In our last class of 2015, we wrapped up our study of the Lord’s Prayer by considering how we could look at the Lord’s prayer as a New Year’s Prayer.
The participants in the class made some great observations:
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. The beginning of the year is a great time to forgive things in the past, let go of hard feelings that are hindering our relationships, and make a fresh start.
“Deliver us from evil”. We live in a scary world with active shooters, radical Islamic terrorists, and all the daily dangers associated with life in a busy, congested, fast-paced communities. We pray for God’s protection from both physical and spiritual (“lead us not into temptation”) evil.
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. 2016 is an important election year in the US. Elsewhere we are instructed to pray for kings and all who are in authority that there may be peace. We are not to give up on this world. Prayer can fix this and we should be committed to doing what we can to make life on earth more as it is in heaven.
Perhaps the most practical point made in class was to not overlook the obvious: We need to pray! Jesus said, “In this manner, therefore, pray”. Maybe the best “resolution” we can make, the one that has the most power to transform us, is to be sure to pray!
The end of the year is a great time to get advice from Jesus about how to approach life. Four times Jesus used language similar to “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25, Matthew 10:39, Luke 17:33, John 12:33).
The statement is a warning that if we live for sinful or selfish pleasures we will lose out on life (perhaps now in some way but especially in eternity). It is a promise that if we are willing to turn our life over to God, we will preserve (find, save) our life. If peace and satisfaction elude us, perhaps we need to turn our life over to God. He promises us if we do we will “find it”.
Question: Jesus isn’t asking us to do anything He wasn’t willing to do Himself. In the 4th occurrence (John 12) Jesus seems include Himself in this principle. How did Jesus life exemplify the principle, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it”?
Two qualifications the Christ had to meet were (1) He had to be of the seed of David and (2) He had to be born in Bethlehem. Jesus fit both and thus was qualified to be the Messiah.
Sunday we pondered how amazing it was that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 prophesied this would be the case: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth. What circumstances led to Jesus being born in Bethlehem?
What does Micah 5:2 say about the person of the king that would disqualify all other human kings?
Listen to the lesson “Birthers Of The New Testament”.
Last night we began a brief study of the Lord’s Prayer recorded in Matthew 6 and Luke 11.
Jesus taught to begin with “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name”.
In this salutation we see two reminders of who God is. He is the Holy God in Heaven and He is our Father. That is who we petition in prayer!
How do these two truths give us confidence and motivate us to pray?