5. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us – July 30

Day 1 – Think.

If the biggest sinner you know isn’t you, then you don’t know yourself very well – Jean Larroux

 

Get out of denial.  Don’t underestimate what you are capable of.

Psalm 51:5.  For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

Genesis 4:7 Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.

 

Life changing, character forming and freedom engendering repentance comes in two parts

 

  1. Full clean confession.

Psalm 51:4b  I have done what is evil in your sight.  You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.

Repentance is not blame shifting or feeling sorry for yourself, nor is it minimising, complaining or relativising our actions.  It is taking full responsibility for our wrongs without excuse.  I have done evil in your sight!  I did it.  I am the cause. Real repentance begins when blame shifting and self pity ends.

 

  1. Deep heart renunciation

Psalm 51:4a – Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;

When you come to see that your sin has dishonoured and grieved God you begin to hate the sin itself.  Then it loses its power over you. You change.

 

Forgiveness brings freedom.

Freedom from the past – tied through guilt – no matter what you’ve done

Freedom in the present – actually able to change and not do the things you do wrong

 

Are you living in freedom from your past?

Have you been able to change? Are you living in freedom today?

Are you confident that God loves you?

Did Jesus do enough to allow you to be forgiven for your wrongs?

Is there anyone that you need to ‘restore fellowship’ with?

 

The greatest act of love is that Jesus stayed.

 

The Lord’s prayer so far

Access.  Approaching God as Father.

Praise. Giving him the praise he deserves.

Submission.  Inviting God’s kingdom of righteousness.

Petition. A request for God to provide in the present.

Petition. Pardon takes care of our past.

Day 2 – Meditation

Pray throughout today – ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’

What does God reveal to you through this prayer?

What other prayers or thoughts flow from this prayer?

Day 3 – Scriptural context

Matthew 18:21-35

Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

 

The King’s forgiveness came first. It’s in light of his great forgiveness that the servants unforgiving spirit is such a terrible thing.

Day 4 – Sermon on the mount

The Lord’s Prayer is set within the context of the Sermon on the Mount.   How does this section of the sermon add to our understanding of this week’s part of the Lord’s prayer?

Matthew 5:21-26

Teaching about Anger

21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone you are in danger of the fires of hell.

23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

25 “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

Matthew 5:38-47

Teaching about Revenge

38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 7:1-6

Do Not Judge Others

7 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

 

Day 5 – Application

Forgiveness

God is the source of forgiveness. The blood of Christ is the ground of forgiveness. A repentant heart is always the condition of forgiveness. A forgiving Spirit is the evidence of forgiveness. The removal of sin and restoration of fellowship is the result of forgiveness.

 

Trespass/transgression – doing what we are told not to do.

Sin – failing to do what we have been commanded to do.

Guile – pretending to be something that we are not.

 

Forgiveness deals with our past, it takes care of our soul.

Forgiveness of ourselves and others is a powerful force in our lives, it is often where the rubber meets the road in a Christian’s life.

 

Which is more difficult for you – Asking God to forgive you or forgiving someone who has sinned against you?

Consider the significance of the ‘as’ in ‘Forgive us our sins, AS we forgive those you sin against us’.

What happens when a believer refuses to forgive?

Have I forgiven those closest to me who have hurt me deeply?

 

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4. Give us this day our daily bread – July 23

Day 1 – Think.

This is the first request or petition of the Lord’s prayer..

The previous phrases help shift our focus and put the emphasis on God – Our Father, His Name, His kingdom and His will. Our worries and needs are quickly put in perspective first.

 

Our Father gives good gifts.  All blessings ultimately come from God.  Your life, your health, your career, your intelligence, your strength, your personality, your family, your friendships, your possessions, your accomplishments, your wealth are all gifts.  Everything you have is on loan from God.

 

14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. 1 Chronicles 29:14&15

 

What does ‘Daily bread living’ look like?

Consider:

1 Gratitude to God for all of his blessings.

2 Contentment with what God has already given you.

3 Confidence that God will meet your needs day by day.

4 Generosity towards those who are less fortunate than you.

 

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. God gives us what we truly need when we need it.  Are you grateful to God today?  Are you grateful for living in/around Invercargill?

Jesus prayed for bread suggesting that material needs do not fall outside the realm of prayer.

Bread is seen as a basic need met but it will usually not satisfy our greed.  Are you content with what God has already given you?

What are your present needs?  Are you confident that God will meet your needs?

Have you put your needs in the perspective the previous statements of the Lord’s prayer?

Are you open to opportunities to be generous this week?

 

The Lord’s prayer so far

Access.  Approaching God as Father.

Praise. Giving God the praise he deserves.

Submission.  Inviting God’s kingdom of righteousness.

Petition. A request for God to provide in the present.

bread-of-life

Day 2 – Meditate

Pray throughout today – ‘Give us this day our daily bread’

What does God reveal to you through this prayer?

What other prayers or thoughts flow from this prayer?

Day 3 – Scriptural Context

Psalm 145

A psalm of praise of David.

1 I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever.

2 I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.

3 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!  No one can measure his greatness.

4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.

5 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.

6 Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness.

7 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

9 The Lord is good to everyone.  He showers compassion on all his creation.

10 All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you.

11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power.

12 They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign.

13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.  You rule throughout all generations.

The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.[b]

14 The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

15 The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it.

16 When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.

18 The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.

19 He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.

20 The Lord protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked.

21 I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.

 

Day 4 – Sermon on the mount

The Lord’s Prayer is set within the context of the Sermon on the Mount.   How does this section of the sermon add to our understanding of this week’s part of the Lord’s prayer?

 

Matthew 7:7-11

Effective Prayer

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Matthew 6:19-34

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Luke 11:5-13

Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Day 5 – Application

‘This day’ suggests living in the now is important.

‘When you are worried about the future, it is hard to find God.  When you live in the now he is right there with you’.  Ed Dobson

Submit this next day and it’s ‘to do’ list to God.

It is also not dwelling on the past.  Dwelling on the past robs you of living fully in ‘this day’.

 

10 When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.  Deuteronomy 8:10

 

What do you think ‘Daily bread living’ looks like?  In times of enough?  In times of not enough? And in times of plenty?

 

7 O God, I beg two favors from you;

    let me have them before I die.

8 First, help me never to tell a lie.

    Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!

    Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.

9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”

    And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.  Proverbs 30:7-9

3. Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done on earth as in Heaven – July 16

Day 1 – Think

Your kingdom come is offense not defense

It is a battle cry.  It is fighting talk.  Inviting heaven to earth.  It is letting go of trying to control the uncontrollable.  It means holding things less tightly.

‘Your kingdom come’ is revolution.

 

 

Every revolution has a basis – a catch cry

The American revolutions catch cry was Independence.

The Russian revolutions catch cry was Equality.

The French revolutions catch cry was – Liberté, égalité, fraternité  “liberty, equality, fraternity

The catch cry of the revolution of Jesus is Righteousness.

 

Jesus will reign over His kingdom of righteousness.  His kingdom overcomes all geographical and political boundaries.  Hearts, churches, countries, nations, the world.

Jesus demonstrated righteousness in his own life.

 

He procured righteousness in His suffering and death.

He provides righteousness in His resurrection and life.

 

Whose kingdom do you live for? God’s or your own.  ‘Your kingdom come’ is an act of submission.

 

God’s kingdom is wherever God is King – Brian Kenning

 

Your kingdom come – in my life, in my family, in my church, in the world

There are many end times theories and interpretations – Your kingdom come about covers them all!

 

The Lord’s prayer so far

Access.  Approaching God as Father.

Praise. Giving God the praise he deserves.

Submission.  Inviting God’s kingdom of righteousness.

Will (2)

Day 2 – Meditate

Pray throughout today – ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’

What does God reveal to you through this prayer?

What other prayers or thoughts flow from this prayer?

Day 3 – Scriptural context

Hebrews 12 (NLT)

God’s Discipline Proves His Love

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,

“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,

    and don’t give up when he corrects you.

6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,

    and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

A Call to Listen to God

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.

18 You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.’

22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.

28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.

Day 4 – Sermon on the mount

The Lord’s Prayer is set within the context of the Sermon on the Mount.   How does this section of the sermon add to our understanding of this week’s part of the Lord’s prayer?

Matthew 5:1-20 (NLT)

The Sermon on the Mount

5 One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Teaching about Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Teaching about the Law

17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Day 5 – Application

When you pray “Your will be done”, you are asking that your life pass from your control to God’s control.  What are the signs that you are trying to control your own life?

Do any of these words apply to you? Irritable, pushy, anxious, fearful, hyperactive, withdrawn, driven, compulsive, critical, hypersensitive, perfectionistic, overbearing, worried.

Spend some time asking God to set you free from the need to always be in control.

 

There are more than 6 billion wills on earth and only 1 in heaven.

How are things done on earth?  How are they done in heaven?

 

Small acts make a big difference against evil.  What small acts could you do to bring heaven to earth?  Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.  Rom 12:21

We are not alone – God goes before us in our battles. This statement in the Lord’s prayer asks Him to do what we can not.

 

What would be the evidence of His Kingdom and Heaven on earth?  The poor are served. People treat each other as valuable and people are aware of their great value.  The supernatural? Our resources?  The environment?

Week 2. Hallowed be your name – July 9

Day 1 – Think

What does hallowed mean?  To treat something as sacred or holy.

To treat God as being as glorious, as holy and infinitely majestic as He actually is.

To be filled with grateful joy for who He is and what He has done.

John Calvin said it means ‘to have your entire heart captivated with wonderment for Him.’

Why is praise important to God?

Acknowledging God’s goodness and love is good for us too.

How do you praise and adore God?

 

Five aspects to praise and adoration (we’ll look at these again later in the week)

1 Thinking

2 Expressing

3 Appraising

4 Beholding

5 Resting

 

The Lord’s prayer so far

Access.  Approaching God as Father.

Praise. Giving God the praise he deserves.

quote-we-delight-to-praise-what-we-enjoy-because-the-praise-not-merely-expresses-but-completes-c-s-lewis-39-25-89

Day 2 – Meditate

Pray throughout today – ‘Hallowed be your name’

What does God reveal to you through this prayer?

What other prayers or thoughts flow from this prayer?

Day 3 – Scriptural context

Psalm 63

A psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, you are my God;  I earnestly search for you.

My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you

in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.

3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;how I praise you!

4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.

5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.

6 I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.

7 Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.

8 I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

9 But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.  They will go down into the depths of the earth.

10 They will die by the sword and become the food of jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God.  All who swear to tell the truth will praise him,

    while liars will be silenced.

Day 4 – Sermon on the mount

The Lord’s Prayer is set within the context of the Sermon on the Mount.  How does this section of the sermon add to our understanding of this week’s part of the Lord’s prayer.

What does this passage teach us about true and false worship?

 

Matthew 7:12-28

The Golden Rule

12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

 The Narrow Gate

13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

 The Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

 True Disciples

21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

 Building on a Solid Foundation

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

Day 5 – Application

How do you praise and adore God?  What comes easiest to you?

 

Five aspects to praise and adoration

1 Thinking

2 Expressing

3 Appraising

4 Beholding

5 Resting

 

Thinking

Think of the different ways that God is great/holy/magnificent- get specific – go into detail.

Break it down.  List and analyse the different aspects of God and His character.

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Psalm 63:6

 

Expressing

Declare and express your praise.  Musically, publicly, corporately.  With skilful music – done well.

I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer Psalm 63:4

 

Appraising

Add up it’s value and compare it with other things

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! Ps 63:3

Praise God for being as glorious as He actually is.

Consider God’s qualities, character and the truth of His love and grace; Does this impact your life and thoughts?

What is God really like? – Why is there fear in my life?- What are my priorities? – What brings me joy?

St Augustine said ‘You are what you love’.  God can change what you love

 

Beholding

Beholding comes after Thinking, Expressing and Appraising.

It takes us from knowing God’s power, holiness, glory and love to experiencing His power, holiness, glory and love.

It brings great satisfaction.  The bible describes it with sensory language.

You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. Psalm 63:5

 

Rest

Resting in our new identity of God’s undeserved grace and salvation.  Jesus took the penalty for our sins – He took the blame for us.

Performance says ‘I am what I do’.  Rest says ‘I am what He did’ – Jonathan Helser

Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.  Psalm 63:7

Hallowed