"When you pray, say: '... Give us each day our daily bread.'" Luke 11:2-3
The material gifts of God are the means by which we live and love. They are useful and desirable; we cannot live without them. Yet these things are only the provisions for living, not life itself. They are only the means, not the end. They are necessary tools for a job, not the job itself.
Life consists not in an abundance of things, but in an abundance of relationships. We are our brother's keeper. God gives us things to support us in our service to one another. Our primary goal in life is to love people, not gather things.
How easy it is to confuse the means of living with the meaning of life! We can become so busy storing up things for tomorrows that may never come that we have no time today for the needs of people. We can be too busy to listen to our children, too busy to see the needs of our family and friends, and too busy to serve our neighbors. We can be so busy collecting the provisions for living that we have little time left for the main business of life.
So Jesus wisely prompts us to narrow our concern over provisions to the needs of this day and to pray, "Give us today our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). Keep the emphasis where it belongs. "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness." Trust that "all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).
PRAYER: Good Lord, keep us from mistaking the provisions of life for life itself; for Jesus' sake. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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