Wednesday, January 16, 2013 "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:9-11). IDEA: Our heavenly Father may answer our request for daily bread by providing us with a job. PURPOSE: To help listeners realize that God often supplies “daily bread” by allowing us to work for it. Do you think prayer can be a substitute for work? I. Have you ever spent time out of work? What is the experience like? Many people in our society have experienced that in recent years. Do you think they prayed for a job? How? Do you think God might have supplied by providing a lower-paying job? II. A major way God supplies “daily bread” is by providing employment. The whole story of the Bible demonstrates that God gives in a way that enhances and fulfills the personhood of the receiver. In the Garden of Eden, God provided the seed, the soil, and the sunshine, but the man and woman were also given significant roles to play. They were to plant and cultivate what God had given to them. It was in collaboration with God that they were to get their “bread.” Human beings were given gifts they could not have created for themselves, but they were given the opportunity to work to cultivate the garden. God wants us to be persons and not parasites. The apostle Paul writes about this in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15. He had a right to be paid for his ministry, but he chose to work. Why? What do you make of the principle, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” Is it unkind or uncaring? Is there a difference between being unable to find work and being unwilling to work? Could this change the way we regard our jobs? We should look at our work, not as a chore, but as a gift and a way through which God supplies our daily bread.