Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 48, 1895

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

Cooranbong, Australia

January 19, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 209.

We assembled in the little sitting room, and after a season of prayer, I read something that I had written on prayer. The petition Christ taught His disciples has a deeper meaning than we have hitherto realized. One point has impressed itself upon my mind: “Give us this day our daily bread.” [Matthew 6:11.] This means more than a request for temporal food. No one could receive temporal food were it not for the One who gave His life for the life of the world, but the words, “Give us this day our daily bread,” refer not only to temporal food, but to the spiritual food which brings everlasting life to the receiver. When we believe and receive Christ’s word, we eat His flesh and drink His blood. 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 1

When tempted by Satan to alleviate His hunger by turning stones into bread, Christ met the temptation with the words, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4.] On one occasion Christ told His disciples, and the multitude that thronged Him, that they did not follow Him because of the miracles He did, but because they did eat of the loaves and were filled. He said to [them], “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, (be not over anxious for temporal food,) but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for him hath God the Father sealed. ... Verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my father giveth you the true bread of heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.” [John 6:26, 27, 32-34.] 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 2

The One then speaking to them had in the wilderness given their fathers angels’ food to eat. O, had they known who was addressing them, how changed would have been their attitude toward Him! 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 3

Jesus said unto them, “I am the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ... This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you ... He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. ... It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [Verses 35, 50, 51, 53, 56, 63.] 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 4

When the human agent believes in Christ as his personal Saviour, he is eating the daily bread which Christ has purchased for him at an infinite cost. As by eating temporal food, the physical system becomes strong, so by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, the spiritual nature is strengthened. God’s Word is spirit and life to all who appropriate it. He who partakes of Christ’s flesh and blood is a partaker of the divine nature. He is a branch of the living vine. As in nature the branch receives the nourishment by its connection with the parent stalk, so the believer receives his life from Christ. A vital, life-giving current flows from his Saviour to him. 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 5

Man fell through disobedience, severing his life from the life of God. Christ stooped to take humanity, that through Him man might gain eternal life. In the guise of humanity, Christ defeated the purposes of the enemy. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] But Satan has interposed between the sinful, human being and the living source of life and power, so that it is impossible for man of himself to appropriate the circulating element of the divine nature. Unless man has a vital connection with God he will pervert every blessing he receives and employ every gracious gift as [a] weapon against the bountiful bestower. It is only as human beings receive Christ that God can bless them. They are elevated and placed on vantage ground. 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 6

Christ stands at the head of humanity as our substitute and surety, to represent God to men; and through His life-giving nature causes a stream of vital and spiritual power to flow earthward. The Sun of Righteousness, He desires to shine into the chambers of the mind, purifying and elevating the soul, cleansing the soul temple, that He may abide therein, and control the affections and emotions, bringing the entire being into conformity to the divine will. “Ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” [2 Corinthians 6:16.] 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 7

When the human being receives daily spiritual food from God, a blessed union is formed between earthly and heavenly intelligences. The believer is sustained by the life of Christ, as the branch is nourished by the sap which flows through the parent stock. Continually he receives blessings from the hand of God, and continually he imparts them. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work,” “being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” [2 Corinthians 9:8, 11.] “God, who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved,) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches in his kindness toward us through Jesus Christ. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” [Ephesians 2:4-8.] 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 8

By receiving Christ we are made partakers of His nature. We live in Him, and are enriched with the highest, fullest blessedness. This means a life hid with Christ in God, a life purified, exalted, devoted to the grandest, noblest purposes. This is indeed having eternal life. God Himself is enthroned in the hearts of His people, who are representatives of the Father and of the Son. This great and unspeakable gift is offered to all. The Jews would have made it a national blessing, confining it to themselves, but the Saviour of the world proclaimed the truth that the bread of life was not confined to time or place, nation or people, but was free to all. 10LtMs, Ms 48, 1895, par. 9