One Day at a Time





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One Day at a Time

Give us today

Matthew 6:11a

  MT 6:11 Give us today our daily bread (NIV)

Dr Alex Tang


Sermon statement

‘One Day at a Time’

We should learn to live in the present, leaving the past behind and committing our future to the Lord.



   MT 6:9 "This, then, is how you should pray:

In teaching us about the Lord’s prayer, Jesus is actually teaching us about the kingdom of God.

The Lord’s Prayer

Kingdom of God


Our Father in heaven,



hallowed be your name,



your kingdom come,



your will be done

    on earth as it is in heaven.



Give us today our daily bread.


Physical (body)

Forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.


Emotional (soul)

And lead us not into temptation,

  but deliver us from the evil one.


Spiritual (spirit)


The ‘how’ shows that the kingdom of God is practical. It involves our bodies, spirits and souls. It is not an otherworldy ‘pie in the sky’ concept. It is here and it is now. But it also have a dimension that is in the future when our bodies and souls receive our new “resurrection bodies”.

‘Give us today our daily bread’ shows the physical aspects of kingdom of God living in the world today. It involves our mental perspectives (give us today) and our physical needs (our daily bread). This sermon will focus upon the mental aspect of kingdom living, the sermon Our God Gives on the physical needs aspects and Shared Bread on the communal physical aspects.

Where in time do you live?

In the Bible, time is defined by two Greek words, chronos and kairos. Chronos means linear time and is best described as a timeline. Kairos means a special moment in time, usually applied to when God intervened in human time. Jesus’ death on the cross and Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit came unto the disciples) are examples of kairos time.

Kairos time also means being present at the present moment. While many of you are here in the body, I wonder where in time are you?

*      Planning where you will go for lunch (future)

*      Thinking about what you will eat for lunch  (future)

*      Worried about meeting your sales dateline at the end of the month  (future)

*      Worried about your coming exams next month  (future)

*      Wondering your colleagues discovered the mistake that you made last Friday (past)

*      Upset about something your best friend did not do for you last week (past)

*      Angry about a comment your boss made last month (past)

*      Thinking about the pile of dirty clothes you have to wash  (future)

Our bodies may be here in the present time but our minds are either in the past or the present.

We often say “Where have all the time gone?”

*      Someone stole it

*      All of us have 24 hours a day

*      We are not aware

(1)   The past

a.      Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It was first published in serial form in the publication from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It is about an orphan boy Pip, a spinster Miss Havisham, a girl Estella and an escaped convict Magwitch. Miss Havisham is a spinster who wears an old wedding dress with one shoe on and has all the house clocks stopped at 20 minutes to nine. She has not seen sunlight for years. Apparently she was left spurned by a man on her wedding day and developed such a hatred of man that she adopted an orphan Estella to train her to be cruel and cold towards me. Pip is employed for this training. Pip later received a fortune which he thought was from Miss Havisham but later turned out to be from an escaped convict Magwitch which he helped many years ago. See summary of plot at Wiki here and Sparks Notes here.

The tragic figure in this story is Miss Havisham, a woman who could not let go of her past and continued to live in that moment.

Do you know of anyone living in the past?

*      Perhaps you were abused as a child

*      Perhaps you were told that you are no good as a child that you now spend every moment of your life proving that you are better than anyone

*      Some one you trusted has betrayed you

b.      David and Absalom (2 Samuel 13-18)

A tragic story about the family of King David. He had many sons from many wives. One of his sons, Amnon raped Tamar, his step-sister who is Absalom’s sister. Disgraced, Tamar lived with Absalom. David did not do anything. Absalom plotted and killed Amnon and fled. Absalom stayed in Geshur for three years. Then David was tricked into bringing back Absalom to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 14). Even in Jerusalem, David refused to see his son. Absalom then conspire to take the throne from David.

*      Do you have problems with your father or mother when you are young?

*      Were you so badly wounded that you still hurt and still react to that wound now?

*      Do your parents show favoritism? Are you still reacting to that now?

*      Do you try to be the opposite of what your father or mother stand for?

Then you are living in the past. You are allowing your past to control your present life.

(2)   The future

a.       When we have enough money…

b.      When our children have graduated …

c.       When we are retired…

d.      When we are established in our career and have time to serve…

Mother and father who works so hard so that their child has a future that they forget to be with the child now.

                                                              i.      His name is today

Gabriela Mistral (April 7, 1889 – January 10, 1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila de María del Perpetuo Socorro Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist who was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1945. Mistral may be most widely quoted in English for Su Nombre es Hoy (His Name is Today):

“We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow,’ his name is today.”

Parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21)

LK 12:16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, `What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

    LK 12:18 "Then he said, `This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

    LK 12:20 "But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

    LK 12:21 "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."


(3)   The present

a.      Lessons from Exodus (Exod. 16: 8-33)

8 Moses also said, "You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD."

    EX 16:9 Then Moses told Aaron, "Say to the entire Israelite community, `Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.' "

    EX 16:10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.

    EX 16:11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, `At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "

    EX 16:13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.

    Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: `Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.' "

    EX 16:17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.

    EX 16:19 Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning."

    EX 16:20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

EX 16:21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much--two omers for each person--and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, "This is what the LORD commanded: `Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.' "

    EX 16:24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 "Eat it today," Moses said, "because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any."

    EX 16:27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, "How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

    EX 16:31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, "This is what the LORD has commanded: `Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.' "

    EX 16:33 So Moses said to Aaron, "Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the LORD to be kept for the generations to come."

    EX 16:34 As the LORD commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna in front of the Testimony, that it might be kept. 35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.

Moses called this bread but the people called it manna. Note some special features:

  • Appears in the morning everyday except the seventh day- the Sabbath (16:4)
  • Everyone has equal share (16: 16-18, 21)
  • Only last one day (16:19-20)
  • On sixth day collect double portion (Sabbath is a day of rest) (16: 5, 22)
  • Manna teaches the lesson of living one day at a time

b.      One day at a time

Living one day at a time

*      Living in the present

*      Celebrate the Sabbath

*      Good and bad are both sides of a coin.

§         The past – accept it and allow God to heal you

§         The future – nothing you can do about it

ECC 7:14 When times are good, be happy;

    but when times are bad, consider:

  God has made the one

    as well as the other.

  Therefore, a man cannot discover

    anything about his future.


34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

*      Life is hard

o       Chronic illness

o       Cerebral palsy child or mentally retarded (who will look after them when you are gone?)

o       Marriage on the rocks

o       Addiction

o       Financial problems

o       Depression

o       Lost loved ones

*      Pray ‘give us today…’





I'm only human, I'm just a woman.

Help me believe in what I could be

And all that I am.

Show me the stairway, I have to climb.

Lord for my sake, teach me to take

One day at a time.



One day at a time sweet Jesus

That's all I'm asking from you.

Just give me the strength

To do everyday what I have to do.

Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus

And tomorrow may never be mine.

Lord help me today, show me the way

One day at a time.


Do you remember, when you walked among men?

Well Jesus you know if you're looking below

It's worse now, than then.

Cheating and stealing, violence and crime

So for my sake, teach me to take

One day at a time.




Give us today our daily bread (Matthew 6:11)

Sermon 1: One day at a time (give us today)

Sermon 2: Our God gives (our daily bread)

Sermon 3: Shared bread (us)


Soli Deo Gloria



Sermon transcript (pdf)

Sermon (mp3)


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