by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Matthew 6:9-13
I. When God created man, he was placed in a garden that provided his needs - Genesis 2:8-9
A. But man sinned and was driven from the Garden - Genesis 3:17-19
B. The basics of sustenance was no longer provided. It had to be worked for - II Thessalonians 3:7-12
II. Despite the fact that we must work, we realize that ultimately God is providing for us
A. The farmer sows the field, but it is God who causes the plants to grow and produce - I Corinthians 3:7
1. Whatever we make is formed from the things that God created for us to use
2. And it is God who supplies the things we cannot supply - Isaiah 55:10
B. My own body I use to work, but God provided that body - Psalms 139:13-14
C. Ultimately, God does far more to provide for us than we do
1. It is illustrated by God providing the Israelites with manna in the wilderness. The people had to gather the manna, but their work was minimal compared to what God provided them.
2. Are you appreciative? - Psalms 107:8-9
III. But not bread alone
A. When Jesus was being tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread, he told Satan that men cannot live by bread alone - Matthew 4:4
1. What really allows men to live is God’s word
2. Thus, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus blessed those who hunger and thirst for righteousness - Matthew 5:6
B. It is the words Jesus taught that are spirit and life - John 6:63
C. That is the problem with bread. You eat it because you are hungry.
1. You can stuff yourself full, but eventually you are going to get hungry again
2. Jesus offers true bread that completely satisfies - John 6:35
3. People constantly look for something to fill the void in their lives, but it never is enough.
4. The gospel is satisfying. When we partake of the bread of life, our spiritual needs are met and we never hunger again for something more - Philippians 4:19
D. People need food in order to live, but even with amble food, people eventually die
1. Bread alone won’t keep you alive
2. Thus, Jesus offers true bread - John 6:48-51
a. By this Jesus is saying that he is the way to gain eternal life
E. We enjoy meals in the company of others
1. But Jesus offers fellowship beyond anything found on earth - John 6:56
2. When we obey the gospel, we are in Christ - Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 3:26
3. The apostles teachings bring us into fellowship with God - I John 1:3
IV. Put your effort in what lasts
A. Leave bread unused and eventually becomes stale and no longer fit to eat
B. We should labor for the food that doesn’t have an expiration date - John 6:27
C. The teachings of Jesus never expire. They last to all eternity.
D. Bread is sold, but Jesus freely gives us teachings that brings eternal life. But there is only one source - John 14:6
1. There is no other revelation that can result in eternity in heaven
2. The Book of Mormon, Science and Health with Key to the Scripture, the Koran, the Rig-Verdas, the Bhagavad Gita, and every other work of man fails because they are not true food for the soul.
V. How do you put your hands on the bread of life?
A. You have to listen to Jesus’ teachings - John 6:45
B. It comes by faith - John 6:40,47
C. It is not about accepting portions of Jesus’ teachings, we have to fully partake - John 6:53-55
1. The allusion is to the peace offerings in the Old Law
2. These were offered up to God, but then had to be completely eaten by those offering the sacrifice - Leviticus 22:29-30
3. Jesus offered himself up as a peace offering to reconcile men to God - Colossians 1:20
4. But we must fully partake - Galatians 2:20
D. Are you ready to fully partake of the teachings of Christ?