Monday, July 25, 2011

Sermon Outline: Matthew 6:11

Christ Church of Morgantown
6th Sunday of Trinity
July 24th, 2011
Sermon: The Lord’s Prayer: The Fountain of All Good
Matthew 6:11

(The audio can be found here.)

So far our Lord has led us through the most mighty aspects of our prayer. We have ascended the heights and looked out. What do we see? God name’s should be a great priority in our prayers. We see his mighty Kingdom and we give thanks that we are in it and pray for it to grow through evangelism and discipleship. Finally, we saw that God’s will should be a great priority in our prayers. We saw that are many obstacles to God’s will being done. When we pray, “Thy will be done,” we are praying that these obstacles would be removed. We pray that we would renounce our will and seek that which pleases God.

It is easy after these first three petitions to fall into a trap of thinking that God is so high and mighty that he does not care about our daily existence. His name is so holy that he has no time for us. His Kingdom is so great that we are a but a particle of dust in the great and mighty Kingdom of Heaven. His will so perfect and good that we are mere mortals who cannot compare. This feeling is good. God is Mighty and exalted.

But we run the risk of forgetting he is also our Father. He has drawn near to us. He dwells with us. He cares for us. The next petition Christ gives to us reminds us that God is not just a King, but he is also a Father.

Remember as we move forward that we are not leaving God behind. We are not leaving God’s name and Kingdom and will behind us and now focusing on our needs. We begin with God’s name and kingdom and will and then the requests we make must fit into what we have already prayed.

Example: Give me my daily bread in a way that hallows your name, builds your kingdom and accomplishes your will.


Theological foundations/assumptions for this prayer request. (Prods to prayer.)

Our Father Cares About the Most Mundane Aspects of Our Lives
Nothing was as normal as bread in Israel. It was the staple food.

Bread [is a symbol] for everything necessary for the preservation of this life, like food, a healthy body, good weather, a house, home, wife, children good government and peace. Martin Luther

The early church fathers felt this too mundane and thus interpreted this as referring to the Lord’s Supper. But this surely misses the point, not just of this verse, but of this entire chapter.

Psalm 104
I Peter 5:7

Our Father Cares for Us Continually.
His attention to our lives does not waver and does not grow slack. Day by day he looks down upon us and provides for our needs. His eye never wanders from us.
Illustration: Losing sight of my children.
Illustration: Psalm 139

We may not feel like his care for us is continual. We may feel that he has forgotten us, but that is why God’s Word directs us not our feelings. There is never a moment when God is not overseeing our lives.

Our entire life from beginning to end is dependent upon God.
God alone sustains our lives. Not men, not money, not possessions, nor our bosses, but only God keeps us. This fact is easy to forget because our lives are so easy.

John Calvin: It is indeed the true proof of our faith when we ask nothing but from God, and not only acknowledge him to be the only fountain of all blessings, but feel that his fatherly kindness extends to the smallest matters, so that he does not disdain to take care even of our flesh.

Our prayer life will grow as our dependence upon God grows. If we think we earn things. If we think our bank accounts and health are there because we have earned them. If we think that our next paycheck is dependent upon us then we will not pray.
Illustration: George Mueller

We pray daily because we so easily forget the kindness of God. If Christ told us to pray for our yearly bread, we would forget God. And we do don’t we.

What if God takes away our daily needs, such as food, money, health and home? What if God does not answer this prayer?
Remember your daily necessities are gifts, not rights. You are not owed them. You have no right to them. God can and does take them away.

But why? Why would God remove these most basic necessities? Well, if God takes away one gift from his children he intends on giving them another. God removes something from our lives to give us something better, usually a deeper walk with Him. God never removes things to tear us into pieces. His point is never to destroy.
1. Josh’s bike accident.
2. Job and the Apostle Paul

We pray daily that God would provide for our needs.
This is not a prayer for luxury. It is not a prayer for mansions and cars and big, fat bank accounts. It is a prayer for our daily needs. When we understand who God is then will not fear bringing before him our needs. You should never be ashamed of asking God for things that you need. If Christ tells us to ask for our daily bread then all else is there for the taking. What do you need day by day? Bring it before his throne. He wants to hear and provide for you. He wants to see you depending upon him.
Proverbs 30:7-9
Here is a great difference between our God and the gods of the ancient world.
As your learn to pray do not neglect either aspect. Do not forget the great aspects of the Christian life. Pray big prayers. Teach your children to pray great prayers. But also learn to pray for the normal things of life. God wants us to pray for both.

We daily thank him for his provision.
Americans are notoriously ungrateful. We have so much, so very much. Our homes are outfitted with things the Emperor could not have imagined. Yet we grumble, we complain. Why? We think it is earned or deserved instead of a gift from God. If we are dependent upon God for our daily bread then we are dependent upon him for everything. But we don’t view things that way.

Thanksgiving and gratitude will flow naturally when we know that all things from his hand. He is the fountain of all good.

WLC: Q104: What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A104: In the fourth petition, which is, Give us this day our daily bread,[1] we pray, That of God's free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life,[2] and enjoy his blessing with them.[3]

HC Q: 125. Which is the fourth petition?
A: "Give us this day our daily bread"; that is, be pleased to provide us with all things necessary for the body, that we may thereby acknowledge you to be the only fountain of all good, and that neither our care nor industry, nor even thy gifts, can profit us without thy blessing; and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place it alone in you.

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8