The Youth’s Instructor


July 13, 1899

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”


The prayer that Christ taught his disciples had a deeper meaning than we realize. The petition, “Give us this day our daily bread,” 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 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. YI July 13, 1899, 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.” YI July 13, 1899, par. 2

On one occasion Christ told his disciples and the multitude which thronged him that they did not follow him because of the miracles that he did, but because they ate of the loaves, and were filled. “Labor not for the meat which perisheth,” he said; be not over-anxious for temporal food, “but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto 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 from 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.” The One then speaking to them had in the wilderness given their fathers angels’ food to eat. Oh, had they but known who was addressing them, how changed would have been their attitude toward him! YI July 13, 1899, par. 3

“I am the bread of life,” Christ said; “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.” YI July 13, 1899, par. 4

When man believes in Christ as his personal Saviour, he is eating the daily bread which has been purchased for him at an infinite cost. As by eating temporal food the physical system becomes strong, so by eating the flesh of the Son of God the spiritual nature is strengthened. God's word is 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 nourishment by its connection with the parent stalk, so the believer receives his life from Christ. A vital, life-giving current flows from the Saviour to him. YI July 13, 1899, 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 purpose of the enemy. But Satan has interposed between the sinful human being and the living source of 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. Thus only can they be elevated and placed on vantage-ground. YI July 13, 1899, par. 6

Christ stands at the head of humanity as its substitute and surety, to represent God to man, and, through his power, to cause a stream of spiritual life to flow earthward. The Sun of Righteousness, he desires to shine into the chambers of the mind, purifying and elevating the soul, that he may abide therein, and control the affections and emotions, bringing the entire being into conformity to his will. YI July 13, 1899, 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. Continually he receives blessings from the hand of God, and continually he imparts. “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, ... 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 of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” YI July 13, 1899, par. 8

By receiving Christ we are made partakers of this nature. We live in him, and are enriched by 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 his representatives. 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 proclaimed the truth that the bread of life is not confined to time or place, nation or people, but is free to all. YI July 13, 1899, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White