Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 4 of the Lord’s Prayer Series “Give Us Today Our Daily Bread” (LISTEN HERE).
Give us today… a godly family, … loyal friends and good neighbors.
This excerpt from Martin Luther’s explanation of the Fourth Petition again broadens our prayer from just the food we ask God to provide on a daily basis. We realize every blessing that fills our days is a gift from our gracious heavenly Father and an answer to this short petition.
Our family is by no means perfect, but I am extremely thankful that the Lord has filled the hearts in our home and in our extended family. There are many temptations for families today. The ways of the world, the pursuit of career and wealth, the entertainment and social influences…for the most part…are a tug away from our relationship with the Lord. Other petitions touch on the temptations and evil around us, but including a godly family as a daily blessing for which we pray recognizes that doing life God’s way and together as a family brings daily blessings, both physical and spiritual. The situation isn’t the same, but the challenge from the Lord through Joshua is this, “14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15).
Lord, give us today a godly family.
Friends are a blessing. With a bit of transparency, it has been hard to have lasting friendships as a pastor. While as a pastor you can see people outside the church (although admittedly that can be tough too), it is hard for people to engage with you outside the role of pastor. So when the role of pastor is gone (move away, leave the church, etc.) the role of friend is gone too. People you invest hours of time change addresses and change friends. Sure they may pop up on social media, but the relationship isn’t as deep. Friends are a blessing to our day. Individuals who are there to share the joys and sorrows, the highpoints and the low points. King Solomon realized the blessing of loyal friends:
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Lord, give us today loyal friends.
“Do you have a couple eggs?” “Would you like some cucumbers?” “Can you pull in the trash bins from the street?” “We will be gone on vacation. Can you watch the house for us and water the plants?”
Having a neighbor or two to whom you can address these questions and ask for help is a true blessing. We know many of our neighbors and individually and collectively they make our days brighter. We know they are there if we need something and vice versa. We don’t have to worry about loud parties, drug deals, or nefarious activity. We have good neighbors. They are welcome in our home and we in theirs…one we even have a set of keys! Again King Solomon reflects on the blessing of neighbors and the opportunity to be a blessing to them:
Proverbs 3:29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.
Proverbs 14:21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.
Proverbs 25:17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house— too much of you, and they will hate you.
Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you— better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.
Lord, give us today good neighbors.
And when he answers your prayer for daily bread also with a godly family, loyal friends and good neighbors, remember to give thanks…often.
Apply: When is the last time you’ve thanked your neighbors for being good neighbors? Maybe when you see them next, let them know you are grateful for them and the blessing they are to you!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving me a godly family, loyal friends and good neighbors. Each of them fill my days with blessings! AMEN.