The Disciple’s Prayer – Give Us

Jesus is instructing His disciples on how to pray in Matthew 6.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread….

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

The daily bread asked for here is daily spiritual sustenance.  It is not food and drink.  After instructing His disciples on how to pray, the Lord says the following within the same context of Matthew 6.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek): for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (food, drink & raiment) shall be added unto you.                 Matthew 6:25-33

So, where do we get our spiritual sustenance, our daily bread?

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.      Jeremiah 15:16

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

A Man’s Love for His Dog

 I remember as a fifth grader crying over Mitsy when she died.  Mitsy was a three-legged black cocker spaniel who was my play-mate and rabbit hunting companion.  I was a child then, but I have come to know men who have also wept over their dead or dying dogs. 

I can remember sitting in the snow as a grown man, weeping beside Lady’s doghouse, with my hand on her still warm but dying body.  Lady was our family dog.  She was also my dog.  She was an extremely intelligent, beautiful, black Labrador who was devoted to me.  I picked her from the litter of pups and it seemed as if she never forgot that.  When she died, it broke my heart.

I weep easily, but I think most men don’t.  I have often said that when God squeezes my heart, tears come out of my eyes.  Every good gift comes down from above, including the faithful companion that a dog can be.

In our culture, seeing a weeping man may be startling or even embarrassing to many.  So, why do grown men cry over their dying dogs when nothing else on earth seems to move them?  Why will a stoic, unemotional, unmovable man allow the death of his dog to make him so vulnerable?

I think it is the unconditional love, faithfulness and loyalty that a man finds in this four-legged creature known as man’s best friend.  Everyone craves this kind of love, but very few find it.  When a man discovers unconditional love in his temporary relationship with his dog, a man’s heart tends to break when it ends.

Someone reading this right now is probably asking; Surely the writer is not going to compare God’s love to a dog’s love!?  No, there is no comparison.  God’s love is unfathomable, and it is permanent for those who trust Christ as their only hope of salvation.

We might however, consider comparing our love for God to a dog’s love for his master.  Makes us look bad, doesn’t it?

 If ye love me, keep my commandments.  John 14:15

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…


How does a husband submit to his wife when he is supposed to be in a position of spiritual leadership?  The answer to that question is simply by loving her according to the Scripture. 

Ephesians chapter five says that a husband is to love his wife: 1) As Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it; 2) As he loves his own body; 3) As he loves himself. 

Wow!  Three word pictures for the husband and only one word picture for the wife.  You know what they say; a picture is worth a thousand words.  Maybe this explains why our wives have the capacity for so many words.  Perhaps it just takes more words to get through to us.

Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.  What does that look like?  Probably the best way to see it is to just list the characteristics of Christ’s love for the church and then ask oneself if these are the characteristics of my love for my wife.

Here are a few of those characteristics that were listed by an adult Sunday School class I taught many years ago in southeastern USA:

Sacrificial love – Christ laid aside the use of His attributes, left heaven, made Himself of no reputation and laid down His life for the church.  When a man takes a wife, his priorities should change.

Unchanging love – He chose the church and He loved her first.  He loves even when that love is not returned.  He will never fall out of that love.  Christ abideth faithful.

Communicating love – God gave the church His written Word.  He listens to our prayers and answers them.  He guides us by His Holy Spirit and He fellowships with believers throughout the day.

Nourishing love – He is always available to us.  He is always ready to strengthen and enable us.  He is the God of all comfort to us.  He equips us and grows us into His image.

Forgiving love – He washes us and cleanses us as we confess our sins to Him.  His mercies are new every morning.

Chastening love – He corrects and chastens His own.  He teaches  and admonishes us by His Spirit and through His Word.  Whom the Lord loveth, He chastens.

Shepherding love – He leads us and directs those that are His throughout life.

Secure love – Nothing can come between us and the love of God.  No man can pluck them that are His out of His hand.  Christians are God’s children and nothing will change that.

Here are some characteristics of a man’s love for his own body.  He takes care of his body in the following manner:

A man likes his body to be well fed.  A wife and mother raising children will often neglect herself by taking care of everyone else’s needs first.  A loving husband will see that her needs are met.

A man likes for his body to be well rested.  A wife and mother raising children will often fail to get needed rest.  A loving husband will allow her to rest by taking over or sharing her duties when necessary.

A man likes for his body to be well groomed and clean.  A wife and mother raising children may not have time to give herself physical attention.  A loving husband will make sure that she has time.

A man likes for his body to be well dressed even if its only for comfort.  A wife and mother raising children may very well spend any funds she has on the needs of her family.  A loving husband will see that she has the resources and time to dress herself comfortably, attractively, and adequately.

A man likes for his body to be secure, protected and not unduly stressed.  A wife and mother raising children may live in a house that does not offer security, protection and freedom from stress.  A loving husband will see that the place where she spends the bulk of her time is functionable, comfortable, convenient and secure for her.

Here are some characteristics of a man’s love for himself:

Fulfillment – Purpose and achievement.  A wife needs to see gratitude for the oft perceived as menial tasks performed daily that keep the household and family on track.  A husband’s career goals may need to be put on hold for the good of the family.

Respect – Accepted for who he is and what he does.  A wife needs to be accepted for who she is and what she does.  The husband should teach and require his children  to respect their mother.  The husband should be the model of respect for his wife to his children.

Recognition – Value placed upon his role as a provider.  A wife and mother needs value placed upon her, for her many roles and responsibilities.

Security – A faithful wife, paid bills, and a plan for the future.  A wife needs a faithful husband.  She needs a husband in whose priorities, love, wisdom and provision she can trust.

I recall the words of a pastor from years gone by who said; If a wife knows her husband loves her, I believe she would live with him in a shack!  I wouldn’t put her in a shack to find out.  It would be wiser to just love her as instructed.

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

Note: These lists are not intended to be exhaustive.  You should make your own lists and keep them nearby for periodic review.

If you are an unbeliever, you will not be able to have biblical love for your wife or husband.  This Spirit filled submission to one another is only possible for believers, because it is supernatural or God given.  This is just another reason why a Christian should marry only in the faith, to one who is trusting Jesus Christ as his/her only hope of salvation.   An unbeliever cannot love you in this God given way.   A prospective mate’s claim to be a Christian should not be taken at face value.  There should be evidence.  The manifestation and observation of evidence should take time in order to be credible evidence.

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

The Disciples Prayer – Thy Will Be Done

Jesus is instructing His disciples on how to pray in Matthew 6.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

What is God’s will?  Let’s consider the obvious from Scripture.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

If you are not a Christian, if you have not repented and trusted Christ, then you are not in God’s will.  What does it mean to repent?  To repent means to change one’s mind; to change one’s mind about your sin (sin separates one from God); to change one’s mind about who Jesus is (He is God); to change one’s mind about what He did for you (He died in your place); to believe in His death, burial and resurrection (not yourself or the church); to change one’s mind about trying to earn salvation (it is a gift); to change one’s mind about who to trust for salvation (trust Jesus Christ and His merit alone).  Changing one’s mind results in a change of direction.

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain (to keep oneself) from fornication* (illicit sexual intercourse, including adultery): That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel (exercise self-control) in sanctification (separation unto God through Christ as a result of obedience to His word) and honour (a valuing); Not in the lust (desire in an evil way) of concupiscence (to set one’s heart upon), even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother (stir up a desire in another that cannot be fulfilled biblically) in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such.                             I Thessalonians 4:3-6

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:18

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: I Peter 2:11-15

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.          Romans 12:1-2

Jesus speaking: For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. Mark 3:35

Note: When we pray the disciple’s prayer,…in earth as it is in heaven, we are asking for the salvation of the lost on earth (there are no unbelievers in heaven), we are asking for purity or the righteousness of Christ (nothing sinful or defiled shall enter heaven), and we are expressing thanksgiving for whatever happens on earth (there are no  ungrateful ones in heaven).

*Fornication as a general term includes all sexual immorality.

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…