Nov 25, 2018
D. Todd Christofferson. Daily Bread.
ACU Sunday Series.
Daily Bread: Pattern.
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Just as we need daily physical sustenance, the need for daily spiritual sustenance is just as strong. For the Children of Israel, manna was a daily reminder of the source of their blessings; today, we can remember Jesus Christ every day as we pray, read the scriptures, and meditate. (Part 1 of 3) (Voice of Elder D. Todd Christofferson) I think it's not by chance God has created us in a way that we have to have daily physical sustenance. The Children of Israel coming out of Egypt lived for forty years, approximately, on something called manna. They couldn't have lived from hunting, and their lifestyle was such that they couldn't be planting, so they really didn't have an alternative. God was in essence providing their daily sustenance. And I think at least one of His purposes was to teach them to remember Him, to think of Him, to look to Him, to have faith in Him, that He was the source of their life. He did in the way of making it a daily thing; they couldn't gather up manna and store it, it would only be good for one day. They couldn't forget who was the source their blessings. There's a spiritual parallel in our day. We all recognize the need for physical sustenance; hunger and thirst remind us very strongly if we forget. But the spiritual need for sustenance is equally strong, that comes not in drinking water and eating food but in our constant daily efforts of communion with God. We ought not to think that we can go weeks and months without spiritual sustenance and not suffer, and not have a deadening influence in our spiritual life. Acknowledging the reality of our need for a daily spiritual ministration, or manna, helps us increase in our courage to do the right thing, and to serve others, more than we would have if we ignored God. People sometimes think ""Well, those are such small things; prayer, immersing ourselves in the scriptures, pondering, meditating; how can that really produce a significant difference in a person's life?"" But it does. As small as those things seem to be, as daily, routine sometimes they may seem to be, these are the kinds of things that day by day, transform us.
Daily Bread: Experience.
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Sometimes in life, there is nowhere else to turn but to God. Elder D. Todd Christofferson shares a personal experience that taught him to truly pray, recognize answers to prayers, and take life one day at a time. (Part 2 of 3) (Voice of Elder D. Todd Christofferson) To a large extent, I believe our faith in God is a consequence, or fruit, of experience. Quite a few years ago I made a financial investment in a small business and it began to require more to stay afloat. Yet, it still didn't do well and then more was required, and it became a terrible economic threat. I remember having to go before the Lord with nowhere else to turn, and in tears and pleading to seek for to seek for anything that He would provide in His love and wisdom. What I learned in that process was what it's like to come to a point in your life where you really have nowhere to turn but to God. And in those circumstances one truly learns how to pray and how to receive the answers that come. Sometimes it was nothing more than a feeling that things would work out somehow; no indication of how or when but it would be alright. Sometimes it was an idea that would make a difference. And so it became during portions of this experience, a matter of getting the manna for that day; the help that could only come from Him, from God, for the moment, not the long-term, just the immediate need. I think what we have to do when the pressures are there and the clouds are dark and threatening, is take life one day at a time. It helps at times not to think too far ahead and just do what the day requires; ""Give us this day our daily bread."" We're not anticipating the hardship or suffering that might be entailed, we sometimes just have to break it down to this moment, this day, and while deliverance isn't immediate and you may not see the end, still you've got enough for today. When this began happening in my life my prayer was ""Give me a miracle,"" you know, ""Solve this problem,"" and it took a while to finally come to the point of saying, ""I'm content to get a daily help, and let it take what time it takes,"" knowing that I can rely upon God. It's been a blessing to me ever since to have had that rather harrowing experience because of what it meant for my relationship with Him. Maybe the greater blessing for us is to have to walk through it with Him.
Daily Bread: Change
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Jesus Christ is the bread of eternal life. By following Him, remembering Him, and having faith in Him we can change and become what we aspire to become. (Part 3 of 3) (Voice of Elder D. Todd Christofferson) The bread of eternal life, the core substance that we need to become what we aspire to become, is in the person of Jesus Christ. His Atonement, His suffering for sin, and the resultant capacity to extend mercy, He can heal and forgiven and cleanse anything. I don't think everyone realizes that when we do sin, when we turn away from God, it does something in us, and when we repent and turn to Him, that affect in us is taken away. With His Atonement we become different people then we would be without it and its power is infinite, truly infinite and can reach down and sanctify and make holy, to the uttermost, any soul. There's a purpose in life far beyond living comfortably; the bread we receive is to enable us to act and to help and to serve. Not only are we helping but we're being blessed and helped and changed. We're not transformed, as you know, overnight, these things come in process of time; changes are incremental and people don't see them until they look back and see where they are as opposed to where they were. Just as I learned not to expect immediate deliverance from a problem, He's also saying ""I'm patient with your progress, I'll just help you along day by day"" and all of that truly does add up to dramatic change, an eternal difference. When the Isrealites finally did cross the Jordan into their promised land, they were expected by God to remember Him, to think of Him, to look to Him, to have faith in Him. As we turn to Him each day and remember Him each day, we come to know by experience that He's real and that He does care about and love us and minister to us, just as He did the ancient Israelites because He is the Bread of Life.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson - Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.
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