My father served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in World War II. Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister of Great Britain. My father served in the Pacific Fleet. Great Britain is in the Atlantic. My father earned the respect of the 120 men he led as skipper of his warship. Churchill earned the respect of hundreds of millions with his brave leadership against the Axis powers. My father admired Churchill. Churchill never knew that my father existed. “So,” you might be asking, “why is this article is titled the way it is?” In the providence of God Winston Churchill made a decision that impacted my father’s life. Churchill was concerned about how Allied Forces could successfully invade European […]
We continue on with Jesus Christ’s exemplary lesson on prayer: give us today our daily bread. These ninety words in Matthew 6 are to form the model for all of our prayers. Jesus begins this prayer by addressing God as our heavenly Father saying that he alone is to be praised as “hallowed.” Our God is a jealous God who will not give his glory to another. Christ then leads us to see that we are to seek God’s kingdom here on earth. We are to desire his will more than our own. Thus, if God is indeed our father, and if He is the ruler of the mightiest of all kingdoms, it is only fitting that we ask him […]
When you teach your child to pray for God’s kingdom to come, you are teaching him to do something that is contrary to the nature with which he was born. You see, the little “kingdom of self” with which we were all born is radically opposed to the kingdom of God. Think seriously about this statement. The flesh stands in violent opposition to the purposes of God. Read once again what the flesh is all about in Galatians 5:19-21: The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those […]
When Jesus says this is how you should pray Christians should take notice! The idea that sinful people like you and me can come before the holy God, ruler of the universe, and ask him to hear our concerns should be a humbling experience. God in his faithfulness has not left us without clear direction in how we are to approach him in prayer. What a wonderful privilege and blessing; we learn that we can pray to our father and that Jesus tells us how do it.
This next line of the Lord’s Prayer is a statement of worship and honor. God is our father. He resides in heaven. Therefore, he is a different sort of being from you and me. We are not the Father of all and we do not reside in a place that is sinless and wholly reflects the character of God. It is the very nature of God’s character that makes him hallowed or holy. Thus, Jesus says that all that God is, his name, is holy, set apart. In this sense, hallowedness is appropriate for God and for none other. If we are to think of God at all, especially when we come before him to pray, we are to acknowledge […]
What does the opening line of the Lord’s Prayer teach us? When working with children, truth that is clearly and simply stated is essential. This is why this prayer in Matthew 6 is a model not only for how to pray, but for how to speak. Jesus says earlier in chapter that the prayers of his people should not be like the babbling prayers of the pagans that overflow with many words. Many words offer no guarantee that your prayers will be heard. Trust that your Father in heaven knows exactly what you need before you ask him. While it is important to come to God in faith with specific requests, it is also important to realize that informing God […]
Jesus gave instructions to his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount about the basics of the Christian life. The sermon is powerful and wide ranging. It is all the more astounding because of its concise nature. Our Lord uses words with remarkable clarity and directness. The sermon is brief yet complete. Through this masterpiece Jesus gives clear directives that are designed by the Holy Spirit to captivate your attention. For example in Matthew 6:9, Christ tells his disciples “this is how you should pray”. What follows is the model for how all of us should pray and how you should teach your children to pray. This one prayer consisting of 57 words in Matthew’s gospel is an infallible primer […]
You are thirty-six. Your life is about half over, based on average human lifespans. If you are a singer, you might be just entering your prime. If you are an athlete, your prime is probably a fading memory. If you are in the business world you may be starting over, riding the wave, or somewhere in the middle. If you are a parent, you may be in despair, or you may be experiencing the joy of seeing your children follow Christ. But no matter what your situation, there is still one quality that you must have in increasing measure: discernment! Recall this simple definition: