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Going Deeper Beyond Sunday Week 3

Everyday Dependence

Matthew 6:11 "Give us today our daily bread."
If you would like to extend this over a week, you can easily do one of the points each day in your devotion.  For a printable version of this study, click here.
The "bread" we are asking God for in this verse from The Lord's Prayer represents everything we need for survival.  There are at least four things "bread" represents:

  • The Necessities of Life - God provides whatever your body needs to live.  This doesn't mean we don't need to work for what we have.  Work is part of God's purpose for us.  Even in the wilderness, the manna had to be picked up.  See Psalm 104:25-28, Proverbs 14:23, and Titus 3:14
  • The Word of God - Bread is a symbol for Scripture, as in "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).  See Deuteronomy 8:3 and Proverbs 8:34-36
  • The Church - God's Family - Breaking bread together is a metaphor for the church and a term for fellowship.  See 1 Corinthians 10:16, Acts 2:42, and Acts 2:46
  • The Salvation we have in Jesus - At the Last Supper, Jesus himself chose bread to represent his body, broken for our salvation.  See Luke 22:19

With these forms of provision in mind, how are we to depend on God during times of crisis?  This week, we'll look at three answers. 
Open with a prayer.  This is only a guide - select the points you want to meditate on.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEPEND ON GOD?
1. SEEING GOD AS MY SOURCE FOR ALL MY NEEDS.
According to Matthew 6:11, what does God do with our daily bread?
  • What are the things you need in order to survive?  Can we provide these for ourselves?  How does this affect our view of God?
What will God supply to us, as  promised in Philippians 4:19?
  • Are there things that people think God can't provide?  What are they and why do people think God would not be able to provide for them?
  • What evidence do we have that God can supply us with everything we need?
Based on Matthew 7:11, what can we expect from God, our Father?
  • What provisions might people not want to provide for their children?
  • Think how the sacrifices God has made for us lead us to believe that he will provide for us.
In order to receive these things what must we do, according to James 4:2?
  • What sources do people depend on other than God?
  • Jesus tells us how to ask, seek, and knock.  What prevents us from doing this on a moment by moment basis in our daily lives?  How can we overcome those barriers and learn to seek God regularly?
When we worship God we acknowledge him as the center of our lives.  Take a moment to quietly think about whether God is at the center of your life and if he is the source (...of everything) in your life.  If not, what is your source?  
"God is the source of all life..."  Numbers 16:22
Source of Wisdom (Psalm 36:9)  Happiness (Psalm 43:4)  Strength (Isaiah 48:5)
Patience (Hosea 15:5) Encouragement (Romans 15:5) Hope (Romans 15:13)
Peace (Romans 15:33) Salvation (Hebrews 5:9)
2. TRUSTING HIM FOR TODAY.
How often should we expect the necessities of life to be available, according to Matthew 6:11?

There are four things we should do in Philippians 4:6-8.  What are they?
___________________, ____________________, ______________________, and _________________.
Read Matthew 6:34.  What does Jesus tell us not to do?
  • This is often the hardest command in the Bible for us to follow.  It's been said that to disobey this command is "practical atheism."  Why is that so and what can we do to work on improving our ability to follow this command?
Who is against us, according to Romans 8:32?  What is the condition that makes this so?
  • What can we do to have continual conversation with God throughout our day?
What shall we tell others about God?  See Psalm 71:15
  • What examples do we have in our world of God's goodness?
God will keep whom in perfect peace according to Isaiah 26:31?
  • We are able to think about God and what is good by reading and learning about the Word of God.  Think of a few examples of successful strategies for spending time reading the Bible and focusing on God.


3. I SHARE WHATEVER HE SUPPLIES.
Read 2 Corinthians 9:10-12.  According to these verses, why are we made rich?  What does God expect us to do with what he gives to us?
  • How is a godly response on our part likely to affect those who receive what we share?  What about those who simply see what we do?

Describe the kind of behavior that pleases God, as recorded in Isaiah 58:7-9.  What is God's promise to us when we open our hearts to meet the needs of others?
  • Why do you think it is hard for us to obey this command, especially during difficult times?  What does this say about our ability to trust God?
  • How can we learn to think in terms of "ours" and not "my"?
  • Should we share with others simply to receive what God has promised us?  What does a godly motivation for sharing look like to you?
  • Look back at the end of this passage.  What are five promises from God to those who generously share with others? 

Read Ecclesiastes 11:1.  What does God do for the ones who gives freely to him?
  • Where else in scripture do we read about someone generously sharing what little he had and God multiplying the provision?

How does Proverbs 11:24 contrast the generous heart from the selfish?
  • Think of a time when you have seen this principle in action, either in your own life or someone else's.

Take a few minutes to review how God allows us to be his hands and feet in meeting the daily needs of others.
  • When we function together as a body of Christ, we are essentially a family.  How can we build community with God's family?  Give some examples from your own experience.
  • As Christ followers, God also asks us to be his ministers, caring for the needs of the body.  Explain how God has allowed you to share what he has given you in unleashing compassion, or how you plan to minister to his church in the future. 
  • Beyond our service to the family of God, we have a mission to share his Good News with the lost world around us.  Think of ways you might take his message outside your walls. 

PERSONAL APPLICATION AND COMMITMENT:
Acts 2:46-47 "Daily they continued to meet together and worshiped together in the temple courts.  They also fellowshipped together in their homes with communion and eating together, sharing whatever they had with joyful and generous hearts.  They praised God together and [as a result] the whole city liked them so every day more and more people were being saved, and daily the Lord added to the number of believers in the church (NIV/NLT/CEV)

Times of hardship often present God's people with their greatest opportunity to shine.  In the passage above, we find many of the ways in which the early church became world-famous for their love:
  1. They connected daily.
  2. They worshiped in the Temple Courts.
  3. They fellowshipped in homes and shared communion (Community Groups).
  4. They ate together.
  5. They shared whatever they had generously.
  6. They gained a reputation for love. 
  7. The Result: Every day - DAILY- people were saved and joined the church.

How will our church or your community group resolve to gain a reputation for love and generosity such as he early church was known for?  When we are able to meet back up, will you become a part of this movement?