The Word For Today

Praying Jesus' Way (5)

'...He will show you a way out...' 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

'As we forgive our debtors' (Matthew 6:12 NKJV). Forgiving others isn't an option, it's an obligation. Being forgiven depends on forgiving others. Young Robert Louis Stevenson's family customarily prayed the Lord's Prayer before dinner. One evening he left the table before they reached the part, 'As we forgive our debtors.' Asked why, he replied, 'I'm not prepared to pray that prayer today.' Recognising his reluctance to forgive, he knew he couldn't receive God's forgiveness. 'If you forgive men...your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not...your Father will not forgive your sins' (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV). No matter how badly you've been wronged, God requires you to forgive.
'...Lead us not into temptation' (Matthew 6:13 NIV). This seems odd in the light of God's Word: 'When tempted, no one should ever say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone' (James 1:13 NIV). William Barclay says the Greek word used here for temptation means 'testing', as in the ordeals and trials of life. It refers to life's stressful experiences. An athlete might use these words with his trainer, 'Please don't push me beyond my endurance!' It calls for acknowledging three realities: (1) your human limits and vulnerabilities. (2) that God's in charge of your testing. (3) that He wants you to ask for help and not try to handle it alone. '...God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand...He will show you a way out so that you can endure' (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT). He won't just intervene on your behalf; He will use the experience to strengthen you spiritually.

SoulFood: Obad, Mal 1-4, Mark 7:1-13, Ps 18:1-29, Pro 12:23-24


Praying Jesus' Way (4)

'Give us each day our daily bread.' Luke 11:3 NRS

The second part of the Lord's Prayer addresses our everyday concerns:
'Give us each day our daily bread.' Your Father is willing to meet your physical and financial needs. The word 'bread' Jesus used here meant literal 'food'. God is more concerned about the necessities of your everyday life than you are. He multiplied food for five thousand hungry people. '...He...healed all who were sick' (Matthew 8:16 NKJV). And He wants to meet your needs, too. '...Do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear"' (Matthew 6:31 NIV)? The 'bread man' delivers fresh bread daily! So trust Him for today's needs, and tomorrow morning get up and do the same.
'...Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors' (Matthew 6:12 NKJV). The moment you enter God's presence, you become aware of your sin. And Satan will try to bring condemnation on you. How does he do it? By making you feel unwelcome and uneasy in God's presence. But Satan is a liar. 'There is...no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus...' (Romans 8:1 NKJV). God's Spirit brings your sins to light not to condemn you, but to motivate you to confess them and receive His forgiveness. God's Word identifies several categories of sin that we need to recognise. There's falling short of what's required; the deliberate violation of a specific rule; unintentional and often passionately motivated slips; deliberate disobedience and rebellion; failure to fulfil your indebtedness; the sin of omission. Regardless of what your sin is, the moment you confess it and ask God for forgiveness, He restores you (1 John 1:9).

SoulFood: 1 Pet 1-5, Mark 6:45-56, Ps 49, Pro 12:20-22


Praying Jesus' Way (3)

'...Is anything too hard for Me?' Jeremiah 32:27 NIV

The words 'Our Father' remind us of God's unconditional love. Ever looked into the eyes of a suffering child and wanted to make them well, but found you lacked the power? '...who art in Heaven' reminds us of God's unlimited power to do what we can't. 'I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?' The answer in the Hebrew language effectively comes back, 'No, nothing, absolutely nothing; everything with You will be extraordinary.' You can have total confidence that what God's love prompts Him to do, His power enables Him to do. 'Hallowed be Thy name' distinguishes His name and character from all others. 'Hallowed' in Greek indicates He's unlike others, different, special, the only One. In an age where respect for authority is disappearing, because it challenges our self-importance, Jesus teaches us to pray, 'Heavenly Father, enable us to give You the place Your Holy Name and character deserve.'
'Thy Kingdom come.' Jesus came preaching God's Kingdom; it was the heart of His Gospel. The kingdom incorporating Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and so on was past. The present kingdom includes all who acknowledge Jesus as Lord. And the future kingdom will encompass the whole earth at Christ's return. Each time you submit to God's will, His Kingdom is brought into operation. As a believer, you are in His Kingdom, and His power is available to you. 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven' (Matthew 6:10 KJV). In Heaven God's will is never questioned. Nor should it be in your life. And Jesus instructs us to pray and believe that what happens in Heaven will also happen through you here on earth.

SoulFood: Deut 32:29 - 34:12, Mark 6:30-44, Ps 62, Pro 12:18-19

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