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Devoted to the Breaking of Bread

Devoted  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

This morning we continue our “Devoted” series
There is a social trend of isolationism and disengagement.
· Sociologists say research shows Americans are participating less in social activities. They are reading less newspapers, attending less political meetings, signing fewer petitions, writing fewer letters to the editors, attending fewer club meetings, entertaining less friends at their home, attending fewer church services and giving less blood.
· Older generations (those born before 1945) are much more likely to be civically engaged than baby boomers or their offspring.
· 50% of men do not have anyone they call a best friend.
Acts 2:42
Acts 2:42 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
The significance of Bread
Manna was a crisp, sweet flake which God supernaturally provided for Israel during the years of wilderness wandering.
Unleavened bread, bread made without yeast, was eaten during the Passover to commemorate Israel’s flight from Egypt.
Hebrew - at least 7 different words; Greek 3 different NT words. Mentioned 492 x’s
In Biblical times bread was a part of the basic diet which included vegetables, fruit, olives, and cheese. Meat was seldom eaten
A dozen loaves of unleavened bread arranged in two rows of six were placed on a low table. The bread was replaced each Sabbath and the old loaves were to be eaten only by the priests.
The word bread could be used generically for any kind of food.
Bread was the essential food of the ancient Israelites. The word bread could be used generically for any kind of food. Meat was eaten by peasants only during festive times, otherwise bread mixed with other foods was their main staple.
Bread is the primary metaphor for life and sustenance.
1. Bread represents the necessities of life.
This is the economy of God. God says, “I supply it. You gather it.” When you pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” it doesn’t mean you sit on the couch and wait for God to throw you money. You’ve got to work! Even the Israelites had to go out and pick up the manna. Work is a part of God’s purpose for your life.
John 6:35 NIV
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Proverbs 14:23 The Message
23 Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.
The Bible is spiritual food. Bread is a symbol for scripture.
Deuteronomy 8:3 NLT
3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Bread represents God’s family and fellowship.
3. Bread represents God’s family and fellowship.
1 Corinthians 10:16 NLT
16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ?
1 cor
Bread represents salvation.
Jesus chose bread to represent his sacrifice in communion. Every time we eat the bread and drink the wine or juice, it is a reminder of how much God loves us and the sacrifice he made so that we can go to Heaven.
John 6:48–51 NIV
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Bread is the primary metaphor for life and sustenance.
jn 6.
So what is the significance to us today? (Devoted to the Breaking of Bread?)
(Have a table set up on the platform with some place settings, a nice basket of bread, and something to drink)
(Sit down at the table) Talk about what goes on around the dinner table in our home. (illustrate a typical night)
Gathering everyone (Call for everyone several times; “When I was a kid mom and dad called for us once!”)
Prayer time (Isaac prayer requests)
Work through the problems (We don’t speak to each other that way!)
Pass out the food to everyone (The idea that mealtime is not just for you)
Talk about our day and the game plan for tonight and this weekend
Don’t forget the bread (The problem with the biscuits; 8 biscuits for 7 people)

The Bread of Fellowship

Bread in the Bible functioned as a social bond. The giving of bread often times carried with it the idea of hospitality as well as respect and concern for one another.
Genesis 14:18 NIV
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,
Deuteronomy 23:4 NIV
4 For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you.
Ruth 2:14 NIV
14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over.
deut
Bread represents God’s family
1 Corinthians 10:16 NLT
16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ?
Bread is a metaphor for the family of God. You need God’s people in your life! Whether or not you have a physical family, God wants you to be part of his family that will last forever — the Church. It is to be a place of fellowship.
1 cor 10.16
“breaking bread” = Used as a metaphor for making peace with someone.
I understand that you can’t trust everyone you break bread with (Just ask Jesus) but you can’t let that keep you from the table!

The Bread of Life

Bread represents the necessities of life
This is the economy of God. God says, “I supply it. You gather it.” When you pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” it doesn’t mean you sit on the couch and wait for God to throw you money. You’ve got to work! Even the Israelites had to go out and pick up the manna. Work is a part of God’s purpose for your life.
Proverbs 14:23 The Message
23 Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.
Bread represents God’s Word. The Bible is spiritual food. Bread is a symbol for scripture.
The Bible is spiritual food. Bread is a symbol for scripture.
Deuteronomy 8:3 NLT
3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
(illustrate God having a conversation around His table today)
(illustrate God having a conversation around His table today)
I wonder where everyone is? I’ve prepared a great meal like I always do. Maybe they ordered in today?!
I remember when this whole family idea started.
Holy Spirit was there; People showed up hungry, and He didn’t disappoint. Showed up and showed off!
People started bringing more and more people to my table which was fine because there’s plenty of room.
People ate with glad and sincere hearts and praised God. (I think for the first time they were getting it) The Bread represents the life that my presence gives them!
Proverbs 9:5 NLT
5 “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leviticus 24:5–9 NIV
5 “Take the finest flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. 6 Arrange them in two stacks, six in each stack, on the table of pure gold before the Lord. 7 By each stack put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be a food offering presented to the Lord. 8 This bread is to be set out before the Lord regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in the sanctuary area, because it is a most holy part of their perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the Lord.”
Proverbs 9:5 The Message
5 I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread, roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
One bread we didn’t mention earlier
One bread we didn’t mention earlier
Shewbread (Showbread) were special loaves of bread that were freshly baked daily and displayed before the Lord in the Tabernacle and later the Temple.
A dozen loaves of unleavened bread arranged in two rows of six were placed on a low table. The bread was replaced each Sabbath and the old loaves were to be eaten only by the priests.
A dozen loaves of unleavened bread arranged in two rows of six were placed on a low table. The bread was replaced each Sabbath and the old loaves were to be eaten only by the priests.
Leviticus 24:5–9 NIV
5 “Take the finest flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. 6 Arrange them in two stacks, six in each stack, on the table of pure gold before the Lord. 7 By each stack put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be a food offering presented to the Lord. 8 This bread is to be set out before the Lord regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in the sanctuary area, because it is a most holy part of their perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the Lord.”
Shewbread = “bread of the presence”
() David's eating of the bread of the Presence suggests that human need can at times overrule ritual prohibition.
Mark 2:26 NIV
26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
"To eat bread is to taste the very source of all bread and nourishment which is God Himself because it was God who created the earth, plants, and especially wheat as the staff of life." Loaves and Fishes, Joseph A. Grassi
Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV
3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
(Come back to Jesus sitting at the table)
Jesus spoke of himself as the “true bread” that came down from heaven and “gives life to the world”
John 6:35 NIV
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
jn
John 6:48–51 NIV
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
BE DEVOTED TO THE BREAKING OF BREAD
Extra Material …
Illustration / Joke - 2 state workers - one digging and the other filling in the hole. (Sometimes we forget why we do what we do)
Why are people so disconnected today?
There is a social trend of isolationism and disengagement.
· Sociologists say research shows Americans are participating less in social activities. They are reading less newspapers, attending less political meetings, signing fewer petitions, writing fewer letters to the editors, attending fewer club meetings, entertaining less friends at their home, attending fewer church services and giving less blood.
· Older generations (those born before 1945) are much more likely to be civically engaged than baby boomers or their offspring.
· 50% of men do not have anyone they call a best friend.
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