Daily Bread

Two things I ask of you:
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and said "Who is the Lord?"
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
(Proverbs 30:7-9)

I know personally, when everything is going my way, when I am just killing it at work and my home life is stellar and my worship is rocking and we are not worried by a bill (or even, treating ourselves because I stayed on budget), it can feel like "I did this, because I was so good." We need to be mindful of pride when things are good, because it is very easy to fall into believing we are responsible for our own successes and can do everything on our own. At the other end of the spectrum, we also pray to not have too little, to not fall into the trap of self-pity or despair that comes with both actual and spiritual poverty, thus not trusting God in our low points. The writer of Proverbs spoke to this balance, as well as Jesus when he was teaching the disciples to pray with "Give us this day our daily bread." Looking at this, I have tried in my own prayers to stop asking for everything I want, but begging for just enough to continue serving Him and praising Him, while never forgetting that every blessing I have is through Him and not my own strength. 

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)

Work / Heart

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23-24)

In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul has a very clear mandate for how we should conduct ourselves while at work. We are to approach our daily tasks as if we were working directly for the Lord, but this does not mean we should constantly feel the pressure of such a lofty calling! Working for the Lord frees us from trying to constantly please others, while shifting our focus back to a standard of excellence that will permeate everything we do. Whatever our job, task, ministry, hobby, relationship... we are called to give it our best, and the rewards are eternal. Serve Him joyfully, and watch even your most dreaded and bothersome tasks (laundry, anyone?) gather meaning as you show your love for the Lord simply by giving it your all. 

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.