Pastor’s Pen

God’s Mercy is Always Greater Than the Sin That We Bring Him

Hey Church Family: Do you struggle with sin? As believers we will continue to struggle with sin until the day we leave this earth which means that we are people who live in the need of forgiveness every moment of every day. We cannot go one day without needing God to forgive us and at the same time us needing to forgive someone or seeking to ask for forgiveness from those whom we have transgressed. We cannot make it in this world without giving and getting forgiveness. Our salvation is about forgiveness. For calls all of us as the family of God to display the exact proportion of forgiveness that has been distributed to us from our Heavenly Father. That is extreme forgiveness, radical forgiveness. There is not room for malice, bitterness, hostility or resentment.

Read more...

God Gives Good Gifts* (to those who ask)

Father, please give us this day our daily bread. Church family, this is such a simple prayer that we can speak quickly throughout the day without stopping and realizing that we are absolutely totally dependent upon God’s provision for everything in our lives. And you know, we love some food, specific foods. So much so, our American food culture has made us really picky. Did you know that there has been 102 different flavors of Doritos to keep us satisfied but maybe not totally satisfied? We can run from meeting to event to meeting while quickly grabbing the nearest snack from our box of 24 assorted snacks that we just purchased from the grocery store that had aisle after aisle filled with countless choices of other snacks to meet our hunger needs. And it is so very easy to fill our bellies with exactly the foods that we choose without a thought that this is my daily bread that God has provided for me today… perfectly. Everyday God rains down upon us all of our daily needs in the same way He rained down manna from heaven to His children, Israel, in the Wilderness. God loves to give good gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11). Your Heavenly Father is waiting for you to ask. He wants us to know, enjoy and rest in total dependence upon Him. Let’s take a moment and just look at our need for daily bread.

Read more...

The Battle Within: Father, Your Will Be Done vs. Let Me Do It My Way

Your will be done, Father, on this earth and in my life today. Church, please stop and think about all of the implications that come when praying that prayer. This is third petition in the Lord’s prayer. Each petition is building on the previous petition. Each petition is focusing more intensely on the heart of man. Whose will is naturally carried out in my kingdom? My will. My obedience to my will generally has a self-serving root because I see the reward of what my heart is actively pursuing and I want that reward to be realized. I have a tendency to reign as king in my kingdom for my own rewards. This means that I want to do things my way and not God’s way. And you and I know that doing things my way leads to earthly rewards that are short lived and very dull in life satisfaction. So, after praying the second petition, Your Kingdom come Father, the next obvious petition would be, please King Jesus rule and reign on Your throne in my heart while I lovingly submit to Your Kingship and Your will be done not mine.

Read more...

Father, Your Kingdom Come – A Prayer That Stops Riots

Father! Your Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven! Yes, this is a prayer about the return of Christ, but that is not the only point of this great petition. This prayer can be realized today! This is the good news of the gospel. The Father’s Kingdom can be experienced in our hearts and the hearts of others today. This prayer can create absolute change today in all areas of our life. This prayer is not just about the second return of Christ, but it is also about asking our Father in heaven to reign now in our hearts. This petition is about asking the Father to reign in the hearts of men and women, our children, our family, our neighbors. Your Kingdom come Father. We are asking the Father to extend His Kingdom into the hearts of every person, city, tribe, and nation. We are asking the Father to extend His Kingdom on earth into the hearts of His human creation where He reigns as King.

Read more...

Praying for God to do what He really delights in doing – Hallowed be His Name!

Hey Church: Have you used the word “hallowed” recently? “Hallowed” is one of those ancient words that has for the most part dropped from our modern vocabulary and really has not been replaced with any other word like it. “Hallowed” means to make holy or to set apart as holy. Have you ever set apart something in your life as holy? For example, when I set apart my mouth as holy, I am saying, “please God Hallow yourself in every word that comes out of my mouth and from my heart.” What I am doing is telling my Father in heaven that I desire that everything that will come out of my mouth is to show Him off and to make Him look beautiful. The first petition of the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to let the hallowing of Himself be manifest in every area of our life for His Glory.

Read more...

I, Me, My, Mine – What is Missing from the Lord’s Prayer

Hey there Church Family:
When Jesus teaches us to pray by giving us the Lord’s Prayer there becomes some very clear elements of the prayer that are glaringly obvious. Jesus teaches His disciples and us to pray by immediately beginning with a pronoun that is to direct our heart during prayer. The pronoun that He begins with is also the only pronoun used throughout the entire prayer, “OUR”. “Our” is not an insignificant pronoun. The entire prayer is written in first-person plural. There is not one single occurrence of a singular pronoun in the entire prayer besides the pronoun “your” referring to God. Jesus is making a huge point here at the beginning and throughout the prayer. Jesus challenges any individualism that we may have in prayer.

Read more...