The objective of this article is to study the how, who, what, why, where and when of prayer.
(Matt. 6:9-13 esp. V.9 keywords: after this manner- example) In these verses of scripture Jesus instructs us how to pray so, for effect, it is our prayer!
NOTE: Tradition tells us (Matt. 6:9-13) is the Lord’s Prayer. Some people even think (Psa. 23:1-6) is the Lord’s Prayer but it is a Psalm of praise. (John 17:1 thru 18:1) This is the Lord’s Prayer and most of it is intercessory prayer for His disciples and every Christian is a disciple (learner, pupil). (Rom. 8:26-28) And Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, still makes intercession for Christians. End of NOTE.
Jesus Sets the Stage for His Prayer Teaching
(Matt. 5:1-2) Jesus had seen the multitudes and He went up on a mountain (a raised place above them). In other words, Jesus had placed Himself on a natural geographical pulpit and from there he taught them and through His words we are also taught. (Matt. 5:3 thru 6:4) Jesus taught on many subjects of which each of them is vital to the Christian experience in his/her relationship with God. Then Jesus started teaching about prayer.
(Matt. 6:5-8) Jesus taught them and us how our attitude of prayer is the key to unlocking God’s ears. (V.5) #1) If you pray to be seen by men (pride) God hears it but He don’t listen and there is a veiled threat; you will get your reward (Prov. 6:17) because God hates pride. (V.6) #2) If you pray in secret (humility) God hears it, He listens and He will reward you openly.
(V.7) #3) Don’t pray like the heathen. Obviously God hears but He will not listen because it is by rote. We’ve all seen it on TV; monotonous rocking and head nodding while reciting in unison a prayer book reading or repeating the words of a prayer leader; both ways chanting the same words over and over.
(V.8) Then Jesus said a strange thing; “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.” What is Jesus really saying here that is hidden?
(Gen. 1:1 thru 2:7 & Col. 1:16-17) Christians know God created everything, (Prov. 15:3 & Heb. 4:13) God is everywhere, (Psa. 139:7-16 & Cor. 2:10-11) He has all knowledge, (Psa. 44:21 & 1John 3:20) God can read our thoughts, (Psa. 62:11 & Matt. 19:26) God has all power, (John 3:16, Rom. 5:8 & 1John 4:8 &16 keywords: God is love) and God is love itself.
(V.8) Is Jesus telling us we don’t need to pray? OF COURSE NOT! The hidden thing is that Jesus is telling us this prayer is a test of each Christian’s knowledge of their love relationship with God, a test of our attitude and a test of each Christian’s opinion of self.
(Mark 12:30) What makes any love relationship work? (Rom. 8:17) What makes a family love relationship work? (John 15:14-15) What makes a friendship love relationship work? (John 13:34, 1John 3:14-17 & Heb.13:16) What makes a Christian brotherhood love relationship work? COMMUNICATION!
MATT. 6:9-13 Jesus’ Instructions on How Christians are to Pray
(Matt. 6:9-13 esp. V.9 keywords: after this manner- example) In these verses of scripture Jesus instructs us how to pray so, for effect, it is our prayer! In reality just repeating these five verses is like a parrot repeating Jesus’ words. For effect they say nothing about you from you.
These five verses, (9-13), are a skeleton and when you the person fleshes out the skeleton with your words your personality (soul), your knowledge of God, your closeness with God, your understanding about God, and your thoughts, needs and desires are revealed. So this prayer reveals you. It is your personal COMMUNICATION with God.
(V.9) “After this manner (example) therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed (sacred, pure, blameless, consecrated, greatly respected) be thy name (authority, character).” Exhibits your: Honoring and praising God by understanding He is the only perfection in your life (Matt: 28-18 & John 15:5) who has all authority (Mal. 3:6) and He will never change.
Father is a key word in this scripture (John 3:3, Rom. 8:13-17 esp. V.15 keyword adoption & Gal. 3:26-29) because through our personal, spiritual, born again salvation event we become the children of God, God has become our Father (Matt. 10:32-39 esp. V.37-38) and He is more important than our earthly father (Mark 12:30) and everybody else too. Father has a much deeper meaning than you think.
(Mark 14:36-42 esp. V.36 keyword: Abba) When Jesus’ back was to the wall and He was facing the horrible shame, agony and scorn of the cross He called out to “Abba, Father” for strengthening. (Rom. 8:15-17 esp. V.15 keywords: cry, Abba) People who accept Jesus as Saviour (Christians) can “cry (croak, scream, call aloud, shriek, exclaim, entreat, cry out) Abba, Father”. It is amazing that these seven definitions cover the complete spectrum of human emotions. Think about it for a minute.
Ask any Jew; Abba is an ancient Hebrew word (Gen.11:26 thru 12:3) originating from their Chaldean language and it means Daddy. Daddy loves you enough to die for you. Daddy is personal. (1John 4:8 & 16) “God is love.” (Prov. 18:24 & John 14:15-18 and 23 then 15:14-15) Your relationship with Daddy God is personal.
(Rom. 8:15-17 esp. V.15 keyword: Abba) Daddy is close and comfortable. Daddy teaches values. Daddy forms the basic character, the soul. (Psa. 18: 1-2 & 61:1-8) Daddy God is who you run to when you are overwhelmed, sore wounded, weeping with vexation, when it seems as if every hand has turned against you and the bully (Satan) is coming to finish you off.
I’ve got a Daddy God (Psa. 145:18) who is always there (Psa. 94:17-23) and is my defense and the rock of my refuge (Psa. 145:8-9) because He is gracious, full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy. (Psa. 103:4) He crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies, (Psa. 51:1) His tender mercies blot out my transgressions (Col. 1:12-17) and He’s never lost a battle. “Hallowed be thy name”! It’s personal.
BRINGING GOD INTO YOUR PRAYERS IN A PERSONAL WAY
(Psa. 22:3) God inhabitest (to dwell in, to bring again to) the praises of Israel (God’s chosen people). Personally I want God to dwell in my prayers. What about you? That’s a fair question.
This Is How Christians Are Also God’s Chosen People
(Eph. 2:8-10 & James 2:20-26 keyword in both: faith) God’s chosen people are his children through faith. (Gal. 3:29) “And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” (1Pet. 1:1-25) (V.1) Strangers are Gentiles and disbursed evangelical Jews (V.2) who are cleansed and saved by Jesus' blood (V.23) through the born again experience. This is to the church, Christians! SO: (1Pet. 2:1-9 esp. V.9) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;” Christians are also God’s chosen people through (Heb. 10:10-20 esp. V.16 keyword: covenant) Jesus’ blood bought grace covenant.
(Rom. 8:15-17) Christians are joint heirs with Jesus Christ to the kingdom of God. (Eph. 2:11-20) Christians are members of the commonwealth (citizenship in a community) of Israel and of the household of God. SO:
If you want God to inhabit (live in) your prayers Praise Him.
Sometimes it is easy to forget or even to fail to understand God’s purpose. (1John 4:8 & 16) “God is love.” Love is God’s basic personality (soul) trait which means God’s love is alive. All of God’s other personality traits are because “God is love.” Think about love for a minute. Love is an intense, personal, emotional feeling of deep affection for someone. Love focuses itself on someone. Love desires to sacrifice for, be patient with, be kind to, give to, share with, be good to, protect, share personalities with and be understood. BUT: (Deut. 6:5 & Mark 12:30) Love desires to be loved in return.
God could set a great fortune in front of a person; “If you love me I will give this to you.” But that would not produce real love. The person would say; “I love You.” just to get what they really loved, the fortune.
God could hurt a person bad enough to make them say; “I love you.” to get God to stop. But that person would hate God in their heart for hurting them and making them do something they didn’t want to do.
God could have created mankind with an “I love you” switch. God trips the switch and; “I love you.” pops out. That would be robotic, no emotion, no life, just another pop-up toaster or gum ball machine.
So, God did the perfect thing. God created mankind with a free will to make choices and the ability to love which is an intense, emotional feeling of deep affection for something or someone.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and gained the knowledge of good and evil. They were cast out of Eden to earth. (Rom. 8:6-8 esp. V.7 keywords: carnal mind) That knowledge of good and evil, scripturally named as the carnal (an unregenerate human nature with its frailties and passions) mind (soul), was handed down through the generations of mankind to you.
(Luke 19:10) So, you were lost, you knew you would die, you would go hell and there wasn’t a thing you could do about it. (Eph. 2:8-9) You didn’t have the power to generate enough faith to just take salvation. You couldn’t do enough good works to deserve salvation. You didn’t have anything worth enough to buy salvation. You had no way to blot out your sins. Your situation was as bad as it could possibly be, helpless, hopeless, on the way to hell and no way out. BECAUSE:
(Eph. 2:2-3) “You walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit (Satan) that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh (human nature with its frailties and passions) and of the mind (thought, disposition, imagination); and were by nature the children of wrath (justifiable abhorrence, indignation, vengeance, punishment), even as others.”
(Eph. 2:1-21 esp. V.4) “BUT GOD”
(1John 4:8 & 16) God is love itself. His love is filled with tender pity, grace and kindness. God is gracious, generous and merciful. Love is a giver of gifts. BUT: (Psa. 145:17 & John 17:11) God is also a holy (sacred, pure, blameless, consecrated) God. Read these->(Prov. 6:16-19 keywords: hate and abomination then Psa. 5:4-5 keywords: hatest all workers of iniquity and many other scriptures) All through the Bible God is presented as having strong feelings of hatred and hostility toward sin and workers of iniquity. Sin is the antithesis (opposite of, opposition to) of God’s nature of holiness.
Iniquity in the Old Testament Hebrew is Strong's #205 (vanity, wickedness, evil, idolatry, mischief, unrighteous). In the New Testament Greek Strong's #93 & 94 iniquity is (injustice, wrongfulness of character, life or act, wrong, unjust, wicked, treacherous, unrighteous) and #458 & 459 (illegality, violation of the law, wickedness, transgression, unrighteousness, not subject to the Jewish Law implying a Gentile- a person of non-Jewish bloodline.)
Obviously Psalms and Proverbs were written to all people (Please read these scriptures-> Rom. 6:1-23 esp. V.14-15 then Heb. 8:13 keywords: A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away thru 9:24) and the New Testament (Covenant) is a time of introducing God's new Grace Covenant (the church) that supersedes the the Old Jewish Covenant (Testament) of the Law of Moses.
Holiness demands justice through judgment (an accounting for) of sins. Love demands mercy through judgment (an accounting for) of sins. (John 6:44 & 12:32 and 1Pet. 4:17) Your sin account came due, judgment was set and you had nothing with which to pay because you were (Prov. 30:12, 2Cor. 7:1 & James 1:21) filthy with sin and were hopeless and helpless. (All the O. T. & Rom. 7:23-24) Sin is death and blood (life) must be pay the price for sin.
The Holy and Clean Reached out His Hands to the Unholy and Dirty; Me and You
Love looked at you and showed you He had made a way out of the horror of your situation. (John 3:16) He loved you enough to send His Son Jesus to die for you before you were ever born (1John 1:7) and His shed blood was the only thing pure enough, precious enough and perfect enough to cleanse your sins.
God made His Bible, witnesses and preachers available for you. (John 6:44 & 12:32) God approached you when He started drawing you toward Him. He gave you an awareness that you had a need in your life. It was your special, personal time with God. ONLY YOU.
(Eph. 2:8-9 esp. V.8 keyword: gift) You never realized God was slowly giving you the gift of faith so you could be saved. As that drawing increased God slowly revealed Himself to you, He revealed you to you and He condemned you for your sins. (Luke 19:9) During all that God started revealing to you that you were lost and through Jesus God was seeking you. As you followed that drawing (Rom. 10:8-14) by listening to preaching you never realized God was building your faith because (Heb. 11:1 keyword: faith) faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things hoped for.
Substance is the underlying reality that comprises all things. Knock on your table, that is substance, it is the essence of reality. Evidence is proof that proves a legal point beyond doubt, FAITH IS REALITY. (Eph. 2:8 keywords: grace, gift) Through God’s grace this wonderful gift of faith was freely given to you to give you the opportunity to be saved. During all this there was an ever-growing realization of the reality you were going to hell.
(Rom. 3:21-26 esp. V.25 & 1John 2:1-2 keyword in both: propitiation) Propitiation is defined as the atoning victim. Atoning is defined as to make amends for the wrong done. Jesus died for our sins and yours were part of them. GOD’S JUSTICE AND MERCY MET IN THE LIVING LOVE (Jesus) THAT HUNG ON THE CROSS AT CALVARY. It was a time of judgment, a time for your sin account to be paid and you had nothing with which to pay. ONLY YOU.
God showed you your helplessness. You could not take salvation, you could not buy salvation and you could not deserve salvation. God showed you the reality of Himself. Only you! You knew spiritually that Jesus’ nail scarred hands were stretched out to you. Salvation is God’s gift and all you had to do was repent of your sins and ask for it. It was reality.
Just think of the magnitude of that. The great God of all glory in His all-encompassing power, incomprehensible intellect and creative ability, His perfection, holiness, purity and love spiritually approached you, stuck out His tender, nail scarred hands and offered to cleanse lost, filthy with sin, ignorant, helpless you (and me) of your repulsive sins with Jesus’ blood and to give you salvation. ONLY YOU!
Holy touched unholy. Power touched helpless. Clean touched unclean. Pure touched impure. Love touched unlovely. Sinless touched sin. Good touched evil. Grace touched disgrace. (Psa. 113:4-8 esp. V.6 keyword: humbleth which is defined abased) God abased Himself to touch unclean things like you and me. How in the world can anything be more personal than that!
However you said it, whatever words you used, your plea for mercy boiled down to; “I’m sorry for my sins, please forgive me, I’ll do anything if You’ll just save me!” (Jer. 29:13) That’s when you gave God your whole heart. That’s when God saved you. “I’m saved! I’m saved! I’m saved!” YOUR SIN DEBT ACCOUNT WAS GONE! There was no doubt that it really happened. It was real. God made sure of that didn’t He?
It was your reality! (Acts 3:19) In your time of refreshing (Eph.1:12-14 esp. V.13 keyword: sealed) the Holy Spirit brought you a spiritual receipt for your sin debt account signed in Jesus’ blood; “NO CHARGE. PAID IN FULL. (1Cor. 2:9) You get to go to the unimaginable delights of heaven to be with God forever (Rev. 20:10-15 esp. V.10 keywords: shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever) and you don’t have to go to hell then on to the lake of fire. Nothing can be more personal. It was personal between God and you!
God saved you through Jesus (John 14:16-18 & 23) and He came to dwell within you in His Holy Spirit person (Rom. 8:15-17 esp. V.16 & Eph. 1:13-14) which is the only way you could have known you were saved. IT WAS REALITY! Just think of the magnitude of that. God loves you personally. You, little insignificant you, (John 14:16-18 & 23) and I, have a personal relationship with the God of all glory. It’s personal.
SIN BLOCKS CHRISTIAN PRAYERS
You had said; “I’m sorry for my sins, please forgive me, I’ll do anything if You’ll just save me!” (Rom. 8:9-17 esp. V.16) Now the Holy Spirit is living within you and you are one of the children of God through the Spirit of adoption (Eph. 2:11-19 esp. V.19 keywords: of the household- defined: relative- of God) and you became a member of God’s personal forever family. Then something bad happened, you sinned.
(Psa. 66:18) “If I regard (approve, consider, enjoy, respect) iniquity (vanity, wickedness, idolatry, evil, unjust) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Sin separates us from God and needs to be removed for our prayers to get through.
(Isa. 59:1-2) When you broke your promise and sinned it put a barrier between God and you. It just wasn’t the same. The goodness of your personal relationship with God had somehow dimmed. Somehow you weren’t in touch with God the way you had been. (Heb.12:5-9) That was the Holy Spirit chastising you because you are a child of God and He was urging you to come on back to where you needed to be.
(1John 1:3-4) This book was written to Christians. (1John 1:8) Sin is a common failure of all Christians and John the Bible writer included himself, “we”, in the number. (1John 1:8 & 10) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (V.10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him (Jesus) a liar, and His word is not in us.” BUT:
(1John 1:7) Jesus’ blood cleanseth us (John, you, me, all Christians) from all sins. (Heb. 4:14-16) (V.14) When Jesus ascended into heaven (V.16) He became (1John 2:1) our advocate (intercessor, consoler, comforter) with God. (V.15) Jesus was tempted in all points just like us but He did not sin! BUT: He understands the feeling (to feel for, be touched, commiserate with, have compassion on) of our infirmities (feebleness, frailty, weakness). AND: (V.16) We, you, me, all Christians, can “boldly go to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.
(1John 1:9) When we sincerely and with repentance ask for forgiveness. (V.14) Our great high priest, Jesus, who shed his blood for us when He died for us (V.15) understands how it is with us because He was also tempted when He lived life just like us (1Pet. 2:22) but did not sin (1John 1:7) and Jesus, our Great High Priest, cleanses our sin from us with His blood (1John 2:1) and advocates (intercessor, intercedes) with the Father for us; “This is thy child heavenly Father. I have cleansed him from his sins and he is restored.
Another receipt from the Holy Spirit written in Jesus’ blood is given in your heart. “NO CHARGE. PAID IN FULL.” Now the rest of your prayer will be heard!
NOTE: Connecting prophesy to Jesus: Everything about Judaism screams; “Jesus.” (Ex. 25:17-22) The mercy seat was made of pure gold and was the lid to the Ark of the Covenant. (Heb. 9:2-5) The Ark of the Covenant contained manna (Jesus- the bread of life), Aaron’s dead rod that budded (Jesus- even though dead He came back to life) and the tables of the covenant God gave Moses (Jesus- Mark 12:28-31- when Jesus brought the 10 commandments to life in a living relationship). (Ex. 25:22) And God said; “I will meet with you there”.
(Ex. 26:31-34) (V.34) The Ark of the Covenant with its mercy seat lid was located in the most holy place in the tabernacle of God (The tabernacle in the wilderness and the tabernacle in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem). (V.31-33) It was separated from the rest of the tabernacle (holy place) by a curtain called the veil. (Heb. 9:7) Only the high priest (Jesus) could go into the most holy place and offer the blood of the sacrifice for himself and for the errors of the people (Christians).
Testament (Greek word diatheke. It is also used in Gal. 3:17 as covenant) (Heb. 8:5-10) Covenant, testament and contract are all definitions of diatheke. All three of these words mean the same thing- a contract made by God with man that is made by cutting with the shedding of blood. Think lashes, thorns, nails and spear that cut Jesus and made him bleed.
(Mark 15:37-38) When Jesus died God ripped the veil of the temple in twain, (Heb. 4:14) Jesus became our (Christian’s) great high priest (Heb. 9:11-24) (V.12) and Jesus entered into the holy place (V.24) (heaven itself) to present His own blood (V.15 & Mark 14:24) of the New Testament (covenant) (V.12) to obtain eternal redemption for us (1John 1:7) because Jesus’ blood, (Heb. 10:12) offered one time forever, cleanseth us from all sin.
Just think of all the planning, prophesy, trouble, time, effort, sorrow and pain; all the love, longsuffering, grief, goodness, grace and mercy God/Jesus took to bring you to where you are; “NO CHARGE. PAID IN FULL”.
(1John 4:8 & 16) God is love. Love can be hurt. (Prov. 15:3) God’s eyes are everywhere. He has seen you at your worst and he has watched you while you were sinning. Think about all the times you’ve sinned. (1John 1:9 keywords: faithful and just) Every time, every time you confessed your sin and asked God to forgive you God, in His love for you, His immeasurable goodness, generosity, graciousness, kindness and tenderhearted mercy, was faithful and just to forgive you of your sins.
Every time, over and over and over, written in Jesus’ blood; “NO CHARGE. PAID IN FULL”. SURELY ALL THIS DESERVES YOUR ADMIRATION AND PRAISE.
You have praised God by simply telling Him your understanding, admiration, worship (crouch down, prostrate oneself in homage, do reverence- Heb. 12:28- which is defined: modesty toward God, awe and shamefacedness) and thankfulness for what He has done for you. You are clean and pure from sin and He hears, and listens, to your prayer and petition.
Some surely ask; “Writer, why do you so stress a personal relationship between God and the individual Christian?” Three reasons: (John 15:12-15) #1) Because it is true. #2) (James 2:17-26 esp. V.21-24) Abraham believed God (faith), he did what God said (servant) and God’s word calls Abraham the “Friend of God (close personal relationship).”
(John 15:12-15) The same option is open to Christians; Jesus said; “Ye are my friends (close personal relationship), if ye do (faith) whatsoever I command you (servant).” Ultimately Christians (you, me, all) are Jesus’ servants. Jesus’ commands are in the Bible, (John 1:1 & 14) the living Word of God.
(John 15:12-15) #3) When a Christian finally and fully realizes the full possibility and potential of his salvation (most do not) he no longer desires to be a member of those proud of position, proud of self, selfish, stubborn, sinful church cliques.
He no longer spends his devotion on and to a political party, a politician, a sport, a team, a club, a denomination, a preacher, a singer, an actor, a sports hero, a champion of something, the square lighted window of face book, twitter, other social media, mind numbing, escape from reality electronic games, wealth, a house, a job, accumulation, a car, a hobby; the list is endless. (Matt. 12:30) He spends his devotion and passion on serving Jesus.
Think about it! (John 13:12-17) (V.13) Jesus said; “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” (V.14) Then Jesus explains His humble servanthood. Ultimately Jesus is a servant to Christians as Saviour, Deliverer, Redeemer, Friend, Brother, Guardian, Shepherd, Mediator, Healer, (Heb.3:1) Apostle and High Priest.
(V.15-16) Then Jesus explains our servanthood and the order of hierarchy. (Luke 17:7-10 esp. V.10 keywords: we have done that which was our duty to do) Jesus explains Christian servanthood in a parable. Jesus will not take backseat, second best, or leftovers (scraps). (John 15:14) Christians serve Jesus by obeying Jesus’ words.
The given definitions are pertinent to this scripture. Jesus said for us to love God. (Mark 12:30) “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (thoughts, feelings, mind, self, person), and with all thy soul (spirit, actual spark of life from God), and with all thy mind (intellect, deep thought), and with all thy strength (physical force, power of the body); this is the first commandment. And this is an exact description of how much Jesus loves each Christian! He gave all of Himself for us. Why shouldn’t He expect the same from us?
But Jesus wants it to be a love friendship relationship where (Mark 10:35-45) each one shall not try to force the other to do what is not to be done (Matt. 13:23 keywords: some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty- it means according to one’s ability) or cannot be done. They are not contrary to each other, do not pout at each other and they understand each other so each one knows what the other needs, wants and expects and is glad to do it out of love, respect and desire to please the other. It’s personal!
(1Tim. 3:16) “Great is the mystery (a secret) of Godliness (to show piety, to worship, to respect, to be reverent).” Obviously, this tells us how to worship God but it does not explain God. YET: (Rom. 8:15-17 esp. V.17 keywords: joint-heirs with Christ- key thought: (Acts 4:27-30) even as an adult Jesus was God’s child (V.16) and so are Christians) For effect Jesus is the Brother of Christians. (John 15:14) When we do what Jesus tells us to do we can become His friend.
(John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word (the thought, the reasoning, the Divine expression), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (read this scripture: Col. 1:16) “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible (capable of being seen- earth, stars, trees, people, etc.) and invisible (not being seen- gravity, laws of physics, life force- the essence of eternal life not connected with physical breathing, souls, etc., all the things we can only see the effects of), --- all things were created by him, and for him.”
(John 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh (the physical body), and dwelt among us. (1John 1:1-3) “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard (to hear, give audience to), which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled (to touch, to verify by contact), of the Word of life; (V.2) (For the life was manifested (render apparent, appear publicly, show self), and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested (same definition) unto us;)
(V.3) “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship (same definition as below) with us: and truly our fellowship (partnership-partner, participation, to communicate, communion, partaker, companion) is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Companion is a descriptive word because it means understanding, communication, love, devotion, partnership, friendship, affection and kindness.
(Gen. 1:26) “And God said, Let us make man in our image (resemblance, a representative figure), after our likeness (model, fashion):” (1Thess. 5:23) Man is spirit (vital principal, life) soul (heart, mind, personality, self) and body (what you the soul lives in). So, God must also have spirit, soul and body since man is in His image. SO:
(Rom. 1:20) The Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in identity, thought, power, purpose and will. God’s presentation of Himself to man is (Gen. 1:1-31) #1 God-spirit- life itself- giver of eternal life/Creator, (John 4:29-42) #2 Jesus-body/Saviour and (John 14:15-26) #3 Holy Spirit-soul/Comforter. (Col. 2:8-9) In Jesus dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
NOTE: (Gen. 2:7) God gave Adam the breath of eternal life because Adam had not started physically breathing yet. (John 5:29) Each person is eternal (Matt. 25:41 & 46) and each person will simply (1Tim. 3:16 keyword: God/2Cor. 4:4 keyword: god) go to be with the God/god he has chosen. END OF NOTE.
(Col. 1:13-17 esp. V.15) Jesus is the image (representation) of the invisible God. When God said; “Let US make man in OUR image” God’s body, soul, and spirit was the US and man, made in God’s image, (1Thess. 5:23) is also body, soul and spirit. I know all these scriptures that identify God are true or God would not have said them in His Word. BUT: God is just too much, too big, too powerful, too good, to everything for me to comprehend.
GOD TO ME IS
God is an infinite (limitless, endless, impossible to measure or calculate) Person with infinite emotions, intellect, knowledge, power and ability. I am a finite (limited) person with finite emotions, intellect, knowledge, power and ability. (Gen. 2:19-20) I do know God walked and talked with a man named Adam in the perfection and the unimaginable beauty of the Garden of Eden. I dare not imagine me having that honor. Yet I pray when I walk the forested hills and God assures me everything is OK between Him and me. I tell God how much I love him but I know my love is like one tiny leaf lost among the billions of leaves around me and His love is as endless as the sky.
(Rev. 21:3-4 keywords: tears, death, sorrow, crying, pain) I have shed countless tears, I have had so many family, friends and acquaintances that death has inexorably claimed. I have known sorrow that seemed as if it would tear my bloody, beating heart from my body. Grief has happened that set me to crying so hard it seemed as if my intestines were going to be ripped out of my mouth.
I have experienced emotional pain so terrible I could only hump up and wail and physical pain so severe I could only writhe and groan. My God has promised He is going to fix that and I will never experience it again. To me that is thrilling beyond my capacity to measure.
In my finite understanding I do know some things. In heaven there will never be a clock running away with your life, there will never be the snubbing gasp of an abused child, there will never be a nursing home with residents gasping out the last bits of their helpless lives, there will never be the wail of an ambulance in the night, AND:
there will never be a staggering, wounded Marine in awful numbness in a surreal world picking up a buddy’s body parts on a torn Vietnam battle field, there will never be a lonely, broken hearted Daddy looking at his son’s blood on the highway where he was killed in a car wreck, there will never be THIS, NOW, HERE. Heaven is the land of There Shall Never Be.
I am finite (Eph. 1:13-14) but I know God saved me because He told me. I am finite but I know I have failed God many times. I do know I have laid time after time on my face in utter shame and beseeching helplessness and begged for God’s infinite mercy because I have sinned.
I have become well acquainted with frustrated and lonely. Stupidity seems enamored with me and ignorance is my companion. Many times I would have cheerfully wrung my own stubborn neck or cut off my unruly tongue but God has never let me down. God is always compassionate, kindly affectioned, forgiving and infinitely gracious with me.
But I know when I was broken with unutterable sorrow God compassionately, tenderly and gently put me back together again. When I was sore wounded and defeated in my struggle God rescued me and tenderly gave me a drink from His own cup of blessing. When I crashed and burned in the frustration and shame of failure God picked me up at exactly the right time and raised my feeble hands in victory.
But I know when I flew too high on the wings of pride God always brought me down and most of the time it was not a gentle landing. When I despised hateful, hot-tempered me God loved me. When I detested mean, sinful me God was always patient with me. Many times God has chastised and corrected useless me.
I am finite but I know that cancer silently and stealthily invaded my body and when the blood and the testing time after time was done the doctor pointed at the computerized picture of its size and said there it is. I am finite but I know my Christian brothers and sisters rallied around and laid on their faces in supplication on my behalf.
And I know the day came when the doctor, in the cold loneliness of the examining room, spun the chart around with its computerized picture for me to see and quietly said; “Your cancer’s gone Jim.” The story is on the commentary Sin in Church; the article Growth as a Christian: The Survival Principal: Part 7.
(1John 1:7 thru 2:1 and the first eight words of V.2) I am finite but I know God has forgiven me every time over and over. That’s the way God is because God is love. He is always there, nurturing me, burdening me, correcting me, gently revealing Himself to me and I love Him with all my finite heart and with all my finite ability to love. I am finite and I know it isn’t much but it’s all I have.
I’m finite but I know God sometimes blesses me with His glorious, gracious, beautiful, loving, more than royal presence and His astonishing, unlimited intellect. Thrills race over me and I just hump up in tears of gratitude in the abject poverty of my small, insignificant self and bask in the glory that small, useless finite me has received a visit from the Great, Living God of all Glory.
I’m finite but I know when I get to heaven, (John 14:8-9) if I'm allowed to, (Matt. 15:22-28 esp. V.26) all I want to do is crawl up on my belly like the dog I am (Rev. 5:6) and kiss His nail scarred feet. (Rev. 7:9-5, rev. 19:5-9 & 21:1-7) If I'm unworthy to do that I'll be happy to stand back in the crowd and love Him and worship Him with my heart and my eyes and my mouth.
I’m finite and that’s the only way I can explain infinite God to you. It’s personal.
TO CONTINUE THE PRAYER
(Matt. 6:9-13 continued) (V.10) “Thy kingdom (sovereign realm) come. Thy will be done in earth (the world and its occupants), as it is in heaven (the abode of God, happiness, eternity).”
Exhibits your: Honoring God by recognizing His efforts to preserve your salvation (2Pet. 3:9-15 esp. V.9 & 15 keyword: longsuffering, Eph. 4:30 keyword: grieve and 1John 1:1 thru 2:1) in spite of the fact our stupidity, sin and failures make Him suffer (Read this Luke 18:10-14 esp. V.13) and that we must approach Him in prayer like the publican with downcast eyes, smiting our breast and crying out; God be merciful to me for I have sinned".
“Thy kingdom come.” How bad do you want to go to heaven? (Gen. 19:26 & Luke 17:32) Remember Lot's wife? Is there anything or anyone you aren’t willing to leave behind? (Luke 17:22-33) Jesus was expounding about the end the time of the “church age”. (V.22-24) Jesus said a day was coming that would be much worse than the domination of Israel by the Roman Empire at that time.
Jesus said religious leaders would predict when Jesus would come but don’t listen to them because Jesus’ coming will be like a flicker of lightening (V.25) but Jesus must first be rejected and suffer the cross before it can happen. Jesus has already suffered that.
(V.26-27) Jesus said it will be like the days of Noe (Noah). (Gen. 7:16-17) The Lord shut the ark, nobody else could get in, the water increased and the ark (1Thess. 4:13-18 esp. V.17 keywords: caught up) containing God’s people was caught up and the people in it were preserved/rescued.
(V.28-32 esp. V.32) Jesus said his day would be like the days of Lot. (Gen. 19:12-26) The Lord was merciful, the angels brought Lot, his wife and his two daughters out of the city and told them not to look back. The Lord would not rain fire upon that place until Lot and his family were gone but Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar (a statue, a military post) of salt (A statue of salt: Rev.20:15 salt melts away and is gone). A military outpost guards something; (1Thess. 4:13-18 the church: “don’t look back like Lot’s wife did”.
(V.32) Jesus said; “Remember Lot’s wife.” Why would Lot’s wife look back? What did she seek? #1) (Gen.19:8) The two daughters with Lot were virgins. (Gen. 19:14 keywords: sons in law) Lot and his wife had other daughters and possibly grandchildren. Were they more important to her than what the Lord had said?
#2) (Gen. 19:16) They had left the city with nothing but the clothes they wore. Were her possessions more important than what the Lord had said? #3) (Gen. 19:4-7 esp. V.5 keywords: that we may know them) Did she agree with the “politically correct society of sexual permissiveness, anything goes and don’t offend me by speaking against it” and she already missed that society?
“Remember Lot’s wife.” How bad do you want to go to heaven? Is there anything or anyone you aren’t happy and willing to leave behind? THEN: (V.33) Jesus said; “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” Which is explained:
#1) If you seek your old life by reverting back to what you used to be instead of seeking to serve Jesus in your new, born again life you will lose your new, born again life. #2) If you lose your old life by serving Jesus in your new, born again life you will preserve (stay saved) your new born again life and go to heaven. BECAUSE: (Luke 9:23-26) (V.23) Jesus said; “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
(Matt. 10:22 & 24:13 then Mark 13:13 keyword: endureth- defined conquer, prevail, get the victory) Jesus said; “He who endureth (persevere, bear trials) to the end shall be saved.” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26 & 3:5, 12, 21 and 21:7 esp. 21:7 keyword in all: overcometh) (Rev. 21:5) And he that sat upon the throne said (Rev. 21:7) “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
(Rom. 1:28, 1Cor. 9:27, Heb. 6:4-6 & Rev. 3:2 & 5) If someone tells you after you are saved Jesus cannot remove your name from the book of life they are a liar and they are calling Jesus a liar (Gen. 3:1-5 esp. V.4 keywords: Ye shall not surely die) just like Satan did in the Garden of Eden. See the two articles on this commentary; BACKSLIDING: QUEST FOR THE TRUTH.
BECAUSE: (John 3:26-29 esp. V.29 keyword: bridegroom) The church and every born again Christian in it is the bride of Jesus Christ. BUT (Rev. 19:7) the marriage of Jesus to His bride has not yet been performed. SO:
(Read this: Rev. 21:7-8) Would you marry a bride who was abominable (to stink, disgusting, detestable), an idolater (worships something or someone other/more than you) or a liar, or a murderer, or a whoremonger (prostitute, debauchee, fornicator), (Rev. 2:4-5) or didn’t love you with all her heart. OR:
(Rev. 3:15-18) would rather have treasure, position or power instead of a close, loving relationship with you, (1Cor. 6:9-10) or cheated on you with others, (Mark 12:30) or loved their own way of life more than someone or something more than you? (Rev. 19:9 & 21:9) JESUS WON’T EITHER! Admit it; you see Christians do these things all the time! Sometimes they come back to the Lord and sometimes they don’t! Look around you. How many Christians really dedicate their life to Jesus? (V.32) “Remember Lot’s wife.”
(V.10 continued) “Thy will be done on earth, as it in heaven.”
God’s will is perfectly loving and righteous and is a practical, moral necessity in the life of Christians here on earth. (Rom. 1:17-21, 2Tim. 3:16-17 & Eph. 3:4-5) God’s will is revealed in His scriptures (the Bible). (Please read these: Hosea 5:6, Heb. 1-10 keyword in both: knowledge and 2Tim. 2:15) “Study to show thyself approved.” (John 14:26) The Holy Spirit will teach us all things, and bring all things to our remembrance, whatsoever Jesus said. BUT: The Holy Spirit has nothing to work with if you won’t study the Bible. BECAUSE:
(John 14:16-18 & 23) The Holy Spirit is God/Jesus’ soul (2Tim. 3:16) and the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible writers to write the Holy Scriptures in the Bible (God/Jesus words). (Phil. 2:5) Let the mind of Christ be in you. God wants Christians to think like Jesus and act like Jesus. That will not happen unless we learn God’s word. The Holy Spirit has nothing to work with if you won’t study the Bible.
PART 2 begins with Matt. 6:11 of Jesus’ instructions concerning how Christians are to pray.