Wednesday 16 June 2021

The Lord’s Prayer - "Give us this day our daily bread" (13 Jun 2021)

We discussed this phrase during our family time last Sun, so I thought it would be appropriate to feature photos of the various food items we've received from others in the past two weeks. πŸ˜‹
Here are some of the points brought up during our discussion...

We have to ask for God's provision. And we also have to receive with thanksgiving when it comes. (Duh... you may be thinking, "Isn't that obvious?" Haha!) Sounds simple but we often take it for granted. The key here is that we need to be intentional in asking, and be thankful for what we receive, so that we are fully reliant on Him and do not start to think that we deserve whatever we have or that we gained it all through our own work.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we won't need to work and can just sit around, waiting for His provision to fall down from the sky (in case you haven't realised, manna days are over!) πŸ˜… It does mean, however, that we should be about God's work, doing what He shows us to do through the Holy Spirit

When we work, it should not be by our own strength, nor chasing after selfish or worldly desires, so we don't labour in vain (cf. Psalm 127:1-2). When we are led by the Spirit to do the work that He wants us to do, and doing it His way, then He will surely provide for us even when it may not be a well-paid job by the world's standards (sometimes it may not even be paid at all).

As long as we are in His will, then we have the confidence that when we ask for what we need, we will receive (1 John 5:14, Matthew 7:7).

This points again to community - and a family is a community. Maybe like me, you've also wondered before whether there's any link between verses 1-2 and verses 3-5 of Psalm 127 as they seem to be about two distinct topics. But if we look at the first two verses in the context of God’s provision (when we build our homes according to His ways), then the next three verses imply that He will continue to provide for us when we have children (and that is why they are a blessing from Him, not a burden).

This day
We must keep asking everyday in order to practise complete dependence on Him, and learn to trust in Him alone.

God has already alloted to each person the appropriate portion, which will always be sufficient (cf. Exodus 16:18). So there's no need to worry that we won't have enough or try to store up extra as insurance. It may very well turn smelly (Exodus 16:20)! 😜

Also, sometimes He may give in bulk to a whole community and then it's up to us to divide it among ourselves. So if we think at a macro level, it could mean that some of the extra provisions that we're getting is meant for someone else. Hence, we need to be sensitive to the needs of others around us and be ready to give to those He directs us to.

God gives us what we need for each day so we don't have to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). Certainly, it is wise to have savings. After all, He did instruct the Israelites to save up a double portion of manna for the Sabbath (Exodus 16:22-26).

However, we need to be careful we don't fall into the trap of thinking that we need to save more so that we can fund our children’s further education, help pay for their weddings, chip in when they buy their own houses, and even sponsor our grandchildren's diapers and toys and education... and the list goes on and on... When we start worrying about what all the tomorrows may bring, it's never-ending!

Just be contented with what He gives, and if He does grant us more than enough then save it up for there is probably a need that He is providing for in advance. But have faith that He will continue to provide for each day so we won't keep striving to earn more and save more than what we actually need.

In addition to physical food and other material needs, His bread also includes spiritual food - His Word. In fact, spiritual bread is even more important than physical food (Matthew 4:4), as it's by the Word of God that we can live out Psalm 127 (which we looked at above). So no matter how busy work may be, do not compromise on time spent in studying His written Word (logos) and soaking in His Spirit in order to receive His living Word (rhema) on a daily basis.

There were two lies that I had believed in from young (as a pre-believer). One was that I had to prove myself in order to be loved. The other was that I must fend for myself so as to survive. These two lies led to a fear of failure in me.

Over the years, I had already cast out these two lies and replaced them with God’s truth that He loves me regardless of what I do/don't do/achieve/don't achieve, and that He will provide for me. I had also overcome the fear of failure for myself.

However, the Holy Spirit showed me that I had subconsciously imposed this fear of failure on my children. On the surface I kept telling them that they are loved and valued despite their results, and that God will provide the right school and course for them (provided they pass). Yet deep down I still hung on to the fear that if they failed, they might not be able to make a living or even be able to do what God wants them to do.

So when we started praying together after our sharing, I repented before God and sought the children's forgiveness for passing on this fear to them. And I assured them that it'll be ok even if they fail, as long as they have tried their best, for God will surely provide a way for them to go because He loves them unconditionally and our Father only has the best in store for His children (Jeremiah 29:11)!

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