Summary: A sermon dealing with the spiritual artery of provision. We need God to meet not only our physical needs, but our spiritual needs as well.
Three contractors were on a tour of the White House. One is from Minnesota , another is from Tennessee , and the third is from Chicago. As they are walking through they notice a broken fence and ask if it would be possible to submit a bid to fix it. They are told of course.
All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me.”
The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, “I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me.”
The Chicago contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, “$2,700.”
The official, incredulous, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?”
The Chicago contractor whispers back, “$1,000 for me, $1,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.”
“Done!” replies the government official.
Money is the source of all kinds of trouble and worry. We spend a lot of time thinking about it, we spend a lot of time trying to get it. Hopefully we spend some time planning and dreaming about how we would spend it and actually enjoying the things that it buys. But as we look at the model prayer that the Lord gave us we are reminded that the most important thing that we can get with money is provision, the things that we need to survive the day. Thinking of that most important thought is should not surprise us to find the issue of provision being addressed in the Lord’s prayer. Please stand and read it with me.
Matthew 6:9-13, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
We’re continuing our walk through the Lord’s Prayer today. We’ve been looking at in comparison to the circulatory systems. We’ve said that the Jews of Jesus time believed that your spiritual life was like your physical life and your circulatory system. If your blood vessels are clogged your physical life suffers. In the same way there are spiritual arteries that enable our spiritual life to flow. If our spiritual arteries are clogged then our spiritual life suffers. If our spiritual life suffers, so does our life the thing that we need most is peace with God. If there is now peace with God then there is no peace.
As Jesus gives us the model prayer He is walking us through each artery so that they will be clear. So that our spiritual life can flow to and from God. The first artery was relationship. The most important thing that we have to do in life is to have a relationship with God. When we do that we find that He wants to act as our Father. We also have to have a proper understanding of that relationship because even though He wants a relationship with us, He is still God, He is still the exalted one and we are not. We’re going to see that is a comforting thing. The next artery is that of priority. Who’s kingdom comes first is it your’s or God’s. Jesus would say later in Matthew 6, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When you put God first, He is free to give you the blessings He has always desired to give you. God didn’t make you and send His Son to die for you, and then raise Him from the dead to just stop blessing you there.
Today we are looking at the words, “Give us today our daily bread.” This section is concerned with the artery of Provision. It can be applied to money and we will do that because that is appropriate for our culture. The word that Jesus used here that’s translated as “bread” was “arton” which means that which is essential to sustain life. What do you need to get you through the day? As Jesus is praying, He is talking about provision. Just the ability to get what you need to get you through the day. When you are worried about what you are going to eat, where you are going to spend the night, it’s hard to think about anything else. Worry clogs up our ability to focus on God. So naturally Jesus addressed it in this prayer.