March 11, 2011

March 11: Eating bread

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By Sarah Rody, a senior mathematics major from Sterling, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
I have recently started to take the time to bake my own bread, and there are few things I like more than the feel of the bread dough as I knead it, or the smell of the hot fresh bread as it comes out of the oven. I love eating bread, and that’s even when I’ve had plenty to eat for the last 40 days. Bread is a wonderful thing. Is it so awful to want to eat bread?

We’ve been studying the Old Testament in Sunday School and looking at the themes of God’s protection and provision. In the escape from Egypt and the journey through the desert, God protected and provided for the Israelites time and time again. All they had to do was be still and trust. When the Israelites had nothing to eat God provided manna for them, but if they tried to save some for the next day, taking matters into their own hands, it became spoiled.

When the devil tempts Jesus, the devil is asking Jesus to twist this relationship of God’s provision, by telling Jesus to turn stone into bread, and God’s protection, by telling Jesus to throw himself off of the pinnacle of the temple. Jesus is being tempted to take control of God’s protection and provision rather than to be still and trust in God.

So no, bread is not an awful thing to want. We just need to remember to be still, and accept things on God’s terms rather than our own.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” 11Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

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Comments (10)

  1. how often to twist things around and put our trust in self or the world rather than God. Very thought provoking devotion. Thank you

    Karen March 11, 2011 |
  2. Thank you for a timely devotion!

    Doreen March 11, 2011 |
  3. This is a great passage. Often times, we are led astray by earthly things that we believe define us as individuals. We so commonly forget that if we trust in the Lord, He will provide for us. This passage reminds us of how much we should trust in the Lord, no matter how tough life is. He will never give us more than we can handle but we must also be willing to help ourselves and not expect God to do all of the work.

    Lizzy March 11, 2011 |
  4. Thanks Sarah. I too love making bread. I have used the kneading time to pray for others and lift them up to God. Kneading time is my quiet time with God. I then give a loaf away to someone and let them know I was thinking of them.

    Marcia March 11, 2011 |
  5. The devil is still using the same strategy on me today. He knows my weakness and my need to be in control of any given situation. I need to remember to serve God only and be still and trust. Thank you for your insight.

    Betty March 11, 2011 |
  6. Thank you, Sarah, for this devotion. It is good reminder as we continue through this Lenten season. God wants our all. May we see the abundance that flows from giving all to our Lord.

    Thank you, Goshen, for once again providing these Lenten Devotions.

    Harley March 11, 2011 |
  7. I need to use Gods direction each day not my own desires! Thank you for reminding me!!!

    Bob March 11, 2011 |
  8. Sarah, thanks for sharing. It is good to be reminded during this Holy Season to wait for God’s timing!

    Rachel Kauffman March 11, 2011 |
  9. Yea, Sarah! Indeed baking bread is a satisfying thing, and your observation about what is wrong with wanting it on our own terms is right on. I’m planning to quote you; well said.

    Elaine Kauffman March 11, 2011 |
  10. Thank you for the helpful commentary!

    Jon Byler March 13, 2011 |