lord’s Prayer: Lead Us Not Into Temptation
- The Lord’s Prayer Activity
- Forgiven People Forgive (Matthew 6:14-15
- Fast Toward God, Not Others (Matthew 6:16-18)
- Live For What Will Last (Matthew 6:19-34)
- Judge Not, But Do Judge (Matthew 7:1-6)
- God Gives So That You Can Give (Matthew 7:6-12)
- Which Gate Have You Gone Through? Which Path Are You On? What Is Your Eternal Destination? (Matthew 7:13-14)
- Beware the False Prophet (Matthew 7:15-18)
- You May Think You Know Jesus, But Does Jesus Know You? (Matthew 7:21-23)
- All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand (Matthew 7:24-27)
How do you get bread? Just think about how you get bread for a moment. We will work backwards and by the end of this you should have a pretty good idea of why we did this little exercise.
You sat down at the table and had bread at dinner. Where did the bread come from?
- Your parents, or yourself, likely bought it from a market of some sort. Very likely it came from the grocery store. Amanda makes our bread and maybe this is the case with someone else. What was needed in order to buy that bread? Money. Is a job something that we are to be thankful to God for having? Of course it is. God has blessed your family with the means to get bread.
- How did that bread get to the market where it was bought? It was somehow transported by a person who was paid to drive it to the store.
- How was that bread created? Someone baked the bread, they purchased flour, milk, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, and also water from the city’s or county’s water supply. Are we to be thankful to God that someone knew how to make that bread? Of course we are. The Baker was also blessed with the means to buy the contents of the bread.
- How did those goods get to the store? Someone transported the goods there, just like in the above description.
- Where did the flour come from? It was transported from a farm where it originated as wheat. The wheat was grown in a field by a farmer. He needed sunlight, water, and fertilizer to make that happen. Are we thankful that God blessed the farmer with these things? Of course we are.
- Where did the milk come from? It was transported from a farm and then processed and transported again. The farmer had cows, likely loads of them, and had the means to take care of them, feeding them, etc. He then harvested the milk from the cows. He had to have sunlight and water to provide food for the cows and money to give them other food and likely medicine if they got sick. Are we thankful that God blessed the farmer with these things? Yes. God provided and then we got milk. This is also where the butter came from.
- Where did the salt come from? Not all salt is produced in the same way, but salt comes from the evaporating of water in the oceans. Salt flats are created and maintained and after the water evaporates people rake and shovel salt into piles and then wheelbarrows where it is taken to be processed mechanically. Sunlight, salt content of water, and the tide as well as human ingenuity has allowed us to harvest salt. Are we thankful that God provided this for us? Of course we are.
- Where did the yeast come from? Yeast is made from the fermentation of something with sugar in it. Grapes, raisins, strawberries, even potatoes have enough sugar in them to make yeast. The water is drained out and it continues to ferment. Then flour is added to make yeast. God blessed the process of whatever food was used to make yeast as well as the usage of flour that we discussed earlier. Are we thankful for all of this? Absolutely.
- Where did the sugar come from? Most of the sugar in the United States comes from sugar beets. Some of it comes from sugar cane. Sugar cane is crushed and the sugar is extracted. Beets are sliced, boiled, and then drained and boiled again. Sugar is left behind as the liquid boils away. Sunlight, water, and nutrients in the soil are needed as well as the farmer having the means to produce these plants and harvest them. I am very thankful for the ability to do this. Apparently, nearly everything in the Western World was sweetened with honey until the middle ages.
Why did we discuss how you get bread?
We consider it a small thing for God to provide for our basic needs. We don’t think about what this entails and so we are less thankful than we should be when we have it. Instead of being in awe of the fact that all of this came together we just wander around clueless to the fact that God had to provide so much for us to get a loaf of bread on our table. When we ask “Give us this day our daily bread?”, what are we asking for? We’re asking for God to bring all these things together in a way that provides for my basic needs: food, clothing, shelter. A lot has to come together in order for you to get any one of these things met. We don’t tend to think past the first level. I’ve been provided with a job and that enables me to get food, but there is so much more involved. Why is it that you can afford to get bread? Well, God provided the proper amount of rain and sunlight among other things that allowed the crops to remain relatively cheap. What would happen to your bread if there was a massive drought? There would be less fruit produced, the prices would be higher, and you would possibly not be able to buy bread. And this idea spreads into the other areas of our basic needs. What happens if there is a disease that wipes out pine forests? The cost of building homes rises. What happens when food becomes scarce for sheep, or famers quit raising sheep because it is not cost effective? Then the cost of wool goes up. What happens when there is a disease or drought and the cotton plants die? Then the cost of cotton goes up and your clothes cost a lot more money. We are asking God to provide for us our basic needs, which when we consider everything it is not so small a task.
An Attitude of Dependence
There are a lot of benefits to living in a time period of abundance. Our needs are met without our having to give it much consideration, but the downside is that our needs are met without our having to give it much consideration. Gone are the days when a massive hailstorm could start a revolution (The French Revolution was started in part by the Fishwives marching on Paris because of a bread shortage due to some weather events including a hailstorm.) This causes us to feel as if we are more independent than we really are. It causes us to not consider all that has to come together for us to have the basic needs of our lives. A farmer whose livelihood comes from the ground understands this better than most. He understands that without those rains and sunshine it’s not happening.
Read The Passage
I know that this is incredibly different from how we usually do things. We usually read the text and talk about the text, but here the text is self-explanatory and the idea is actually difficult for us to apply. A person in an agrarian society would hear this and automatically understand what great difficulty it took for a person to have their daily needs met. We, however, do not tend to understand this.
Now that we have discussed it, let’s read the passage and discuss it shortly.
Read Matthew 6:9-11. We are to live in thankful dependence upon God.
Ultimately Our Needs Being Met Is Because Of God’s Kindness Toward Us
God does not have to provide for our needs. He does so in His desire to be kind toward us in this way. In fact, the needs of many are not met in the way that ours are. This should lead you to have a feeling of humble thankfulness when you sit down to eat dinner.
We Come to God, Dependent Upon Him For Our Daily Needs
We are not as independent as we think we are. So many things have to work out well for us to have our daily needs met. We need to get out of the thought process that leads us to believe that we are totally responsible for our own well being. We live in a blessed land with a government that is run in such a way that people are able to produce well. God has orchestrated this land of plenty that we live in. But He could also take it away. We are dependent upon Him whether we feel it or not.
Failure To Be Thankful Toward God And Depending Upon Him Is Presuming Upon His Kindness Toward Us
I remember a few occasions growing up where I got angry at my parents and threatened to leave. I was once told by my Dad that he would help me pack up my stuff. He knew that I had taken for granted their kindness toward me and hadn’t even considered what it would take to live life without them. He also knew that I wouldn’t do it for that very reason. I had thought so little about them helping to meet my needs, that I hadn’t even considered how much I didn’t do.
I think we can be this way with God. We can live in His kindness so much that we presume that it will just always be there. It is an attitude of unthankfulness and independence that goes against reality. Let us be people who are thankful and dependent upon God for everything. And let us pray “give us this day our daily bread”.
R. Dwain Minor