September 18, 2012
Good morning. This is a daily bread workshop. We will spend some time talking about the why and how of daily bread. And then we will spend time doing daily bread.
Let me ask: “Did you do daily bread today?” “How about yesterday?” “Do you do it daily?” “If no, then, why not?”
Today, let’s talk about “Why”. Why do daily bread?
For the sake of this workshop today, “doing daily bread” means to daily meaningfully meditate on the word of God in the Bible. Right now, let’s set aside testimony writing, getting up very early, meetings, etc, and think about the fundamentals of this exercise called daily bread.
“Do I need to do daily bread?” “Do I need this meditation in the word of God every day?”
Don’t I feed on the Sunday message? How about if I have a group Bible study during the week? And what if I do those things and also meet with students for 1:1 bible studies?
Let’s think about the name: Daily Bread. (UBF is not the only church to use the name Daily Bread to describe this kind of daily personal meditation time in the word of God.)
It comes from Matthew 6:11. Jesus told his disciples, “This, then, is how you should pray...” And among the prayer topics given is, “Give us today our daily bread.” Jesus taught us to pray for bread daily.
Bread =?= the word of God
Jesus said many things about bread. Let’s think about the word “bread”.
Let’s look at Matthew 4:1-4.
 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Jesus did not regard bread as a must-have every day. In fact, he went 40 days and 40 nights without eating any bread. He was hungry. When he was tempted, he did not say, “You’re right! I should make bread, because I need bread every day!” Rather, he rejected the advice (the temptation) to make bread for himself! Why did he do that? He said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
I know that if you did not eat for 1 day or even 3 days, you would not die or even cause harm to your body. But we eat every day. We eat multiple times every day. You will eat well at this conference. We eat because we enjoy. But we also eat because we need it. But have you ever said, “I ate on Sunday, I don’t need to eat today,” or, “I ate that one meal with a group, I’m good until next week”?
To live, we need bread. Jesus’ hungry body and your hungry body proves it. But his victory over the devil proves that man does not live on bread “alone”.
This shows us the first way we need to view the word of God: as something we need to live on. We ought to consider the word of God as sustaining our life. It is something we need to live on.
This is such an important way of thinking about the word of God and your life, that God trained the Israelites for 40 years in the desert in a very specific way. He gave them bread from heaven every day. The meaning is described in Deuteronomy 8:1-3.
 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers.  Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
We see that Jesus quoted this passage. It does not apply only to Old Testament times. Jesus had answered the devil with the word of God. He applied it to himself.
We notice in verse 1 he says to follow every command...so that you may live.
In verse 2 he emphasizes again that the point was keeping his commands.
Then in verse 3 he says the meaning plainly. He did not feed them with regular bread from the ground, but with manna to teach them man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
How did they get manna? They had to carefully follow God’s commands. He very specific instructions for getting manna. They had to go out early in the morning while the dew was still out. They could not gather more than one day’s worth. If they failed to go out at the proper time, there would be no bread for them. If they gathered more than one day’s worth, it would get moldy and they couldn’t eat it. They literally lived by obeying his commands. He did this every morning, 6 days a week, for 40 years.
This is why it says, “every word”. There is no binge eating, where you eat only once a week, and then you only eat the food(s) that you like. We also cannot treat the word of God like binge eating. We will become very unhealthy. We cannot live. We need “every word”. As much as you think you need to eat your meals every day, you need every word of God.
This is how God designed man’s life in the beginning. In Genesis 2, we see one element of the environment that God made for man that would bring life or death: the word of God. Genesis 2:16-17 says,
 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
If man did not know and keep God’s word, he would die. But he if he knew and kept it, he would live. It was his life. Did Adam do daily bread? No. His wife did not even know the word of God correctly and she ended up disobeying. And then Adam listened to her instead of to God. And he brought death into the world.
(2) Work for the workman
There is much more we can say here. But let’s think about the importance of daily bread in view of the passages of this Bible conference. We came here to learn about doing our best as workman. 2 Timothy says that the workman is a worker handling the word of God. This involves, testifying, teaching, training, preaching, and so on. Our work revolves around handling the word of God. To do the work well, we have to know the word of God very well.
This tells us that the word of God is not just for us, for today. It is for us and for others. It is for today and tomorrow. In thinking about Life and Work, the word of God is our supply from God.
-It equips us trains and equips us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
-It is God speaking to us. Another verse from our conference says that Scripture makes us wise for salvation. It is related to our life and work.
2 Timothy 3:15, “...and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
-It gives us treasures to bring out later. Matthew 13:52. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” When we have the word of God, we can bring out treasures at the right time to help us and others.
-It gives guidance and direction. Psalm 119:9. How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
Bind them upon your heart forever;
fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
For these commands are a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and the corrections of discipline
are the way to life,
Look at this picture of a loaf of bread. It looks delicious. But what would happen if you tried to eat it all at once? You couldn’t. You would choke on it. Instead, we slice up bread so we can eat it and enjoy it.
In the same way, I don’t think you could take in the whole Bible at once, or even in one day. We need to take it in small portions, like slices of bread.
However, is “daily” necessary?
If “daily” means only once a day, then no, it is not necessary for it is not enough!
Let’s consider Psalm 1:1-3.
 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Such a blessed person finds blessing from delighting in God’s word and meditating on it day and night. Maybe we should do daily bread twice a day, in the morning and at night.
This advice was also given by God to Joshua. Look at Joshua 1:8
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
The Bible’s advice on meditating on the word of God is that it is a daily activity.
Look at Deuteronomy 6:7
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
->Day and night.
Interestingly, Isaac was out doing daily bread right before he got married to Rebekah.
 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev.  He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.  Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel  and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
We don’t usually think about Isaac doing anything for his marriage. We credit Abraham, Abraham’s servant, and Rebekah for their faith and action. But Isaac did something very important. He did daily bread! He was ready to establish the family as God had provided.
The word of God is the most secure thing in this universe. Consider Matthew 24:35.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
My personal testimony for daily bread every day. Like many, I tried doing daily bread on my own for years. I had good years and not so good years. About two years I was having difficulties with my wife. Rather, she was having troubles with me. My mom gave her the idea that we should see a marriage counselor. This was embarrassing to me. I refused to entertain the idea, especially to see someone who was not even a part of my church life. They could not help us at all. But somehow Matthew 24:35 came to mind. God’s word is secure. So I made a deal with my wife, “Let’s do daily bread together for 1 month. If there is still no change, then let’s go see a marriage counselor as you wish.” She agreed. And we did daily bread together from there. It completely changed our relationship and house environment. We read the passage together and discussed it. Then I would write about it on my own. It was so good. But these days I didn’t and I caused trouble again. I got focusing on my own writing and neglected her. God also helped us to do daily bread with Bible students by email.
Hebrews Daily Bread recently spoke of this as well, saying that all things are sustained by his powerful world (Hebrews 1:3).
Jesus taught daily. Look at Matthew 14:49. “Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts...” He taught daily, and we should listen daily.
We may even confess as Job did, “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12).
Lastly, we have to regard the word of God as important to having life because they testify about Jesus. Jesus said this in John 5:39-40, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
And Jesus said that he himself is real food for life for us to feed on (John 6:55-58).