Matt Hagee - Daily Bread or Deadly Bread?
There are many people in this sanctuary, watching over television, watching online this morning. And you crave the freedom, and the liberty, and the joy, and the deliverance of the relationship that you have with Jesus Christ. But right behind that craving, you still have a taste for your old life. You want Christ to forgive you, but you crave the grudge that you hold against others. You want Christ to bless you with prosperity, but you're filled with jealousy when you see him bless the life of someone else. You raise your hands, and you say, "This is amazing grace". But then you judge other people to whom you don't want God's grace extended.
The reason that you do this is because you are mixing things that don't mix. You're taking daily bread and you're mixing it with deadly bread. And those two things have no business coming in contact with each other. You need to know you'll never be satisfied with your relationship with Jesus Christ and the faith that you have in God or the power of his word as long as you have cravings for your old life, which is why you have to make a choice: a choice between the daily bread of heaven that comes from God, our father above: or the deadly bread that is in this world: daily bread that says, "My God is more than enough," or deadly bread that says, "There will never be enough". Daily bread that says, "Love your neighbor as yourself," "Bless those who persecute you," "Forgive those who offend you," "Love those who hate you," or deadly bread that simply craves revenge.
Today I'm going to show you, from God's word, the difference between the daily bread of heaven and the deadly bread of this world. And then you and I have to make a choice which one we're going to hunger for. Let's read together Matthew 6:11. If you're there, say, amen. Jesus said, read it with me. "Give us this day our daily bread". Read it again. "Give us this day our daily bread".
Heavenly Father, let your Holy Spirit open our hearts and our minds and our ears to receive your truth today: that we would recognize what you have provided for us through the pages of your word, through the inspiration of your precious spirit, is more than enough to meet all of our needs according to your riches in glory. It's in Jesus' name, the name of our Savior, that we pray. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. When it comes to making the choice between daily bread or deadly bread, you have to decide whether or not you're going to put your faith in a guaranteed promise or hype. And the reason that I choose those very stark differences is because most of the people that are sitting around you, maybe not you, but there's a lot of people you know: that they put a lot of faith in the hype about what they hear about the food that they eat. How many of you have ever had somebody tell you how good what they are eating is for them? Why are you eating that cookie? Oh, it's packed with protein. Really? Looks like a cookie. But it's a protein-power-packed cookie. And how do you know that? That's what the package says, "Protein-Power-Packed Cookies".
Let me tell you something my family's told me for years. "If it's too good to be true, it is". If it's protein-power-packed, and it looks like, smells like, and tastes like a cookie: it's a lie. And I got a few applause from the protein-power-packed cookie people in this room. But the truth is most of us put faith in what we hear rather than stand on what we know. Consider the biblical definition of faith. Hebrews 11:1, it says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen". Now how many of you can say, "I've seen nutrition"? You can't. You just hope what you eat is nutritious. I've seen omega-3 fatty acids. No. You just hope that what you're eating is full of them. When it comes to what we choose to put in our minds, to put in our heart, to put in our soul, to put in our spirit, we fall into the same trap.
Most of the time we go with the hype rather than the guaranteed, certified promises of a living God. You need to know that when it comes to the daily bread of heaven, it is certified, 100% guaranteed, pure power for your heart, soul, mind, and body. And it is backed by the promises of an everlasting God, who has never failed. I had you read the verse twice this morning, because if you forget everything, I want you to remember this thing: this is daily bread, not weekly bread, not monthly bread, not Christmas and Easter bread. It is daily bread. Why is that so important? Because as daily bread, it doesn't give you enough to get to tomorrow. It gives you enough to get through today. As daily bread, it gives you what you need, when you need it, no more and no less, right on time. He taught you how to follow him from today into tomorrow.
And when you learned how to follow him from today into tomorrow, he taught you that he could lead you. And when you learned to be led by daily bread, suddenly you could bear a testimony that the Lord has led me through. How did he lead you through valleys that you were too afraid to cross? With daily bread. How did he take you over mountains that were too high for you to climb? He did it with daily bread. How did he get you through battles that you didn't have the courage to fight? He did it with daily bread. How did you survive storms that would have made others quit? He did it with daily bread. How did you face fears you never wanted to face? He did it with daily bread. How did God get you through many dangerous toils and snares? He did it with daily bread! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
Now you have to choose between a guarantee or hype. And you have to understand that what you chew is up to you. I learned this in a very real way one afternoon when Kendal and I were invited to go some place and join someone for dinner. And they wanted us to bring our kids. You see when you get to an age where you decide you're going to be polite no matter what, you can hide what you're really feeling. But that does not describe kids. Especially mine. If you don't want to know, don't ask them because they will very kindly tell you. So on this particular occasion, we were going out to eat with some folks, and they had a problem: they were vegans. And so before we got out of the car in front of their home, I gave that fatherly speech. "Children, you will eat whatever they put in front of you, and you will be polite".
How many of you parents have ever given that speech before you go into dinner? And so we walked in. And we were greeted. And we were having fellowship. And it came time to eat, and we bowed our heads, and we said our prayers. And the first person to begin to eat the food was Hannah. She took a spoonful of it. She put it in her mouth, and her face just went, because she's the polite one. She doesn't want to offend anybody. She knows it's in there. She can't, what do I do now? And J.W., the analytical one, he's sitting next to her. And he looks at her, and then he looks at the plate. And then he looks at her, and he looks at the plate. And he's like... And he just pushed it away. He goes, "I'm full".
But Joel is a lot like somebody else I know. Is he looking? Joel doesn't wait for anything after "Amen," because in his mind, "Amen" is like the bell at the Kentucky Derby. It's just the start of the race. And all we've got to do is get to the finish line. So he immediately, right after "Amen," he takes a big ole fork full. And he sticks it in his face. And then he goes. And it was not that polite, May-I-Borrow-A-Napkin look like I'm wiping my nose. It was like the air gun that shoots the t-shirts at the spurs game. It was like, "Poof". It had launch. It had angle. It had lift. And he looked at me, and he said, "I can't eat that". It was like, "Look: if you want to beat me to death, get after it, but I am not eating that".
And that's when I figured it out. What you chew is up to you. I couldn't force him. I couldn't persuade him. I couldn't convince him. No! And the same is true in our spiritual lives. What you choose to take into your heart, soul, mind, and body is not up to somebody else: it's up to you. They may persuade you. They may try and convince you. They may even try and force you. But whether or not you chew it is your decision. What does God want us to do on a daily basis? Wake up, open up the book, and take in the manna. And many of us consider that too great a burden to bear. The children of Israel, rather than take that personal responsibility and be thankful unto him for the blessings that he had poured out: they craved the appetite of their old life. And God gave it to them. And while the meat was in their mouth, it killed them.
You and I have a personal responsibility to choose what we're going to chew on every day. And Jesus said that his recommendation was to give us this day our daily bread. Not give us this week our weekly bread, not give us Christmas and Easter bread. But give us this day our daily bread. One of the reasons why Christians struggle in their faith, one of the reasons why they can't get rid of the cravings in their old life is because they come to church on Sunday, and they eat heavenly bread for about 30 minutes. And then they leave the church and spend about 30 hours chewing on the dark and deadly bread of this world. You see when you take the bread of this world, which is deadly bread, and you mix it with the everlasting daily bread of heaven, you've got two things that don't mix. And just like in our natural selves: when you put two foods together that don't mix, it upsets your stomach.
Many of you have an upset spirit and an upset soul because you're mixing the things of this world with the things of heaven. And Paul said, "What does light have to do with darkness"? Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters". He said, "You are the light of the world". And if you are going to be the light of the world, then you can't eat the deadly bread of earth and have the power to shine for Jesus Christ. This is one of the reasons why we're embarrassed of our faith outside of the church, and we're frustrated with our faith inside the church, because we are mixing daily bread from heaven and the deadly bread of this earth. You cannot spend six days a week chewing on what they're feeding you, and expect God to erase all of the impact in 30 minutes in church on Sunday. This cannot be Sunday purposes only. This has to be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and a Sunday celebration that makes the super bowl look lame.
But what you chew on is up to you. I can do all that I can within my ability to try and persuade you to feast on what you know on a daily basis. But some will still choose to chew on the hype. Think about how many people you hear inside the house of God say, "Oh, the economy is going to fall". And it really doesn't matter if it's going good or it's going bad. Just turn on the television, same report every day. Everything is going down. If it's going down, they say it's just going to get further down. If it's going up, they say it's going so good: it can't help but come down. When's the last time you turned on the news, and they said, "Good news: nothing went wrong today? Have a great night". That's not how the world works. They push hype because they're selling fear. And they're selling fear because they want control.
If you're afraid of something you can't fix, you'll willingly give somebody else the chance to do it. They turn on the news and it says the economy's going down. You take in the spirit of fear. And God hasn't given you a spirit of fear. But all of a sudden, you chew on it, and you chew on it, and you chew on it. And you start to wonder: what do I do, and how do I react, and what do I diversify, and what do I sell, and what do I buy? And then fear starts to drive your decisions. And then you get to the end of the month, and you go, "Oh, how did all this happen? The economy must be going down". You've chosen to chew on the hype rather than stand on the guarantee. The guarantee says, "My God shall supply all of y needs according to his riches in glory". Feast on what you know. "Give and it shall be given to you pressed down, shaken together, and running over".
God has guaranteed you these promises. He'll rebuke the devourer for your sake. Your leaf will not wither. Your fruit will come in its due season. You'll be like a tree that's planted by rivers of living water. And whatever you do, it shall prosper! Child of God, that's a guarantee you can take to the bank, because it came from a God who has never failed! Give the Lord a handclap of praise! Individually, we have to choose between daily bread or deadly bread. But corporately, as a church, we have a choice to make. What is the church in the United States doing right now? What kind of choice are we making? Are we, the church in America, choosing daily bread or are we choosing deadly bread? What about the nation?
As individual citizens of this nation, we have a choice to make. What are we doing with the responsibility of freedom that we've been blessed with in this generation? Consider the responsibilities that we have in our faith. As children of God, redeemed by the precious blood of his son, we have a responsibility to win the lost. But one of the most recorded complaints by statisticians on why people choose not to go to church is simply this: they want me to participate. Think about that. The two areas that they don't like to be asked to participate is in evangelism and giving. Now I'm going to be real honest with you, as a pastor. I would love for this church to participate 100% in giving and 100% in evangelism. I would love it but I don't expect you to. God expects you to. He's the one who redeemed you. He's the one who sent his son to die for you. He's the one that let that precious blood cover your multitude of sin. He's the one who set you free. He's the one who said, "Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every nation, making disciples of men".
Child of God, I need to tell you something. The great commission was not approved last night by the elder's board. The great commission was spoken by Jesus Christ after he died for your sins: and he conquered death, hell and the grave! And he sent us to tell the world that Jesus saves! Right now we've got a personal responsibility to protect our freedom. How do we protect our freedom? It's a dirty, four-letter word, work. It's dirty, because if you're going to do it right, you're not going to come home clean. You're going to have sweat on your brow and you're going to have dirt under your fingernails. And God said so in Genesis. He said, "By the sweat of your brow, shall you earn the bread that you eat".
The Old Testament continues the theme. "Six days shall you work". The New Testament says it this way: "He who does not work should not eat". You say, "Well that's cruel". No, it's not. Hunger is a motivator. And right now, this nation is making a choice between the daily bread of God's principles or the deadly bread of political promises. The daily bread declares that no man can serve two masters. And the political promise of socialism says that the government becomes God. Consider this: the daily bread says, in the Bible, "Jehovah Jireh is the Lord your provider". The foundation of socialism says let the government provide everything. Listen to me. That may sound good, but it's hype. It may create a craving because of how it feels, but it's deadly bread. Why? Because just like Pharaoh in Egypt when he provided everything for the children of Israel: the government that provides everything will control everything. And if they control everything, they can take anything, and that includes your life.
Socialism says let the government provide all of your health care. It's the federalized health care mandate. If they provide your health care, they can tell you when to be born and they can tell you when to die. Financially, let the government take care of you. The only way the government makes money is they take yours. And then they spend yours. And then they come back to you and say, "We need more". Intellectually, let the government educate you. God never told you to let the school raise your child. God told you to raise your child. If you raise your child in the Word of God, they will be what God created them to be. If you surrender them to the government to be raised, they will come out of school with a guilt complex, but they will not come out with one ounce of patriotism. It looks good. It sounds good. The problem is it feels good for a little while. But when payment comes due, the painful reality sets in.
The government that gives you everything, controls everything, and they can take anything. Socialism makes the government God. And the daily bread of heaven, the first commandment says, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me". We have a choice to make. Just like Joshua, who stood in front of his generation and challenged the fathers and the households in Israel that they had a choice to make: I hear that same challenge echoing from the pages of the Old Testament and into this sanctuary today, and going across this nation as we stream this service to all of those who are listening. We have a choice to make. Joshua said, "Choose you this day whom you will serve".
We have a choice to make. Who do we want to be our provider? Do we want Jehovah Jireh, who is more than enough? Or do we want a man-made promise that will never satisfy? Who do we want to be our healer? Do we want the great I am, who heals all of our diseases? Or do we want a man-made promise that's going to dictate our future? Who do we want for a leader? Do we want the king above all kings? Do we want the one who has made the heavens and the earth? Do we want the one who promised that he would lead you in paths of righteousness for his name's sake: that he'd lead you beside still waters: that he'd lead you to green pastures: that he'd take you through the darkest valley: that he'd lead you to a land of milk and honey? Or do you want the one who has promised you everything and can give you nothing? Child of God, I'll take the one who is faithful and true! I'll take the one whose loving kindness never fails! I'll take the one whose mercy is renewed every morning, whose promises endure from generation to generation! Child of God, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
Would you stand to your feet? Child of God, if the church is going to change the nation, and if the nation is going to change, we have got to get back to hungering and thirsting after righteousness, which means the only way we'll do it is on the daily bread of God's holy word. So if today you know that you need to get back on the daily bread, I want you to lift your hands and repeat this prayer with me, everyone in the room.
Lord Jesus Christ, today I commit before you, here in this service, that I will daily hunger and thirst after righteousness: that I will daily read and obey your word: that I will do what it asks, when it asks, knowing today that if I trust in you with all of my heart and I lean not on my understanding, if I acknowledge you in all of my ways, you will direct my path. Heavenly Father, from this moment forward, direct my path. Lead me and my family in a path of blessing, in a path of peace, in a path of joy, in a path of your goodness in the land of the living, because this is your promise. And I receive it today, in faith believing.