Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Monday-Friday, from my morning quiet time, I will write a short thought for that day which I pray God will use to motivate you to ‘GO’ for that day. Your objective is simple…to GO…to GO OUT and share the love of Christ with someone in that day….to GO and bear fruit …to be light to the world.)
Today’s Daily Light:
This week we are meditating and praying in the context of the ‘Lord’s Prayer (continuing)
Jesus, who is God-the-Son/the Son of God, told us to pray this way for specific intention/purpose/reason…
Let us look at the prayer in pieces…and we will keep it simple…meaning…it is rather clear as to the intention/purpose/reason for what/why we are to pray this way:
Matthew 6: 12-13 Jesus said “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”
Forgive us ‘as we’ forgive. I have heard many interpretive versions of what the literal interpretation is saying. I think, for sure, this has a ‘conditional’ component to it. No doubt God forgives us when we come to Him with a sincere heart of repentance…He does, absolutely. But I think this speaks to His since of fairness…and justice. His since of balance in all things. His understanding of our emotional/spiritual health…how He wired us to be whole..and thus He knows we must forgive others ‘so that’ we can receive the full measure and benefits of forgiveness as to giving and receiving of. Do you get that? He forgives us and thus we should/must have the same attitude and freely forgive others. I believe that if we are truly repentant for our sins, that the measure of forgiveness that is given to us, will always bring a heartfelt attitude for those that we ‘also’ need to forgive. So look for that leading to forgive others who have sinned against you or hurt you….forgive them ‘as you also’, are forgiven… ‘if’ you want to receive the deepest level of forgiveness that not only legally forgives but emotionally heals and restores relationships. Some translations use the word ‘trespasses’ in place of the word ‘debts’. And in using ‘trespasses’…I smile when I think of the story about the parent that heard their little girl praying the Lord’s prayer in ‘what’ she thought it said: “Forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.” And then Jesus, in this same teaching, in context, goes on to say in verse 14 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
And wow…to me…a petition in the Lord’s prayer that I have learned that I must pray ‘often’ every day…. ‘lead us not into temptation ‘but’ deliver us from evil. Evil, Satan, his dark side, is out there every day…seeking to kill, cripple, hurt, ruin, malign, condemn, just constantly screw with you, yours, theirs, ours, and generally just do everything he can in ‘leading’ us away from the path of righteousness. That is his job…keep us falling and failing…trip us up…seek to get us so distracted, dazed, confused, in order to weave his web of suffering and agony around us. You/we are not immune to this…some of his greatest tools are almost invisible to us….the subtle side of his work. He leads us into being lulled into a malaise of sorts…a spiritual nap….we forget that we are ‘here’ to build the Kingdom and that people all around us are dying and hurting and lost. We live in our little cocoons of contentment…and he provides all of the subtle temptations to keep us content in there….we live in the illusion of the American Christian mindset. I know I sure fight that every day…
So let’s pray …Father…forgive us and help us to always listen to the voice that comes with every act of forgiveness that You provide to us…the voice that says…forgive others. And Father…please protect us from the pull and tug of the dark side…deliver us from evil… ‘so that’ we can do your perfect and pleasing will. Help us to pray this same prayer for our family, loved ones, those around us that you have placed in our lives… In Jesus name we pray…Amen.
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