The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, which is in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others their trespasses against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
God's Kingdom is forever, and of His rule there will be no end. Yeshua never said anything in His teaching that wasn't weighted with importance. Even the two last words of His prayer framework have lessons in them.
He reminds us that His Kingdom, and His power, and His glory is forever. Therefore, seeing as He is so important, we need to make Him the centre of our lives. We must not compartmentalize our lives, giving our family one place, our career another, one for church friends, one for worldly friends, one for entertainment, one for leisure, one for how we dress, and so on. They have to all come together and bow before Him.
A lot of Christians compartmentalize their lives. They show up in church on Sunday to do their "God thing," but it doesn't have much affect on how they live their lives the rest of the week.
They might do some extra stuff that is good for Christians to do, like attend a Bible study. Maybe they say prayers in the morning, perhaps even at night. Sometimes they read their Bible. They may even do some good deeds now and then.
What are they doing the rest of the time, though? Are they considering what Yeshua thinks of the words in the songs they listen to? What about the books they read? Do they wonder what He thinks of the shows they watch?
I was at a friend's home one time when she had some other people over, as well. One of the friends was going away and this was a bit of a farewell dinner. After dinner, the other guests all wanted to watch TV. I said what I thought of that. It wasn't a big speech, but I let them know I was disappointed with that decision. I don't watch TV and I wanted to visit with them. One of my friends laughed and told me to go away. Another girl gasped at her cheek, but I wasn't offended. I just went and sat out on the patio and marvelled over a beautiful, double rainbow in the sky.
However, I could overhear the TV program. One character was sounding off to another, and apparently the one who was being berated had behaved like a bag and deserved it. The character called her names, using swear words. My friends all laughed with delight. I thought about how totally inappropriate their response was. When is it ever right to swear at someone?
The character was also ridiculed because she was white. My friends were black; they loved to hear that woman being called a honky. I thought to myself, "Hmm, black people sure make a lot of noise about people being prejudiced against them because of the colour of their skin, but it looks like these people are prejudiced, too." It was quite an unwholesome show and it was reinforcing unwholesome attitudes. They should have turned that junk off.
It was a good thing that I was sitting out on the patio, otherwise nobody would have seen the double rainbow. I called them all outside to look at it. We agreed that it was a sign of God's blessing on our friend who was going away. It was reassuring to our friend, something for him to remember when he was feeling lonely and uncertain in his new environment.
Sometimes (far too often), Christians don't let God have the rule in their jobs or businesses. They know that the Bible teaches that it is wrong to cheat customers, to cheat employees, to cheat the government, but they do it anyway. They justify it by telling themselves that they have to put food on the table for their family and pay the bills.
God does not let that kind of thing go on indefinitely. I knew a Christian couple who had a business, and they also had some dishonest business practices. Over and over, God sent people to them who warned them that they shouldn't do business the way they were doing it, but they kept an iron shield around their hearts to all the rebukes. Then kaboom. In a few short months, all of their employees got disgusted and walked off the job, except for one, who was very unreliable and didn't show up for work half the time. Then a series of tragedies followed, including the loss of their business and the break–up of their marriage.
It was very sobering to see what happened to them. All sorts of things play into how long God lets people seemingly get away with being dishonest. He is the righteous Judge and knows how to handle such things. If those people had been more attuned to eternal things, it would have made a difference to how they conducted themselves in their business. They missed a lot of opportunity to add to God's Kingdom. Their unsaved employees were not impressed with their witness.
Some Christians act one way when they are around Christians, and another way when they are around wordly people. I had a boyfriend who was like that. I met him before I became a Christian, and he witnessed to me quite a lot that first day we met. Later in the evening, though, his hands forgot that they belonged to a Christian. I started to feel very depressed and began to cry. He asked me what was wrong. I burst out, "I thought you were different from other guys!" Then he started crying!
I don't think he would have stopped mauling me if I hadn't reminded him that he professed to be a Christian. There are probably a lot of Christians who do not comport themselves decently when they are alone with someone whom they are attracted to. There are people who go to church who live common–law and have convinced themselves that it is okay. Recently I heard a new term for Christians who fornicate – sexual atheists. They believe in God for other categories of life, but not in regards to sex.
It's pretty hard to witness to someone and get them added to God's Kingdom when you've been going to bed with them. Most folks don't take a Christian very seriously after that, nor other people who know about it. When we keep in mind that God's Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and what is everlasting is what is most important, it helps us reconsider losing some of our inheritance in eternity for the sake of cheap thrills.
What about how we talk? It is it vanity, or is it edifying? Is Yeshua central in our thoughts when we converse or make remarks? He said that we will someday have to account for every idle word that we have spoken.
How about our family? Usually, nobody knows us better than our families, unless we have been living a double life and hiding some things from them. Are we pleasant and reasonable to friends and acquaintances, but rude, irrational, unfair, critical, harsh, and even vulgar to our spouse and children? Does the way we conduct ourselves encourage them to want to serve the Lord?
Some people say that we should give Yeshua first place in our lives. They are wrong. We should give Him every place in our lives. He should be allowed to permeate everything within us. I read some short biographies on politicians who were part of President Lincoln's cabinet. One of those men, in particular, was devoutly religious. He gave the first part of his day to reading the Bible and prayer. He was ruthless in politics, though, and did much to promote the New World Order in regards to its monetary structure.
Life is for a short time; Eternity is forever. It has been said that what we weave in time, we wear in Eternity. We need to take an eternal perspective, instead of being short–sighted and overly concerned about earthly things.
There is nothing namby pamby about the Lord's Prayer. If we spend some time meditating on what all the portions mean, it will get deep down into our hearts, and make it more meaningful when we pray it, instead of it being just something we committed to memory and don't give much thought when we recite it. How much impact can it have on the spiritual realm if we draw near to God with our lips, but our heart is far from Him?
Near the end of His assignment on Earth, Yeshua said that, up to now, His disciples had asked nothing in His Name, but now if we ask for something in His Name, His Father will give it to us, that our joy may be full. [John 16: 23, 24] So add His Name like the impression of His signet ring on a purchase order that He has authorized and then ...
Amen. So be it! We need to affirm at the end that we are in agreement with the Lord and our brothers and sisters in His prayer. The word implies some force. Punch your fist up to get a better idea of what it means. It's like God says, "My team wins," and because we are on His team, we can throw our fist in the air in a victory gesture that says, "Yes! We're going for it!"
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.