#2115 – Be Careful What You Wish For       (12 Sep 2010)

The Message

Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman

Special Guest

Mr. James Chu
People named him "The Father McDonald in China' because he had launched over a thousand McDonald's restaurants throughout Hong Kong and China. He had a promising career, but with all the worldly temptations, he drifted away from God. But due to fatal sickness, he repented from sin and determined to be a messenger of life to preach the gospel for God.

Special Music

Hymn / Anthem:
Joyful, Joyful
I Sing the Mighty Power / Mighty to Save
Amazing Grace

Choir:
CC Choir / CCA Chorus – A Festive Alleluia

The Message

Well today, I’m continuing, its number three in a series of five on Spiritual Sustainability: Living the Lord’s Prayer. And you know, I started praying the Lord’s Prayer as a template every single day about two years ago and then I noticed that not only was I praying the Lord’s Prayer every day, but I was living it. Those principles that Jesus gave us in the Lord’s Prayer are principles that can sustain us and help us through the toughest times. You can have spiritual sustainability that will sustain you through any storm, any challenge, any trial. And the principles are found in the Lord’s Prayer.

It begins with praise. We begin our prayers, we begin our days and we continue all day long praying, praising God with a God can do anything attitude. Think of it. How will that change your life? If all day long you’re reminded that God can do anything, no matter what you face. And that’s why Jesus taught us to begin our prayers and to begin our days with “Our Father Who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name.” He is an awesome Father, a wonderful Father, a loving Father, an all powerful Father.

And as such, He is a Father who knows best. We can trust Him with everything. We can trust Him with our very lives. And so we can submit to Him. We can tell Him Lord, You have Your way with me. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” in my life, “on earth as it is in heaven.” You do what You want to do. I trust You because I’ve just praised You. I’ve just remembered what an amazing, awesome God You are.

Okay now that we have submitted, now that we’ve praised Him; we’ve given Him permission to use our life, now we can ask Him. He says petition Me. I will give you provision. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Ask. The bible says ask. Over and over again. Ask Me, says Your heavenly Father. And I want to add this little caveat to that: but be careful what you ask for.

You know there was a husband and wife and they were celebrating their 30th anniversary, and they decided to go out and have a wonderful, little romantic dinner, just the two of them. And so they went to the restaurant, quiet restaurant. They had just sat down and were opening their menus when all of a sudden there was a light, like the one at Damascus with Paul. And the voice of God came from the heavens and God said My son and My daughter, I am so pleased with you. You’ve been faithful to each other for 30 years. In fact, ask Me for anything. I’ll give it to you as an anniversary gift tonight. Well the woman said I would like to take my husband on a trip around the world. Poof! God gave her tickets to take her husband on a round the world trip. It was the husband’s turn and he said I would like a wife 30 years younger. Poof! He turned into a 90 year old man. Be careful what you ask for. Be careful.

Jesus said in the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It does not say give us this day our daily candy. If you prayed give us this day our daily candy, which many of you children would love to do, would your parent, if they were a loving parent who cared about you want you to ask them for candy every single day? No. God doesn’t say give us this day our daily candy. He says give us this day our daily bread. And you know, I have four sons and they would always ask me for sandwiches and for lunch and this and that and they still do, are you kidding? They come by all the time. They’re grown men and they knock on the door and they text me and they say what’s for dinner? What’s for dinner? And I give them food. I bake them pies. I make them cupcakes. I love to cook for them. If they ask me for a pie, if they ask me for a cake, if they ask me for bread, would I give them a stone? Heavens no. I love them. God loves you even more. It says in the bible, Jesus said, “What father asked for bread would give his son a stone? Your heavenly Father loves you so much.” He wants to give you something wonderful and awesome. When you ask Him, He’s not going to give you a stone. It doesn’t say give us this day our daily candy. It doesn’t say give us this day our daily stone. So what should you ask for? “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Very interesting that Jesus would use that one word. Bread. Bread has been around since prehistoric times. It is one of the oldest prepared foods known on the face of the earth. So many different names for it: pan, pita, ciabatta, focaccia. So many different ways: tortilla, different names. Whatever name you use for it, ask God for your daily pita. Ask God for your daily ciabatta. Ask God for your daily focaccia. You know, because He doesn’t want you to ask for moldy bread. He doesn’t want you to ask for stale bread. He doesn’t want you to ask for day old bread. He wants you to ask for fresh from the oven artisan daily bread. Not day old bread, daily bread. Your heavenly Father is the King of kings and so what does that make you? Your Father is the King of kings. What does that make you? It makes you a prince. It makes you a princess. Do you know any prince or princess that’s eating moldy, stale, day old bread? God wants you to have daily bread, fresh bread, fresh from the oven. The best bread money can buy. He says ask Me boldly; ask Me because I want to give the best to you, My children. Only God can provide bread.

You know you take seeds, it takes water, it takes soil, it takes the sunshine to just grow the grain and only God provides those things. Nobody else can provide that and I think that’s why God said pray for daily bread. It doesn’t say give us this day our daily candy. Don’t pray, don’t ask for that. Don’t pray for: give us this day our daily stone. Think beyond that. Think you’re worth the best! It says give us this day our daily, beautiful, lovely, fresh bread because your Father cares about you.

Bread is also money. It can also mean that. Bread is the staple of life. It’s a provision of what we need to survive. And that’s what Jesus meant. He didn’t mean just the literal interpretation of bread, He meant whatever it is you need, what do you need? I want to provide and I will provide. Ask Me and I will. Ask boldly, ask bravely, ask every day, ask Him.

But it’s not enough to just ask. After you’ve asked, you need to seek and knock. We need to do our part because it also doesn’t say give us this day our daily orange. Now what do I mean by that? Well you could sit.. or apple, you could sit underneath an apple tree, you could sit underneath an orange tree and it would fall into your lap. But this says.. Jesus said give us this day our daily bread. Bread needs all these different ingredients in order to make it. You can’t just go out, find a bread tree and pick it. You have to go and get some salt, which God provides; you can get some olive oil, which God makes. You can’t make olive oil, you can’t make salt. You can get some flour from the grain, which God provides, and you can get a little sugar or if you like sweet bread, a lot of sugar, and you have to do your part. You have to make the bread. Metaphorically speaking, you have to make the bread. You have to build the fire. You have to do your part. You ask, but then you seek and you knock. Seek and knock. If you seek, you will find. If you knock, the door will be opened to you.

So if you need financial aid, if you need things. You have provisions in order for you to live. If you need those, ask God. Ask Him. Say Lord, where shall I look? On which door should I knock? And then when He gives you some kind of guidance, do it. Go looking for jobs online. Look in the job pages, talk to people, ask them. What’s available? Who’s hiring? And then fill out those applications. Go out there. Do it. Do your part. Ask, but also seek, knock and then trust. As my dad says, trust for the crust. Once you’ve asked the Lord boldly, then Jesus says do not worry, do not worry about your life what you will eat or what you will drink because I will provide. If I provide for the birds, do you not think I provide for you? I care at least about you as much as the birds, more than the birds of the air.

You know the Israelites, when they were wandering around that wilderness, they’d been delivered from Egypt. They’d been in slavery and oh they hated that slavery. Who wouldn’t? They were beaten, and then they got delivered. They made it safely across that Red Sea and there was nothing to eat in that wilderness, nothing to eat. And they even said to Moses, they said I’d rather be back in Egypt being a slave. I’m starving, I’m hungry, this is terrible. And so God saw His children needing food and what did He do? He gave them manna from heaven. They woke up in the morning and there was manna on the ground. We know it was like a coriander seed, kind of a thing. But they had to actually do some work. They didn’t just sit out there, open their mouth and have the manna fall into their mouth. They actually had to go out there, gather it, pat it, make a little fire and make little manna patties. But God said to them, don’t store the manna. I’m not giving you yearly manna, I’m not giving you monthly manna, I’m not giving you weekly manna, I’m giving you daily manna, daily bread, every day, giving you manna. And don’t store it. Well some of those Israelites thought I don’t think I can trust God. He gave me manna today and I’m going to hoard it because tomorrow God might be sleeping. Tomorrow God might not be powerful enough. Tomorrow God might forget all about me. So I’m going to take that manna that He gave me today and I’m going to store as much of it up as I can.

God said don’t do that. He wanted them to trust Him, that He would do it every day. Do you know what happened to those people when they stored the manna? The next day it was full of maggots, spoiled. It only lasted for one day, that was it. So they learned, they learned they could trust God. Did they ever wake up any day to no manna? Never. Not one single day. Every day God provided daily bread for them. Every day God will provide for you. Just because He’s given you something today, doesn’t mean that He won’t tomorrow and He won’t the next day and He won’t the next day. God doesn’t provide for you today and then forget about you. He doesn’t provide for you tomorrow and then fall asleep. He doesn’t provide for you the next day and then lose all His power. He provides for you today. He will provide for you tomorrow. He will provide for you every day of your life. Daily bread. Daily provisions because God knows you need it. Your Father is the King of kings. Ask boldly. Ask bravely.

Be careful what you ask for. Ask for the best. Ask for not just any bread, not just daily bread, but daily bread of life. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who come to Me,” any of you, “if you come to Me, you’ll never, ever, ever go hungry again.” Spiritually He was talking about spiritually you will never, every, ever go hungry again. I will fill you with My life. I am the bread of life; your spiritual sustenance, your spiritual sustainability.

So people I ask you today what are you hungry for? Are you hungry for food? Some people are. That’s why we have our Monday Meals here on Monday’s to feed the hungry. Are you hungry for finances? Do you need financial help? God cares about that. He does. It’s okay to ask Him. He wants you to ask Him for help. Are you hungry for companionship? Do you know what companionship means? The Latin word is come, means with, and pan means bread. With bread. Breaking bread with people. That’s companionship. Pray for your daily companionship. Are you hungry to make a difference, to make your life count? Are you hungry for God? Ask God, ask Him for daily bread of life, for Jesus, every single day, to fill your life overflowing so that you can not only be filled yourself, but you’ll have enough to share with others around you who truly are hungry in many, many ways. They may be spiritually hungry, emotionally hungry, socially hungry and even physically hungry. You can be filled to overflowing and make a difference.

I’d like you all now to stand. We’re going to close in prayer. We’re going to continue where we left off last week. So everybody stand, if you’re physically able to. And we’re going to take a posture of praise. And you’re going to take your hands and you’re going to reach them up to the heavens because it’s a way of saying we love You Lord; we praise You God and lift your faces up to the heavens and keep them up there. Keep looking up to Him. Repeat after me with Crystal Cathedral gusto. Our Father who art in heaven (Our Father Who art in heaven). Okay let’s do that again. That was without Crystal Cathedral gusto. Let’s do it again with Crystal Cathedral gusto. Our Father who art in heaven (Our Father Who art in heaven) hallowed be Thy name (hallowed be Thy name). You are a great Father (You are a great Father). You are a wonderful Father (You are a wonderful Father). You are King of kings (You are King of kings). That means I’m a prince or a princess (That means I’m a prince or a princess). You will provide generously (You will provide generously).

All right, we’ve begun with the praise. Now take your hands and put them this way, open them palms out because this is an open posture of submission to God, giving Him permission in our life. We’ve praised Him, so we can submit to Him. Again, repeat after me: Thy kingdom come (Thy kingdom come) Thy will be done (Thy will be done) on earth as it is in heaven (on earth as it is in heaven). You are a loving Father (You are a loving Father), my heavenly Father knows best (my heavenly Father knows best) so I can trust You completely (so I can trust You completely). I trust You with my life (I trust You with my life). Work in me to do (Work in me to do) Your will and Your purpose (Your will and Your purpose).

Okay, people now that we’ve praised Him; we’ve given Him permission, now we’re ready to ask. We have been careful about what we ask for because we’ve given Him praise and we’ve given Him permission. Now when we ask, we know we are asking the way He wants us to. So put your hands together, we’re going to ask God together. Repeat after me: Give me today my daily bread (Give me today my daily bread). I ask You Lord (I ask You Lord) to show me what to ask for today (to show me what to ask for today). Give me my hearts desires or take them away (Give me my hearts desires or take them away). I ask You today and every day (I ask You today and every day) to provide everything I need (to provide everything I need). I ask You today and every day (I ask You today and every day) to increase my hunger for You (to increase my hunger for You) my desire to serve You (my desire to serve You) and live for You (and to live for You). Amen (Amen).

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