LOOKING FORWARD

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)

v. 11 “Give us today our daily bread.”

 

Christ teaches us to petition our Father for what we need, when we need it. This is a prayer of reliance, not self-indulgence. Let’s look at what “daily bread” meant to the Jewish people.

 

After the Lord delivered the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, he kept them in the wilderness forty years to teach them to trust him. Not long after they had been liberated, the whole nation complained to Moses and Aaron that it would have been better to live as slaves in Egypt where food abounded than to starve to death in the desert. The Lord responded by providing manna—their “daily bread”: Continue Reading

Photo by Ryan Johns on Unsplash

 

Do you ever feel stuck? Maybe a little depressed? We all do from time to time. Some people deal with this feeling by getting a new haircut, a high-tech toy, or a major purchase (like a car or boat). Those who feel more desperate may consider changing their job or even their spouse. But such radical changes rarely result in long-term satisfaction. Rather, I’ve found that living a more meaningful life includes doing these small but proactive things every day: Continue Reading

v. 10 “… on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

In verse 9, Jesus commands us to hallow his Father’s name. In verse 10, he calls us to live in the light of his coming kingdom; specifically, by learning to live here as we will live there.

 

There is no human in heaven against his or her will. Everyone there has chosen to live in joyful, reverent obedience to its King. This unconditional surrender is an act of the will, made possible by grace through faith in Christ. In contrast, for the time being, earth is still the battleground for the wills of men and women. So by definition, every heart in heaven has conformed to God’s will. And why would they choose otherwise? For in God’s presence, they are overwhelmed by his glory and omnipotence. His light and love illuminate everything. The apostle John was given this vision of the New Jerusalem: Continue Reading

10 “…your will be done,”

 

Jesus instructs us to pray for the ultimate manifestation of his Father’s kingdom: a world where God’s will is fully honored and obeyed. So what is the relationship between doing God’s will and being a citizen of his kingdom?

 

Contrary to what we may have been told, our status as God’s children is not determined by our behavior. We can’t earn God’s acceptance simply by doing his will. If we could, there would be have been no need for Christ to die on the cross. Rather, God accomplished our adoption into his family by sending his Son to pay the ransom for our unrighteousness. Most religions, including some factions of Christianity, teach that we only belong to God if we believe and behave. In contrast, the Bible Continue Reading

v. 10 “Your kingdom come,”

 

Jesus clearly understands his Father to be the Creator King of heaven and earth. His kingdom comes in us as we individually and collectively submit ourselves to his lordship. But this transformation isn’t just personal or communal; it’s eschatological. History will culminate in the subjugation of all the nations of the earth under God’s authority. For the world in which we are living is not the world we were created to enjoy. We are living in a fallen kingdom.

 

In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve in his own image and gave them dominion over this world and everything in it (Genesis 1:27-29). By sinning, Adam and Eve forfeited their authority to a fallen angel, Lucifer, who became “…the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2). Christ, our new Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22, Hebrews 4:15), is tempted by this same devil at the onset of his ministry. Satan offers to give Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor… if you will bow down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9). Continue Reading