Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meditation on the Lord's Prayer Part II

Give us this day our daily bread.

This re-affirms Who our provider is.  This reminds us to take things one day at a time, and to not be fearful about tomorrow.

“I am the bread of life” (1).
"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will  he give him a stone?  If you then, being evil, 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!” (2)
"And the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep" (3),

God is giving us of Himself.  He is the substance our lives depend on.  מְרַחֶפֶת is the Hebrew word for hovered (4).  This word means ‘to brood’.  It is to brood, like a bird would brood over an egg.  The parent bird is causing and aiding the babies development.  The parent bird maintains conditions favorable for development   It is kind of like incubating.  God is incubating us perfectly each day.  We do not need tomorrows brooding, because too much heat could stop our development.  He gives us exactly what we need for our spiritual development, day by day.  And remember, we are developing, we have not already arrived.  His Spirit is nurturing and developing His character within us.  God moves in our hearts and transforms us day by day into His image.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

We are motivated to forgive when we think of the debt we owed God, a debt so great we could never repay it (5).  Consider the parable of the unforgiving servant (6).  The master did forgive the servant of his debt.  The servant said he would pay the master back, but the master already forgave his debt.  So it seems the servant did not understand what really happened… what the servant did not understand is that his master forgave him of a debt that he could never pay off.  So the servant cheapened what his master did for him.  Then the servant went out and chocked someone who owed the servant money.  The master heard about it and sent for the unforgiving servant.  The master then ‘took back his forgiveness’.  God has forgiven our debt.  Our trespasses are no longer held against us.  If they were still held against us, we would have no hope of paying it off.  So if we do not forgive others, will God forgive us, will He withdraw His forgiveness?
If we think we can earn our salvation or forgiveness, like the unforgiving servant thought, then we too do not understand that God has forgiven us of a debt we could never pay off.  Do we believe we can pay our debt?  If so, then in our hearts we are cheapening what God did for us.  If so, we will not appreciate the goodness of God and, therefore, we will not be repentant.

To forgive is to not hold someone accountable for the wrongs they have done to us.  If I fail to forgive, misery is assured.  The Lord’s prayer also says “as we forgive those”.  We still need each other.  God never meant for us to grow alone.  He wants us to grow together.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

"We are tempted when we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed" (7).
The evil is very near.  The kingdom of God is within our hearts.  God's kingdom in our heart started out small, but is growing.  It has yet to encompass all.  God is the one that delivers us from evil; we don't deliver ourselves.  He is the one Who saves us from our sins and addictions.
God delivers us from our inner struggle.

Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.

The kingdom is of God.  Power is the word meaning force.  It also means miraculous power, it can even mean the miracle itself (8).  Glory is praise, honor or distinction extended by common consent.  it is worshipful thanksgiving.  God is great, and everyone who is anyone knows it.

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Your character and authority are above all,
And more powerful and effective than any other character.
Please help me value Your attributes more and more,
Until Your character and nature are worth more to me than any other.
Please intensify the development of Your nature within me.
Let this earth be Your kingdom also.
Do whatever You choose to do here.
Attain Your goals, whatever they are, in us and on this earth.
Give us a strong inclination to be what You want us to be.
And give us the urge to do what You desire.
Nurture Your nature within us.
Give us what we need this day to grow into what You would have us be.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Help us not to try and get even with people.
But give us the desire to outdo each other with love.
Lead us not into temptation.
Do not carry us inward into adversity,
But draw us away from the evil that is so near.
Our Father,
Please save us from our inner struggle.
The kingdom and the miracle and the glory belong to You.
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