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Catechism Class: LD50, Q125, Daily Bread

16/02/2021

Catechism Class: Our Daily Bread

Lord’s Day 50 Q125

Text:   Proverbs 30:7-9

What’s the best way to learn to trust God for everything in life, from the smallest problems, to the most basic human necessities?  Could the answer be found right here in the Lord’s Prayer?  Right here in this petition, where we are taught to ask God for the most basic essential of all, bread!  The staff of life.  If we can see that God provides so simple a need as a slice of bread, then our dependence on him will be improved, and our thankfulness be expanded.

We have come to the 4th petition in the Lord’s Prayer, and our instructor in the catechism asks, in Question 125,. What is the fourth petition?  The answer we must give is  “A. Give us today our daily bread. That is: Provide us with all our bodily needs so that we may acknowledge that you are the only fountain of all good, and that our care and labour, and also your gifts, cannot do us any good without your blessing. Grant, therefore, that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it only in you.”

To listen to this lesson as a PODCAST CLICK THIS LINK.

So, what do YOU take for granted?  It really wouldn’t do you any harm to make a list!  Let’s make some suggestions!  Here’s just a few suggestions…

  • BREATHING.   
  • WATER. 
  • OUR SENSES.   
  • SLEEP.   
  • BREAD.   

Basic things.  We take them for granted, we expect them to be there when we want them.  But shouldn’t we be more careful, shouldn’t we realise that it is only through the goodness and provision of God that we have these basic necessities.  Should we be far more thankful and trust him more? Psalm 145:15-16  There is a beautiful Hebrew prayer in Proverbs 30:7-9  Read it please.

I think it would be good, right now, to stop, and get a pen and write down all the very basic things you see around you.  Now, when you’ve done that, pray, and thank God for giving you each and every one of them.  so that we may acknowledge that you are the only fountain of all good,

-oOOo-

So, let’s look now at what the catechist is teaching us in Q125.

1 Pray Every Day. Now, we’ve thought about being thankful to God for everything in life, even the very smallest blessings.  But will that do now?  We’ve done that, so we’ll maybe do it again next week, or next year, or the next time we remember?  NO!  We are to pray for DAILY bread.  Let’s think about that…

  • We are only ever to ask God for enough for today.  The Lord is not commanding us to pray for reserves, or to accumulate wealth.  We are encouraged to live simple lives, just trusting him for enough for each and every day as it comes along – one day at a time.  Matthew 6:31-34  
  • Remember to include both your spiritual and material blessings.  The catechist simply says that we are to pray for our bodily needs.  But perhaps ‘bodily needs’ are more than just material.  The word DAILY in Greek is ἐπιούσιος (epiousios). This word occurs nowhere else in Greek literature except in the context of the Lord’s Prayer. So it’s a really difficult word to translate.  JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, the Greek preacher, suggested ‘needful for life.’ And that has led some to suggest that it could be referring to ‘the bread of life’ – our spiritual needs.   Perhaps that’s why the Holy Spirit inspired the gospel writers to use this word, to focus our minds on what we really need, and include spiritual necessities in our prayers and thankfulness.  

2 Have a Correct Perspective on the Origin of Every Blessingso that we may acknowledge that you are the only fountain of all good,  The point of this petition is to encourage us to trust in God for EVERYTHING. Acts 14:17 The opposite of this is to withdraw our trust from everything else that this world trusts in.  Stop trusting in YOURSELF, in your finances, in your abilities etc. James 1:17 After all, everything that we do, every effort, every labour, every activity is futile and vanity, without the Lord.  and that our care and labour, and also your gifts, cannot do us any good without your blessing.  Ecclesiastes 1:2-3  Grant, therefore, that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it only in you.”

A word of caution.  Just because God has provided for all our needs, that doesn’t mean that we can sit back and be idle and do no work!  We are reminded in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 

That this teaching comes to us as part of a prayer, it reminds us that prayer itself is an expression of our neediness and trust in God’s ability to provide.  If we are not praying, are we trusting in ourselves rather than in God?  Deuteronomy 8:3  

© BobMcEvoy February 2021

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