Wednesday, December 17, 2008

...being daily dependent upon Christ and His provision for our lives

“Give us this day our daily bread.” –Matthew 6:11

During the Christmas season these are timely and humbling words to be remembered. All we have is from the Lord and His sovereign provision in our lives. "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift." I hope these words will encourage you today to further dependency upon Christ and His Word even in the most basic things of life--our daily bread.

When was the last time we really had to pray this humble prayer; asking the Lord to provide “daily bread” for our life? Seems almost insignificant in the times we live with a McDonald’s on almost every street corner and supermarkets overflowing. But the reality is that most of us are just one paycheck away before the well runs dry. The point of this prayer is simple and profound: we can never take God’s provision for granted; we are utterly dependent on Him for all things; and without Him, we can do nothing (cp, John 15:5; Phil. 4:13, 19). Everything that we have is from His gracious hand alone.

Listen to what A.W. Pink says about this truth: “By asking for our “daily bread” a tacit acknowledgment is made that “in Adam and by our own sins we have forfeited our right to all the outward blessings of this life, and deserve to be wholly deprived of them by God, and to have them cursed to us in the use of them; and that neither they of themselves are able to sustain us, nor we to merit, or by our own industry to procure them, but prone to desire, get and use them unlawfully; we pray for ourselves and others that they and we, waiting upon the providence of God from day to day, in the use of lawful means, may of His free gift, and as His Fatherly wisdom shall deem best, enjoy a competent portion of them, and have the same continued and blessed unto us in our holy and comfortable use of them and contentment in them” (Larger Cat.)

When I was seventeen years old, I went through one of the most difficult times a teenager could... I lost my Dad. I was holding my father, John Camp, when he went home to be with the Lord. The last thing I remember him saying to me was, "Steve, Jesus will never be all that you need, until Jesus is all you have!" Last words are lasting words. Those words became profound endearing truth to me from that day until now. Christ is sufficient for all things, isn't He? So if in His sweet sovereignty we find ourselves in the winepress of His love without the material comforts of this present life, may we always remember: Christ is our portion; He is our all in all; He is enough; He is the Bread of Heaven; He is our life, our peace, our joy, our hope; He is all we need. Amen?

Beloved, is the cubbard bare today? Are funds scarce and the resources for daily living almost gone? Then take heart and may this day be filled with the wonderful opportunity to trust the Lord afresh for even the most basic necessities of life. Find rest in His marvelous providential supply for you as He puts His sufficient grace on display; for our God shall"supply all our needs according to the riches in glory that are in Christ Jesus."

From the crucible of grace,
Psalm 103

a timely and needed encore presentation


Jeremy Weaver said...

It is God's grace alone that anything good ever happens to any one of us.
Thanks for the reminder.

Rose~ said...

Why do you call yourself the sledgehammer? Everytime I see that on your comments it reminds me of an eighties (I think) song by Peter Gabriel and then I can't get that song out of my head!

Jeremy, don't you ever sleep?

DOGpreacher said...

beautiful...thanks Steve... the song and the message.

You told me a few days ago, that it had been a hard, but good day, and my prayer (comment) ministered to you.

This day has been one of joyous ministry for my wife and I, as well as grief, and loss. It has indeed been a hard, but good day.

You have ministered to this pastor and his wife, just as intended by the providential care of our sovereign God...we are...

grateful for grace.

pilgrim said...

I've been there, and it's tough in some ways. But it humbles you and it strengthens you in Him. It reminds us of how poweress we all are.

There's a good reason Proverbs 30:7-9 is in the Bible.

David said...

Steve, Thanks for the gracious words of exhortation. I begin a series on the Attributes of God next week, I may have to borrow some of your thoughts. This past year has been one of those years for me and my family. Despite my waywardness, God has been faithful. What an awesome God He is! Sola Deo Gloria!!!

baldtrainer said...

Steve -

Last year, you took the time to remind me of this precious truth after my wife abandoned the faith, me and our two little boys. Indeed, if we cling to our Lord for dear life, hope is restored and joy fills our that, we find the worst of times become the best of times.


Sparks said...

Indeed, my cupboard is bare of late. Funds, family, work, church, people I thought were friends- all these things seem to be falling as an avalanche upon me. Only by the grace of God so far have I only bent and not broken. I wondered lately if God is breaking me down into nothing so that I am left clinging only to Him. The past few days it has seemed that the only true friend I can claim is Jesus.

Jim said...

Sparks: Don't let it get to you. I've felt the same way. Had a conversation with a person I thought was a friend (and a strong Christian)just a few weeks ago. I felt he was slipping into the clutches of "the world" and he literally told me off in very vulgar terms. So I know how you feel. Believe me, lean on Jesus. I know it's hard, but you will get better.

Bhedr said...

Its the weekend and my wife and kids are at a Youth Now discipleship conferance. I'm here all alone. Decided to look you up tonight. Brother, look no further than yourself to being that man with reformed theology who has a heart and life with a burden for others. Never loose your openess. Our weaknesses are God's strengths. I am dumbfounded right now because only two nights ago I broke down feeling as though I have let my family down in areas; but you have ministered to this renengade and have poured oil on his wounds. Faithful are the wounds though. Also, you guessed it, the cupboards are bare, but just reading this commands my faith that He is there and will as He always has provided. I don't have much time to comment anymore, but was drawn to comment here. I hope to be more of an encourager in the future as opposed to the other. Here is a quote I read from Tozer four days ago taken from "How To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit"....>There is a spiritual loneliness, an inner aloneness, an inner place where God brings the seeker, where he is as lonely as if there were not another member of the Church anywhere in the world. Ah when you come there, there is a darkness of mind, an emptiness of heart, a loneliness of soul, but it is preliminary to the daybreak.< The Best Of A.W. Tozer.


We pray for you a lot.

Hebrews 7

littlegal_66 said...

I keep coming back to this thread reading new additions, in hopes that I will have something constructive and of substance to add. However, I must say that you guys have left me at a loss for words. I've been trying to steamroll some bumps in my own road of late. So I am burdened with you who are also going through an "Old Mother Hubbard syndrome" at present, (or a "Crucible of Grace," as Steve says), and hope to rejoice with you when circumstances improve. All of you whom are finding yourselves staring at "empty cupboards" just now will be lifted up in my prayers throughout this weekend. I would ask that you do likewise for me.

Seeking always to be His handmaiden,
Psalm 61

DOGpreacher said...

littlegal 66: I have found that I mend the best when I am serving, ministering, loving....isn't that awesome how it works?

You caught my wife's attention, with your post on your blog concerning adoption. I showed it to her, and she was in here with tissue in hand writing a long comment to you. I smile when I am blogging the last few days, and see a comment with your "littlegal 66" sobriquet...for you ministered to my wife with that post! Thank you...and you are one we will be praying for...We are...

grateful for grace.

Shawn L said...

Here's a thought I was thinking yesterday.

I've noticed that on Steve Camp's Blog that very few people comment on bible study/Christian living posts like this one, but controversal posts about current trends in evangelicalism or romanist people comment on. I think Steve Camp has a great perspective on both areas, but I do still find it interested how much less people post on biblical study. For example this post has about 11 comments and the other ones had almost 100 comments.

I personally love more emphasis on studying the scripture than anything so I'm not entirely sure what the reason is.

Is that because people aren't interested in bible study type articles on blogging or blogging is a area where controversy is more expected to have comments than a study that everyone agrees with.

Okay back to making scrambled eggs for my kids.

Shawn L said...

the reason I ask is I hope most people who think similarly are primarily studying the bible and being transformed by it and living out the faith then complaining about other christians or the church is doing (like Rick Warren). I can't get over how many sites and people spend blogging out there are about how bad Rick warren's theology is.

I don't know if I have an opinion exactly yet since I haven't read his book and most people who are reading it are actually being transformed by some of the thoughts (God deserves all of the Glory and life is about Him). I know that may have parts of it wrong, but I can't believe the fruit in some believers life that I have meet that I disagree with theologically at times, but how God had shaken their life from this book. I had a friend who was a "Christian" who hadn't talked to me about God for about 4 years everytime I asked and was more interested in digging his garden than even taking time with the scriptures and after reading Purpose driven life he is reading his bible and enthralled with things about that and how to glorify God. I'm not sure what to think.

I think we as evangelically all around need a revival of the biblical type where we are enthralled with Christ above all things

littlegal_66 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
littlegal_66 said...

Shawn--don't give up on this particular thread yet--I am believing that He has further encouragement for us through it. (Maybe not through 100+ posts).

I do see what you're saying, though. I think you're right--maybe this type of article is not controversial enough for some. But I think this type of article is needed and necessary. (It's definitely appreciated, Campi).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
dogpreacher--thank you for your encouraging words--I knew that your wife enjoyed reading my article, but to learn that God ministered to her through the text is indeed uplifting to me. With all my fallibilities, faults, and failings, I am such an unworthy vessel.

Bhedr said...


I can't believe you said that! Truly the Spirit of God is working in our lives. I sent Steve an email last week expressing similar sentiments and confessing some of mine own hypocrisy in this area. I think Steve was right in his first assessment of Rick. He is our brother and needs to be given a chance for clarification as we all do. May Christ, the Scriptures and above all else Love be our focus. Have a good and Christ centered weekend everyone and may our Sunday truly be a day we fall on our faces before him to honor and Adore Him who redeemed us from this sinful generation.

Shawn L said...


I haven't given up yet and you are right, but just don't always put this in the same words. I'm just wondering how the rest of evangelicals in the world are doing and mostly I should just be praying for them. I need their prayers as well

DOGpreacher said...

The reasons I thoroughly enjoy this blog:

#1: Based on everything I have heard and seen from Steve Camp, I believe him to be a man consumed with passion for Jesus our Lord, equipped by God for this ministry, and zealous in a good thing.

#2: Many of you (doxoblogist, Tim, Pilgrim, Bhedr, Sparks, littlegal~66, Ephraim, Shawn Lynes,
Jim, James, etc.), whom I'll never meet, have shared commentary that has been a blessing to me (and others I would imagine).

#3: The people commenting, as well as the blog host did not allow for false teaching/indoctrination when the word of God was under attack by those on the pro-catholic side of some recent posts.

To Shawn:

I am sure some of us can (and hopefully have) learn to be more compassionate, and prayerful concerning others. In the same manner, you could also learn from others (especially when WE HAVE read Warren's books, articles, interview transcripts, & careful examination of HIS stated beliefs and how they stack up beside the word of God) who also have an area that is their forte in service for the Kingdom of God....I sure have.

As for some people reading Rick's books, and it 'transforming their lives' as you said,...keep watching those lives. Remember the seed that fell on different kinds of ground. Some of them sprang up & appeared wonderful for a time didn't they? Some were grrreat until....the cares of this life drew them away. These are the ones of 1John 2:18-19, false converts, who [walked] with us awhile, but were never of us.

"Another gospel" creates "another
kind of believer"...always. Paul knew this, thus Galatians 1.

Does Paul, in Galatians 1 say:
"If someone comes and preaches another gospel than that we have preached to you, it's ok, he's just off in his doctrine, but he is your brother and needs your prayers" ? NO!...Paul was explicit as to how to react to false teachers.

BTW...if you have seen the appearance on Larry King Live (and read the transcripts) of the new 'Dynamic Duo'(Warren & Ashley Smith) you understand that their God is mammon....and you can't serve both.

littlegal_66 said...

shawn-I'm in agreement with you, brother.


I referenced Psalm 61 under my signature in my first post-hopefully, some of you checked it out. In addition, let me preface what I'm about to post with this: I can sit here all day and post Camp/Frazier lyrics, but I guess the majority of you have already been exposed to most of them. However, a certain song has been echoing in my head for the last 3 or 4 days: "Wonderful Counselor," from Campi's "Mercy in the Wilderness" album. I think it's quite apropos for some of us today. So, for those who may read this thread who aren't familiar with the lyrics, I will post them momentarily in my next comment.

littlegal_66 said...

The first verse and chorus of "Wonderful Counselor."

"Oh the depths of the riches of God,
How awesome are His ways;
His holiness is high,
Yet we know Him by His grace;

There is no higher power,
No greater wisdom and righteousness,
So let His people rejoice,
Seek the Lord and find your rest!

He will keep His eye on you,
He will lead and guide you;
His Word will be a light to you,
For He's a Wonderful Counselor;
He will never leave or forsake you,
He understands what you go through;
He will forgive and restore you,
For He's a Wonderful Counselor!"

Thanks, Steve.

ambiance-five said...

Amen, I am praying for bare cupboards.

ambiance-five said...

That they might be filled to
last comment sounded a little strange.

Sparks said...

Today I sat in church with my wife, both of us hurting- stung by the rejection of people who we thought were not only brothers and sisters in Christ, but friends. We discovered this week that the truth is that we only go to the same church with these people, that our friendship was only imagined on our part.

We've been a part of a small group for over a year and a half- a group that started when our church began the 40 Days of Purpose. The group was made up of mostly young married couples with children of similar ages, although there were a couple of older married folks like us and a couple of older women who attended without their spouses.

This past week we found that the friendships were not there- that the core group of "young marrieds with children" want a smaller group made up of people like them.
When my wife tried to talk to one of the members (who happens to be our church secretary) the woman hung up on her and told the church leadership that my wife was harassing her.

Ironically, last Sunday our Pastor talked about how the small groups are the church's "safety net" so that everyone can be ministered to and people don't fall through the cracks.

Our safety net was cut out from under us and we were allowed to free fall toward the bottom. The comments we've gotten back have been like "well, the group really had gotten too big, it needs to be around 8 people". Eight people, that just happens to be the number of the 4 young couples with children of similar ages whose children are all involved in the same activities.

We feel so hurt, so abandoned and so alone. This is why Steve's post has been so timely to me.

Steve, if this post doesn't fit, I will understand that you must delete it.

God bless you all.

ambiance-five said...

Sparks I'm praying for you.

Remember that Jesus is your safty net and not any human "group".

Love in Christ

Jeremy Weaver said...

My wife and I went through a similar situation. Except it was the whole congregation that rejected us over a racial issue. That's been about eight years ago, but it still hurts at times.

Jeremy Weaver said...

You can email me if you like.

littlegal_66 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
littlegal_66 said...

sparks-Thank you for confiding in those of us who've been monitoring this thread. I am praying for you and your family. Always remember that He will be there for you.

BTW, Steve states in his profile that this blog is "dedicated to engaging issues about culture, politics, the arts, relationships and faith from a biblical worldview," and I think your post falls under this umbrella. I don't believe it will be deleted.

This one, on the other hand, may be endangered, as it is the 5th one for me on this particular thread. (So I may have worn out my welcome for this topic)!
Sledge--if you ever deem that I am getting out of hand--rambling too much, posting too often, etc. on your blog, let that hammer fall, and I'll give my keyboard a rest!

DOGpreacher said... doxoblogist said, "feel free to e-mail anytime", and remember, the word of God is the best thing you have as one IN Christ. The WORD will never give you any bad advice, be too busy, or be too involved with someone else. God's Word will guide you, chastise you, instruct you in righteousness, comfort you and give you solace. It will heal the deepest wounds, renew the battered mind, and "make you like a tree planted by the rivers of water...".

My intentions are sincere to be a friend...a brother in Christ, and someone to talk to.....and yet, I'm human, and humans with the 'best' of intentions can err, and be hutrtful.

Praise God...His Word does not have any of these liabilities!

A Brother,

Sparks said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I know that I can always talk to God. In my human condition, I guess that my need to communicate somehow to another person is pretty strong.

Colin Kee said...

Thanks for your blog, especially this post. What your dad said,"...Jesus will never be all that you need, until Jesus is all you have!" is very meaningful indeed.

Colin Kee

DOGpreacher said...

Brother Sparks;
I understand what you mean...someone to talk with.

In my previous comment, I wasn't referring to you talking to God (although that comes in a close second), BUT God talking to you (reading His word).

R.A.Torrey, known as the 'apostle' of prayer, was asked towards the end of his life if he would have done anything differently. He said, "Yes, I would have read (the Bible) more, and prayed less". The man posing the question couldn't believe what he was hearing, and ask Rev. Torrey to clarify. Torrey told him that 'prayer was man talking to God', while God's word was "God talking to man"!

This was a wise man. He knew it was far more important to be listening to God, than God listening to him. In fact, I used this thought from Torrey to change my prayer life.

I made a point of reading the word of God BEFORE I would pray. The difference is amazing. One who employs this will find his faith is not easily shaken. I think the psalms are great for this. I would read (and not only read, but study & contemplate) Psalm 37 before praying...that one was huge for me!

May grace abound to you,

tom cottar said...

Thanks so much for this today. The cupboard has been pretty bare the last week. Within the last 24 hours, I have been reminded of Job, the Red Sea 'incident', and now this...God is faithful, I know.

It reminded me of the words of a good friend you may know, Ginger English, when she lost her dad.

Blessings on your family!

pilgrim said...

And on a day that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving, and may we not forget Him to whom all thanks is due.

He is faithful.

SJ Camp said...

What a joy to find our sustenance and sufficiency in Christ alone. He knows our needs before they arise; and He cares for His children.

I am learning to trust Him every day as well... May we pray for each in these things.

George Muller had it right... didn't he?

ann_in_grace said...

This last month my family has been living on Grace almost literally, so I know exactly the deep meaning of Your article.
We are out of the woods now, but it was a wake-up reminder of how little we can do on our own.

Bhedr said...

This is one of my favorite posts. Steve you have ministered out here. God bless you. I think many of us have misjudged you at times. Thanks for bearing through all of the hurt for lack of understanding so many of us have at times. Man I was reading the Tozer quote that I put up there last year and It was more prophetic in a sense of the upcoming year I guess than it was the present experience. Man what patience God has for his children in bearing through our depravity that is hard for us to see. Thank God for the cross. Truly He is all we need.

littlegal_66 said...

Thanks for reposting this. Very apropos for me just now.

Carla said...

I'm glad you decided to repost this just now. There's no telling just how many people need this reminder today.

Hayden said...


Thanks for this re-post. It was timely as my family embarks on leaving our current ministry (in 5 short day) and heading to a new one over Christmas. Thank you for helping me to focus on what is important.

Alive to God,

The Blainemonster said...

Thank you, Steve; how beautiful and how timely.

Alice said...

This was so, so wonderful to read today. It lifted me up. Early this month, most of the publishing world crashed, and I lost my job. In addition, my husband and I have lost thousands from our retirement fund (good thing we have quite a few years left to work!) Our little girl asked, "Are we poor now that you lost your job, Mom?"

No. We are so, so rich. Untold wealth is ours. Our stock is in God. And He doesn't crash.

SJ Camp said...

Thanks for your encouragement today. The economy is taking its toll on so many around the country. I feel the sting of it too as well as most ministries.

May we never forget the words of Paul when he faced great privation as well: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


SJ Camp said...

Thank you my brother!

How can we pray for you? Where is the Lord taking you and your family during this season of change and new ministry for you?

I love you brother...

SJ Camp said...

You are welcome brother! These times of leanness drive us all to our knees. Amen?


SJ Camp said...

Our little girl asked, "Are we poor now that you lost your job, Mom?"

No. We are so, so rich. Untold wealth is ours. Our stock is in God. And He doesn't crash.

Amen my friend! Though our wallets are depleted our faith in Him has an eternal supply...

He is all we need...

If you don't mind me asking, what area of publishing were you in? What was your specific forte and area of expertise?


Alice said...

I don't mind at all. I was in the educational publishing division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Chicago area). My forte is all sorts of standardized and diagnostic testing materials. I also do marketing materials and website content. I'd love to get into books. Basically--have red pen; will freelance! :-)

Reform said...

A very timely word for me too today. The cupboard has been a little more barren than normal and finances are really tight as well.

"Seek ye first the kingdom..." right?