For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize… Hebrews 4:15
When we feel discouraged as believers, when we tire of swimming against the current of culture, we turn to God’s word for reminders of his omnipresence and sovereignty, and of our glorious future as citizens of heaven.
When I am tempted to succumb to feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, and self-doubt, I train my mind on God’s word, which is filled with weak, foolish people who became chosen champions for Christ.
Our minds are a good gift from God, as are our emotions. If we do not employ both in our faith, we’ll either run the risk of following fickle feelings or becoming unfeeling and puffed up. Emotions alone can be deceiving. Pursuit of knowledge alone can feed our pride.
What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father. (Packer)
Could it be that religion is, indeed, “opium for the masses,” as Marx proclaimed? An “illusion or fulfillment of the oldest, strongest, and most urgent wishes of mankind,” as Freud asserted? A necessary invention of man, as Voltaire countered, to pacify our fears of death? Is Christianity merely a crutch conjured simply to quench our longing for significance and comfort?
Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
The voices of others hold powerful sway over our sense of significance. When those voices degrade, renounce, or reject, we can become blind to the truth that there is only one Voice that matters.
Satan has stepped up his game in the battle over our children’s hearts.
“The love language of all marriages is self-denial.” Burk Parsons
Jesus did not wait until we were composed and impeccable before he subjected his body and spirit to the anguish of the cross. He did it while we were yet sinners. (Romans 5:8).
True, deep, and authentic faith in Jesus Christ shines glorious light through even the darkest of circumstances to a glory and comfort that will never, ever end. He truly is Joy to the World!
Jesus ends The Lord's Prayer with a plea for protection. The Bible is clear that God does not tempt anyone. James tells us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” (James 1:13-14).
Jesus wisely establishes God’s goodness, holiness, and our need to reach out to him for provision before he gets to this difficult point in the prayer. Reliance on the Father to give us the courage and humility to forgive others is essential, since only the Holy Spirit can keep us aware of the immense and infinite height, width, and breadth of God’s forgiveness.
Christ has begun his model prayer with establishing the goodness, greatness, and supremacy of God, and our need to seek his perfect will for us. Now he models supplication. We are told in scripture to ask God for our needs and desires. Notice in Jesus’ prayer, he asks for bread for “this day.” Like the manna given to the Israelites in the wilderness, we are given what we need on a day to day basis.
Jesus Christ’s desire for his father’s will was paramount in his earthly life. Eternal yet begotten, Christ was the linchpin in the plan of salvation, and he knew that the good of Creation depended on God’s will, established from heaven, being accomplished on earth. So he taught his hearers to pray for God’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.”
After establishing our relationship to God (Our Father), his whereabouts (in Heaven), and reminding us of our obligation to revere him (Hallowed by your name), Christ presents his first supplication: to bring God’s kingdom to earth.
Christ ends the preface of The Lord's Prayer with establishing the inviolableness of God’s name. God’s name is to be set apart and high above all other names. He is to be revered and viewed utterly sacrosanct. His tender fatherliness does not give us license to relax our reverence toward him.
After Christ addresses God as our Father, thus establishing the intimate and unhindered relationship we enjoy with him as his beloved children, he continues The Lord's Prayer by establishing God’s address...
Andrew Wilson is a young pastor in England who, together with his wife, have two children on the Autism spectrum. In his book, The Life We Never Expected, Andrew and his wife chronicle their experiences with their two beautiful children, as well as what they have been learning about God through them. The book is candid and raw, and beautifully written. The Wilsons are a couple who love the Lord, despite, and even on account of, the path he has placed them on. But it hasn’t been easy. In the book, Andrew admits to becoming distracted during prayer, and that sometimes the anguish and fatigue are so deep that he scarcely knows how or what to pray.