Thomas Manton, pastor and theologian, preached an extraordinary series through the Lord’s Prayer. The words of Jesus, recorded in Matthew’s Gospel (6:9-13), are pregnant with meaning and use.
In the typical Puritan manner, Manton discusses the text itself, providing rich insight into the meaning of Scripture. Afterwards, he applies the teachings to the lives of people. In his exposition of Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread” (KJV), he provides numerous uses. One of the uses, as he phrases it, is “[to] be contented with that portion which God hath given us of worldly things, if the Lord be the donor.” (Manton, 164)
The second reason we should be contented is, “Nothing is deserved, and therefore certainly everything should be kindly taken.” (Manton, 164)
This reason flies in the face of current, American culture. We expect to get paid more for doing less. We deserve a better grade on that assignment. The list of expectations and perceived misappropriation of certain items could go on. Popular media provides examples of this mentality as well. Although it is older, Burger King’s motto is, “Have it your way.” The implication is obvious. You should get the burger the way you want it.
Now, I am not arguing about fast food burger joints not offering customized food. In fact, as one who detests cheese, I am very grateful for it. However, this mentality only feeds our views of entitlement.
Naturally, we are sinful beings. Consider Paul’s description of humanity, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:21, KJV) Thus, our society only feeds the ungrateful beast within us.
Thomas Manton reminds us that we deserve nothing. There is no worldly good that we deserve. In fact, in the face of the infinitely holy God, we deserve immediate, painful, enduring torment (see Isaiah 59:2; Matthew 25:30, 41).
But God in His graciousness often showers us with good things (see Matthew 5:45). Thus, we should meditate often upon the goodness of God. While you and I deserve eternal punishment for the horrible crimes we have committed against an all-holy God, we enjoy blessing after blessing. Every breath we take should be breathed in with praised and exhaled with exalting the great name of our God. When life is lived in this manner, we cannot help but be content.
Brothers and sisters, let us be content with the knowledge that we deserve nothing. Everything we have is a good gift from our gracious Heavenly Father.