Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Last Sunday we continued our Everyday Faith segment with Adam sharing a bit of his story. Both the recorded and live version were very helpful and it's share it with you here if you missed it or simply want to read it again. Be sure to get in touch with email@example.com if you feel like you have a story you'd like to share. Thanks.
"This morning, we are exploring the theme of daily bread - and it’s been a theme of particular relevance to me over the last few years. Many of us will know, and will have recited countless times, the Lord’s prayer - and part of that is a petition to God to ‘give us this day our daily bread’. Bread is a helpful picture in the Bible and for us today as believers. Bread, in and of itself, is and has been for thousands of years a dietary staple across the world, a basic food to sustain the body. Jesus said in His word that He is, among other things, the ‘bread of life’, and by saying this, he is saying that above everything else, it is Jesus that we need. For years, and through studying a theology degree, I knew this as head knowledge but struggled to put it into action. I knew that having a daily time of reading my Bible and praying should be the foundation of my ministry and of my life, but never seemed to be able to consistently achieve this. Many of you will remember Ian’s picture from a couple of weeks ago about how we so often put God in the box, then take Him out when it suits us - and I was living a little bit like that, taking God out of the box when times were easy and my life wasn’t busy, giving daily time to minister to the Lord and to read His word, but when my schedule got busy, time with God got squeezed out, and God went back into the box. And my life suffered. As believers, our success is based on our relationship with God, and without that consistency of communion with Him, that relationship is going to struggle. Jesus himself had to have those times where he went off, on his own, to meet with His Father. I remember one time when I had become complacent with my daily time, out of nowhere, having a real sense of the Lord asking me “why are you starving yourself?”. Daily time with the Lord isn’t meant to be an added bonus of our walk - it’s our daily bread. It’s taken me until shortly after lockdown to begin to realise that I was romanticising this daily time - that I was happy to put the time in when it suited me, when it wasn’t too early in the morning, when it didn’t cost me a lot, but I wasn’t willing to bring a sacrifice, a costly offering. Psalm chapter 5 verse 3 says ‘O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.’ Waking up 15 or 20 minutes earlier than normal to read the Bible may seem like a trivial thing, but it’s a sacrifice, and we know from Jesus’ life and death that the most pure form of love is demonstrated in sacrifice. I had to choose what was more important to me, or I could say it like this: What do I love more, sleep or God? Forgive me for being overly simplistic about it but it’s so easy for us to prioritise other things above God, and that probably means, at least in those moments, you are preferring or loving those things more than God. You may not find that the mornings work for you - I certainly felt like that for years, but I believe that there’s something so precious and important about giving God the first part of the day, because you’re going to struggle to live fruitfully throughout the day if you start the day off in your own strength instead of his. There’s something really important that Johnny says that I think will stick with me for the rest of my life - Godly consistency leads to fruitfulness. For me, I’m at the stage where my daily time with God has become a discipline, a routine. I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is open up my Bible app, pray and read. At the start it was hard and there are some mornings where it’s difficult, but I feel like as I continue in consistency, the blessing of this time is increasing, and it’s becoming a joy. Can I challenge us this morning, even as I have been challenged: Can we prioritise time with God in our daily routines?"