Jump Start # 1980
NOTE: I’d like to invite all of our Jump Start readers to check out our new welcome video. It’s less than 2.5 minutes. You can view it at www.charlestownroad.org
Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”
It is now Thanksgiving week. A busy week. Some will be traveling. Some will be getting the house ready for company. Menus are being thought out. Food is being purchased. It’s a fun time for family and memories. And as we gather around the dinner table, with a feast before our eyes, we will bow our heads and give thanks to the Lord above. We will ask the Lord to bless the food. We will thank the Lord for the year and his abundant goodness upon us.
In some homes, a chair will be empty this year. In some homes, some family members will not come. The pain and sorrow of a troubled world doesn’t escape the moments of Thanksgiving.
Our verse today, taken from an Jesus’ illustration on how to pray, reminds us of God’s connection to everyday and even common things such as our food. The contrast between the first century world and ours today is very great. Those first listeners of Jesus understood the gathering of the daily bread. It is still this way in many places in the world today. Women went to the market every day. They would gather the food that they needed for that day. The next day, they would return again. Going to the market place became not just a necessity of life, but it was a gathering socially. It was their Facebook world.
Today, we buy groceries for a week or longer. Our pantries are full. Our frigs and freezers and stockpiled. Our daily bread has been purchased days ago. This removes some of the thought behind the daily bread aspect of this prayer. But we still eat. Every day we eat. We eat well. We have so many choices as to what we want to eat. If we don’t like what we find at home, we get in the car and go out to eat. There are places that are open all night. And, if we don’t have any money in our wallet, we can and often do, pull out the charge card and order what we want. There is little that stops us from eating. It is so easy to find food today. And while we have homeless among us in this country, there are many shelters that provide food for them on a daily basis.
It is easy to loose that connection between the simple things like our food and God. City life has removed most of us from the farm life. A mother asked her little boy, ‘Where does milk come from?’ His answer, ‘from a carton from the store.’ The cow is forgotten. The farmer is forgotten. The God is forgotten. Convenience makes it easy for us to become disconnected from God.
I want us to think about the Lord’s words, “This day.” Give us this day, our daily bread. The Lord didn’t tell the disciples to pray for “this month’s bread.” It was not, “this year’s bread.” It was this day. This day.
There are things God has done for you THIS DAY.
First, He has given you this day. Each day is a gift. Each day is a blessing from the Lord. There are some who do not have this day. Their last day was yesterday. Today, they are on the other side of life. But we have today. This day. It’s easy to believe and assume, that we’ll have another day tomorrow, but that’s not promised nor guaranteed. We have this day. We need to make this day the best that we can.
God has given us opportunities this day. Every day is packed with choices. Some do not mean much and will be forgotten by the end of the day. Which cereal to eat? What socks to wear? Those choices really will not shape my day and within a few more days will most likely be forgotten. But there are other choices. Which words I choose to say. What attitude I choose to have. What I do with this day. Those choices can bring glory to God or they can take me down a dark road of sin and trouble. Opportunities today.
This day, I can thank the Lord. I can reflect, remember and express how I feel about the Lord, to the Lord. I can thank the Lord for my family. I can thank the Lord for health. I can thank the Lord for forgiveness. I can thank the Lord for loving me. There are so many things that the Lord has done and this day can be one in which I tell the Lord, “Thank you.” I don’t need a national holiday to remind me to be thankful.
This day, I can use to help someone else. There are always those who need encouraging. There are always those who would love to receive a note in the mail from you. There are those whose day would be made better to hear your voice on the phone. Look around at work. There are those that you can encourage. Think about those in the congregation. We live in times in which people are in love with themselves. They want to think and talk about themselves. They want to only do what they want to do. God’s people are different. Lifting the heart of someone else is part of our fellowship. Refreshing the someone’s spirit and being God’s hands and feet is an amazing thing you can do THIS DAY.
This day I can begin a journey closer to the Lord. I don’t need to wait until New Year’s to make resolutions. See changes that need to be made, start. Start THIS DAY. Start reading your Bible more. Start softening the tone of your voice THIS DAY. Start being more thankful THIS DAY. A new you can begin THIS DAY.
God has been good to us, even on THIS DAY. Show it by expressing it in Thanksgiving to Him. Show it by making the right choices today.