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Pastor Todd Nelson, New Ulm, MN, sent in the following devotion shared by Maxine Remme at a recent Stewardship Board meeting presen
Some times when I pray give us this day our daily bread - I think in terms of bread - the following verses have given me a new way to look at the needs we have and a new way to pray these words.
Mark 8:21 "Then he (Jesus) said to them, 'Do you not yet understand?'"
Prior to this verse the disciples had been complaining because they had forgotten to bring bread in the boat and they only had one loaf. Jesus warned them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod and reminded them of their recent gathering when the loaves had fed 4,000. He admonishes them and asks them if they do not remember, do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear and so on. But in verse 21 he simply says, "do you not yet understand?"
Do we allow anxiety or fear to keep us from trusting in God's provision for our life?
The disciples worried because they forgot to bring bread for their trip. And that was right after Jesus had miraculously fed four thousand people. How easy it is to forget what God has already done for us and to doubt what he promises to do as well. Jesus cautions the disciples to avoid the way of the Pharisees and of Herod who sought their own counsels rather than the will of God.
As the disciples continued to worry about their lack of bread, Jesus scolded them for their lack of trust in God. Do you not yet understand?
It's easy to get preoccupied with the problems and needs of the present moment and forget the most important reality of all---God's abiding presence with us and his abundant provision for our lives as well.
Rather than throw up roadblocks to God's will in our own lives and the life of our congregation we need to pray with joyful confidence, "Father, give us this day our daily bread." In other words we know that whatever our needs he will provide what is necessary...he will provide us with the loaves and fish to accomplish the task at hand.
We need to open our eyes and ears and remember. We need to understand.
Let us pray:
Lord, you alone can sustain us with your life-giving Word and Spirit. Give us the joy and strength to serve you always and to help us to turn away from the worry of not having enough bread. But let us remember with joy, that you will provide our needs...as we pray with confidence - Father, give us this day our daily bread. We thank you for the opportunity to serve you and remind us, Heavenly Father, that you will and do provide for us what we need. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
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