We need to ask. God promises to forgive us if we ask. (1 Jn. 1:9) It is important to us that ask. When we confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness, He is faithful to forgives us.
Our modern world, like never before, has exalted the power of the individual person, individual rights, individual freedoms and individual destiny while downplaying or even rejecting the idea of individual accountability and sin. The moral relativism of the last century has given away to tolerance of nearly anything and everything. Our society has rejected the idea of a Supreme Judge; trading the idea for being our own judges.
The Lord’s Prayer brings us back to the reality that we do not live as we ought. Something isn’t right in our relationship to God, and we need God to make it right. Continue reading →
The daily bread for which Jesus taught us to pray is what we need for our support, but what exactly is “our daily bread”?
We think of sustenance, as in literal bread; we think of more figurative applications like food, resources, maybe even money, shelter, etc. It certainly can mean that, but Jesus did not mean that – at least not just that.
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken[i][ii]me?” (Psalm 22:1)
These are David’s words, and they are words Jesus spoke when he hung on the cross. Many statements in the Old Testament are predictive and point to Christ, including this verse, which anticipates Christ hanging on the cross taking on Himself the sins of the world and being abandoned by the Father in that moment as a result.
While there is a predictive element, clearly, to this statement, I think there is something else going on. Jesus was undoubtedly harkening back to David’s words, but maybe He had another purpose in doing so. We see many times in the Bible that a single phrase has multiple meanings, more than one application, and both or all of them are instructive. Continue reading →
The Psalmist, David, asks God to deliver him from “men of the world, whose portion[i] is in this life.” (Psalm 17:14) David also calls these men, his adversaries, “the wicked who despoil me” (v. 9); “deadly enemies who surround me” (v.9); men with “unfeeling[ii] hearts” who “speak proudly” (v.10). We can understand why David sought God’s deliverance.
Jesus began the prayer that He taught us to pray by addressing God the Father who is in heaven (literally, the heavens (plural)[i], while asking just a few phrases later for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven[ii] (singular). (Matt. 6:10) Our English translations use “heaven” (singular) in both places, and the nuance of the Greek word (in the singular) is used is lost, literally, in the translation.[iii]
“It was for freedom[i] that Christ set us free[ii]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1)
In Western society, and especially in the United States, individual freedom is sacrosanct; freedom is also a Siren’s cry. Americans value individual freedom above all things, but freedom is like the proverbial carrot. the reality of which seems always just beyond our grasp. Continue reading →
“[C]hosen[i] according to the foreknowledge[ii] of God….” (1 Pet.1:1-2)
We cannot understand anything about God unless we understand that He is the uncreated Creator, the Beginner without a beginning; He IS outside of time and space; He always was, always is and always will be. Continue reading →
One thing we should note as we review the prayer Jesus taught us to pray is that there is no “magic” in the words. They are not intended as rote ritual. They are a guide for directing our hearts and aligning ourselves with God the Father. They are meant to help us understand our relationship with God, the Father, and to learn to know Him through prayer. Continue reading →