Last Sunday I visited another church. At first I was a little apprehensive about going because it was the first time I had been to that church.
In fact it was actually quite daunting entering the church. I can only imagine how much more daunting it is for those who are coming to church for the very first time!
Anyway I digress.
The sermon was about the Lord’s Prayer. He broke it down in a way I have NEVER heard before and I wanted to share what I could remember from it.
The words ‘Our Father’ remind us of God’s unconditional love.
Who art in heaven” reminds us of God’s unlimited power to do what we can’t. Time and time again this is reiterated in the bible.
‘Hallowed be Thy name’ distinguishes His name and character from all others. ‘Hallowed’ in Greek indicates He’s unlike others, different, special, the only One.
‘Thy kingdom come.’ Jesus came preaching God’s kingdom; it was the heart of His gospel. The kingdom incorporating Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., was past. The present kingdom includes all who acknowledge Jesus as Lord. And the future kingdom will encompass the whole earth at Christ’s return. Each time we submit to God’s will, His kingdom is brought into operation. As a believer, we are in His kingdom, and His power is available to us.
‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ (Matthew 6:10 KJV) In heaven God’s will is never questioned. Nor should it be in our lives – because God always delivers. And Jesus instructs us to pray and believe that what happens in heaven will also happen through you here on earth.
The second part of the Lord’s Prayer addresses our everyday concerns: ‘Give us each day our daily bread’ (v. 3). This part right here is what got me!God is willing to meet our physical and financial needs. The word Jesus used here meant literal ‘food’. God is more concerned about the necessities of our everyday life than we are. He multiplied food for five thousand hungry people. He healed all who were sick’ (Matthew 8:16 NKJV). And He wants to meet our needs, too. ‘…Do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”’ (Matthew 6:31 NIV). The ‘bread man’ delivers fresh bread daily! So we have to trust Him for today’s needs, and tomorrow morning we have to get up and do the same.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors’ (Matthew 6:12 NKJV). The moment you enter God’s presence, you become aware of your sin. And Satan will try to bring condemnation on us. How does the devil do this? By making us feel unwelcome and uneasy in God’s presence. But Satan is a liar. ‘There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…’ (Romans 8:1 NKJV). God’s Spirit brings our sins to light not to condemn us, but to motivate us to confess them and receive His forgiveness.
‘As we forgive our debtors’ (Matthew 6:12 NKJV). Forgiving others isn’t an option, it’s an obligation. Being forgiven depends on forgiving others. No matter how badly we’ve been wronged, God requires us to forgive.
‘…Lead us not into temptation’ (v. 13 NIV). The word here for temptation means ‘testing’, as in the ordeals and trials of life. It refers to life’s stressful experiences. It calls for acknowledging three realities: 1) our human limits and vulnerabilities 2) that God’s in charge of our testing. 3) that He wants us to ask for help and not try to handle it alone. ‘…God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than we can stand. He will show us a way out so that we can endure’ (1Corinthians 10:13 NLT). He won’t just intervene on our behalf; He will use the experience to strengthen our spiritually.
Deliver us from evil (Luke 11:4 KJV). This here, doesn’t mean to fear Satan but we must be alert to his strategies (1Peter 5:8-9 KJV). If we’re unaware and fail to put on the full armour of God, we invite defeat (Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV). But when alert and fully armed, we needn’t be afraid of satan: ‘…Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world’ (1John 4:4 KJV). Jesus, not you, guarantees your victory.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever’ (Matthew 6:13 KJV). What a final note of recognition and praise! No uncertainty or tentativeness here.
I guarantee that after this post, you will never recite the Lord’s Prayer the way you used to. It now has more meaning!!
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