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Why Daily Bread Is Better

I know God provides, hears my prayers, is powerful to act, gives wisdom and strength, and loves me. I know he gives me the “bread” I need. I trust his baking skills. His loaves are good.

But I don’t like daily bread because I’m impatient. I want all my long-term needs supplied now. I want a year’s supply. Or at the very least, a week’s worth.

The challenges I face overwhelm me. There are areas of my life where I’m not sure I have what it takes. Decisions I’m not sure I have the wisdom for. Leadership I’m not sure I have the gifts for. Fights I’m not sure I have the courage for. Love I’m not sure I have the endurance for.

I want God to take care of all these desires, needs, and fears right now. To lay out every step of the plan for the year. To immediately give some surge of sanctification that fixes all my faults. To offer an upfront payment of provision that lets me know this year, and the next five, will go well.

I don’t want daily installments. I want the whole delivery of his bread to be unloaded from the truck so I can feel secure, ready, and equipped for life now. But in Luke 11, that’s not how Jesus invites us to come. Jesus teaches us to ask for daily bread. He wants us to trust his care and ask for what we need each day. No stockpiling, storing, or saving up necessary.

Come to Your Loving Father

In Luke 11, the disciples observe Jesus praying, and they ask him to teach them to pray. Jesus then gives them (and us) a model for how to relate to God. The prayer begins with “Father.” The entire prayer is rooted in a loving, personal, and covenanted commitment to us from God. Because God is our Father, we can be assured he’s good. In all our struggles, needs, and uncertainties, we can trust him.

I want the whole delivery of his bread to be unloaded from the truck so I can feel secure, ready, and equipped for life now.

In verse 3, at the heart of his model prayer, Jesus tells the disciples to ask, “Give us each day our daily bread.” Then after the prayer, he tells a story about bread (vv. 5–13) to drive the point home: if a man bothers his friend for loaves of bread in the middle of the night, that friend will give the bread to him. Jesus says that if that’s true on a human level, how much more will God lovingly provide for his children? If even evil human fathers know how to give good gifts to their children, won’t our “heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (v. 13)?

Once again, Jesus reminds us who we’re praying to. Our loving Father will ultimately take care of all our needs. He’ll give us both the physical provision we need for this life and the greater spiritual provision we need in the Spirit.

Come Every Day

God wants us to trust his loving care, and he wants us to trust him daily. He assures us he’ll provide, empower, equip, sanctify, work all for our good, and give us everything we need for life and godliness. But this doesn’t come all at once.

As Jeremiah Burroughs wrote,

Perhaps God sees it is better for you to live in a continual dependence upon him, and not to know what condition shall be on the morrow, than for you to have a more settled condition in respect of the comforts of the creature. . . . Christ does not teach you to pray, “Lord, give me enough that will serve me for two or three years,” but, “this day our daily bread,” to teach us we must live upon God in a dependent condition every day.

What does this look like practically? It means offering up simple prayers for his care moment by moment:

God, I feel anxious about the decisions before me today. Help me remember you’re in control.
Father, I feel tired and distracted. Empower me with your energy.
God, help me to ask my kids good questions and to be intentional with our conversations after school today.
Lord, as I go into this meeting, please help me to be an encouragement.
God, give me patience as I drive through this traffic.
Father, you say to ask you for wisdom. As I work on this project, guide my mind and heart.

God Is Our Bread

Moment by moment, God answers. This is his daily bread. God shows us the next step, the next right thing to do. He gives us what we need for each conversation, for each moment of suffering, for each anxious thought, for each difficulty that feels overwhelming and beyond what we can bear.

God wants us to trust his loving care, and he wants us to trust him daily.

He’s an artisan baker who crafts fresh loaves each day, not a mere delivery truck driver. Our Father knows what we need better than we do. He gives us better provision than a stockpile. He gives it daily so we’ll keep coming back to him. After all, he’s the best gift.

No one wants week-old bread. It tastes best when it’s hot out of the oven with a nice crunchy crust. In the same way, God gives us what’s best daily: the moment-by-moment opportunity to taste and see he is good (Ps. 34:8).

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