Forgive Us Our Debts

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“And forgive[i] us our debts[ii]….” (Matt. 6:11[iii])

Jesus taught us to pray along the lines of the Lord’s Prayer After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, and praying that Gods’s kingdom come, and for God’s will to be done, Jesus instructed us to pray that His will be done on earth as it is heaven. But then, Jesus gets to where we live, instructing to pray that God give us our daily bread, which means more than food, and for forgiveness of our sins.

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

Our Daily Bread

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“Our daily bread[i][ii][iii]

I have been focusing on the Lord’s Prayer in a series of articles. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, and praying that Gods’s kingdom come, and for God’s will to be done, Jesus instructed us to pray that His will be done on earth as it is heaven. But then, Jesus gets to where we live, instructing to pray that God give us our daily bread.

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.

In fact, He certainly meant more than that! Continue reading

God Fully Understands Us

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“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

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

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“Give[i] us this day our daily[ii] bread[iii].” (Matt. 6:12)

This is the next post in a series articles on The Lord’s Prayer. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, and praying that Gods’s kingdom come, and for God’s will to be done, Jesus instructed us to pray the His will be done on earth as it is heaven. But then, Jesus gets to where we live, instructing to pray that God give us our daily bread.

Jesus expressly urges us to ask for the Father’s provision. It is not, therefore wrong to ask; we are instructed to ask; God expects us to ask!

But, what is it exactly that God wants us to ask for? Continue reading

Where Is My Portion?

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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.

But reading on, David’s descriptions take a spin in an odd direction. Continue reading

As It Is In Heaven

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This is the next post in a series articles on The Lord’s Prayer. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, and praying that Gods’s kingdom come, and for God’s will to be done, Jesus instructed to pray the His will be done on earth as it is heaven.

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]

So let’s take a close look.

Continue reading

For Freedom We are Set Free

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“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