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10-9-22 How To Pray According To Jesus

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2022 8:09 am

10-9-22 How To Pray According To Jesus

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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October 11, 2022 8:09 am

October 9, 2022 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

            Main Scripture Passage:  Matthew 6:5-15

            Topic: Prayer

            Download SCRIPTURE REFERENCE


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In your Bibles, if you would join me in Matthew chapter number six, Matthew's Gospel chapter number six, and we're going to read verse five down to verse number 13. When you find your place, if you would honor God's Word and we'll stand and read those verses, it starts out in verse number five as Jesus launches into this great subject of prayer, which will be our topic for the next number of weeks. And he says in Matthew six, verse number five, And when thou prayest, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward, but thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Verse seven, But when ye pray, use not vain or empty repetitions as the heathen do, for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.

If you read verse nine down to verse 13 with me. After this manner therefore pray ye, our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Father we are so thankful that we can come at this time seeking your Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and giving us understanding of this great truth of prayer. Thank you that you love us enough to give us your word.

You sent your son to die for us that we might be saved. God I pray today that the Holy Spirit would move among us if anyone doesn't know the Lord Jesus Christ that today they might be saved. And as your people God I pray that we would be people of prayer.

That Lighthouse would be a praying church. Lord I pray that your your word would come alive to our hearts. Let me step out of the way and may your word become the preacher today.

We ask it in Jesus name and God's people said then you may be seated this morning. The great preacher Martin Lloyd-Jones said prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. He said man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God. And prayer is I believe the greatest privilege of our lives. What greater thing could be offered to us than to commune with our creator that we might come and to the presence of the eternal God through this great Avenue of prayer. And for us today to value prayer is to value God to esteem prayer is to esteem God and in essence prayer is as important as God in our life because it is to elevate God in our life. And my prayer and desire for Lighthouse is that we would be a praying church. We must understand that all we do in our service in our working in the area of evangelism and discipling and teaching and preaching and all of this that we do in the ministry of the church is without effectiveness.

It will be without power. It will be without lasting fruit without being fed with prayer. It would be like plowing and tilling a field and planting seed without the sun or the rain. We are in desperate need for God's sun and rain to come down upon us and that comes through prayer. My grandfather was a farmer for some 50 years and one thing that farmers understand is they pray for rain. They they can do all the work of planting they can do all the work of sowing but they realize that none of that will take effect unless the creator of this earth sends forth rain and sun upon their fields and we must come the same way prayer moves the hand of God. And we're working without God and prayer is to work in labor in vain.

It was John Bunyan who wrote pilgrims progress that rightly observed that we can do more than prayer. He says after we've prayed, but we cannot do more than prayer before we've prayed and we need to be gripped by that truth. Prayer must proceed our working prayer must proceed our evangelism prayer must proceed our our singing our greeting our giving our discipling whatever we do must be bathed in prayer. Last week we looked at how not to pray as we examine four ways to that that Jesus says here that can hinder our prayers. We looked at that last Sunday and then Wednesday we looked at six more truths from the Word of God that can hinder our prayers. And I think many Christians don't realize there is a right and there is a wrong way to pray.

There are ways to be inefficient in praying because we are not praying according to the Word of God. And we must realize that God defines how we are to approach him. We don't come to God based on what we think we come to God based on what he says and I would ask you friend today. Do you pray according to the Word of God? Do you pray biblically today?

We will look at how to pray and the joy for us is our teacher is the Lord Jesus Christ who better to learn about how to pray than from the intercessor himself. We have the one who sits upon the right hand of the throne of God who intercedes for us telling us how to approach the throne. This isn't an opinion from Jesus. In fact God never gives an opinion. You'll never find an opinion in all the scriptures from God. God never gives a suggestion.

God never says hey this would be a good idea. He just gives us axioms. He gives us standards of total truth given as a command because it is the only way it is to be done. And so this morning I pray that we would be gripped by the truth before us that we would sit on edge in our minds and perhaps even on our seats that we would say dear God Lord Jesus teach me to pray. We also need to be warned I think that as we look at this text that familiarity does not breed contempt. And what I mean by that is sometimes we come to a portion of scripture that many of you as we read through verse 9 through verse 13 you were able to quote that by memory. After this manner therefore pray our Father which art in heaven and you could go through that whole portion of scripture not even thinking about it because you've already memorized that and it's a blessing to have those things memorized. But sometimes we can say well I'm very familiar with that passage of scripture. Oh I've seen that before. I've studied that before. I've even taught on a series on that before. And so we can come to such a glorious passage of scripture that the great king the Lord Jesus Christ is telling us how to approach him in prayer that we would take this in a casual way and almost blaspheme this with the way we approach it.

And I don't want to do that. It's like the man who lives in Colorado by seeing the beauty and the magnificence of that mountainous landscape that he sees on a daily basis that sometimes he can wake up and go on throughout his day and not even see it. But it's people like you and me that if we were to go to Colorado we would be so overwhelmed by the glory of that landscape that we could sit back and for hours just gaze upon those mountain ranges. The magnificence and I pray that we would come like a child in our faith as we look upon these verses and say these are the words of our God telling us how to approach him in prayer and we would look at them as a fresh new breath of air upon our prayer life this morning. The disciples in their lives express their longing for prayer.

When you read Luke's Gospel chapter number 11 you come to verse one and two and it says this. And it came to pass that as here as Jesus was praying in a certain place when he ceased one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, when ye pray, saith our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, and he begins to teach them on prayer. I think it's first to take note of as we look at that verse and passage that they saw Jesus praying. They saw him praying. His prayer life impacted them.

Jesus Christ believed in prayer. Let me ask you, as parents, have your children ever seen you pray? Do they hear you pray? Do they hear you talk about the cares and the worries of this world and all the tragedies that go on in the recession and problems in government or problems overseas and all the fears of Ukraine and nuclear possibilities of war that were closer now, they say, than even during the Cuban missile strike, Cuban missile crisis, I should say.

And all of that's stirring up in the world. Do they hear us talk about the fears and the worries and inflation and high gas prices? Do they hear more fear coming out of our mouth or do they ever hear faith coming out? Do they hear us elevate the glory of God in the midst of some chaotic times or do they hear us just elevate the chaos?

And if we're going to be people living by fear what's coming out of our mouth, why would we ever expect them to live by faith? Husbands and wives, do you spend time praying? Do you spend more time trying to change your spouse and to implore the throne of God, seeking God's help to change not your spouse but to change you first and then to work on your spouse? Do you think your and I, our pride would do a better job of changing our spouse than our prayers would?

Do we put the power now in our own hands to change the people around us? Well, he never listens to me or she never listens to me, why don't we stop talking to them and talk to the Lord? If a church is impotent without prayer, how much more a marriage? If a church is impotent without prayer, how much more parenting? Why don't we stop fighting with our kids and go to the throne of God and wrestle like Jacob did with the Lord over our children? Would to God parents would get a hold of that truth, would to God a husband and wife would come to the throne of God with sincere prayer, longing that God would work in their marriage, that their light would shine before men and people would say, what happened to you guys?

Boy, I wish I prayed that our children would see us as parents and as spouses and say, boy, I want to be a parent like that. My mom and dad have a big God. They go to God all the time. When stress comes, they don't talk about the craziness of the world. They talk about the greatness of God. They don't talk about how big the waves are on the Sea of Galilee. They talk about how big Jesus is when he calms the storm.

What conversations go on in your home? May our prayer lives bleed over into the rest of our life. It was the communion of Christ with his father that caused the disciples to say, I want some of that.

I want some of that in my life. Did you imagine being the disciple of Christ and you wake up in the morning with yawns after a good eight hours and Jesus comes off the mountain, you say, Jesus, where have you been? And he says, I didn't pray last night.

I just I didn't sleep last night. All I did was pray last night. I mean, who would be so convicted here that we would say, Lord, can you teach me to pray? Something's missing in my life when Christ has such a high view of prayer than me, a person who's so desperate in need of God, would have such a low view of it by the practice of it in my life. Oh, how could we ever come to Matthew, Matthew Chapter six, verse nine through 13 with some casual approach?

How could we ever look upon this as some passage that we think we understand? They desired to learn to pray, they pursued knowing how to pray, and I think that says so much. They were so moved by the Lord praying that they had to come to him and say, Jesus, teach us how to pray. Teach us how to pray. Listen, if you don't know how to pray today, that's not the problem. The problem is it's been two months from now, you still don't know how to pray. The problem is if you say, I'm not quite sure how to approach God in prayer, I'm not sure what I should say. It's not a problem today. The problem is if you stay there.

Anybody awake this morning? Believe that? And so sometimes people say, well, you know, I'm not concerned if they struggle praying. I just don't want to pray with them six months later and they're in the same boat. What that shows me is they don't care to increase their prayer understanding in life. And let me say this as well, prayer is not just talking to God. Sometimes people say, well, I don't know how to pray. Well, it's just talking to God. If it's just talking to God, then Jesus would say, pray like this, just talk to God. Does Jesus say that? No, he doesn't. He says, when you pray, don't do this, don't do this, don't do this, don't do this, and then do this, do this, do this, do this, and do this.

Did you see it? And so when we teach people to pray, we need to make sure and say, hey, thank you for asking. This is going to take more than just 30 seconds of me telling you how to pray.

This is a big deal. So to this morning, I'm going to be teaching on prayer and I'm going to be teaching for the next several weeks on this. You say you're not going to finish all this in one day? I'm going to tell you right now, I didn't finish my sermon this morning. So we're only going to get so far today, which is halfway through verse nine. So now they also said in Luke chapter number 11, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples how to pray.

And I think that's interesting. Both Jesus and John the Baptist had such a prayer life that caused their disciples to say, teach us to pray like you're praying. There's something about your prayer life that I must be missing because I don't do that.

I don't have that. You imagine praying with E.M. Bounds. Imagine going into Charles Spurgeon's prayer rooms. Imagine praying with D.L.

Moody. You imagine that we would walk away weeping, repentive over the thin lack of prayer life that we have. No wonder God doesn't move.

No wonder my street hasn't been saved. No wonder revival doesn't break out like it did in Whitfield's day. It takes a moving of God and we try to move before God. That's why we don't pray. We we run out to work. We want a microwavable Christianity. Takes too much time to pray.

We don't have time for that. I got a seven o'clock appointment, an eight o'clock appointment to get to. I got a podcast to listen to at seven thirty.

I got a Facebook post to update. And God says, no wonder. He says my house was to be called a house of prayer.

You know what lighthouse we need to be known as? We need to be known as a church that prays. I didn't share this in the early service, but every every Sunday at eight o'clock, the staff, we get together and pray for the service. We pray before we pray through the week. But but we just have a special time. And I'd like to start setting that aside to open it up to anybody in the church.

Eight o'clock next Sunday. If you want to come early, you say, well, this is a late service. I should have shared in the early service. So that'd be we don't want all of you to come to the early service.

I need to tell you that. OK, don't all come to the early service. Well, if we did, we're going to have to open up the back doors.

OK, but. But but take time, whether you come earlier. Would it be blessing next Sunday in the late service just to find a few people down here praying at the altar? You know, you know what would happen if you had two or three or four or five or 10, 15 people down here praying, you know, service getting ready to start. But there's people at the altar praying.

What are they doing? They're asking God to move because they know Pastor Josh has nothing to offer us if God doesn't move. So they're they're praying, they're seeking God, if their souls that are lost, let them be saved.

If there's there's people struggling, that you would give them victory. If there's people broken, that you would bring healing with to God. You know, and if if a handful of people, they could spark revival just by getting serious about God. They don't care if anybody sees them, they're here for God to see them.

They're here so that they can come to the throne of God. And so if you decide to come to the early service, you can pray with us over in room 107. But if you just want to come and pray early before the late service, I encourage you to do that. But wherever your prayer life is today, I want to see all of us to grow in our prayer life. And I pray that that would be the case.

I've had several people tell me this week and even today. Preacher, I've been been been working on my prayer life and I'm just really focusing on the Lord more. And I say, praise to God, that's edifying to me.

I love preaching on prayer because I always need to increase in my prayer life and to refocus and reengage on that for sure. But if there's one thing that we do, we should be known as a people of prayer. These altars should be filled with people praying. I've had people say, well, I don't know if we should have altar calls, you know, and that was a thing of a start in the 20th century. And they get in all that stuff and I say, well, let me ask you a question. Should there ever be a time where God's people are invited to respond to what they heard, not in some formulated way to where we stir them up with emotions and play off their emotions?

That's that's not what we do here. But I think there's a time when humility is important. I think there's a time when we humble ourselves before God, whether at your seat, at an altar, wherever that is, but that you would have a chance to respond and do business with God.

Jesus says, come on to me, all you that labor and heavy laden, come on to me, invite them, go and compel them that my house will be full, that there would be a response from people. As a church, we must understand prayer is also an act of dependence. It is, as one man said, prayer is is is dependence leaning upon God's omnipotence.

It is our weakness leaning upon his omnipotence. It is a recognition of on our part of our desperation in need of God when we pray we are leaning on him. You know, I thought about our prayers are like they're so meager. Oftentimes, like our best prayers are like offering God five loaves and two fishes to feed 5000 men.

It's like, well, that's not really going to cover that much. You know, we come in and we give God meager offerings, but oh, what God can do with meager offerings. When we offer up to God a weak prayer that he turns that into groanings before the throne that cannot be uttered. And he takes our prayers and he can feed multitudes of people with the prayers that we lift up to him. If God's people were to pray, things change, move, the moving of God begins to happen.

The question is, do we believe his word? Men like John Wesley did. So I went why Wesley would wake up and pray for a couple hours every day.

That's why these men who shook earth and shook kingdoms. They were men of prayer. There were some students who came to visit the church of Charles Spurgeon, and they said, we want to see Charles Spurgeon preach. And when they came to church, they wanted to go into the great halls of that sanctuary that would fill 10,000 or so people. And and there was a man who greeted them and he says, hey, he said, you guys are new here.

And they say, yeah, we've come to see Charles Spurgeon. He says, well, you know, that's not a big deal. He says, let me show you show you our boiler room. And they were thinking, you know, this guy's nice. And, you know, but we really don't want to see the boiler room of the church is really. And he began to walk these students down to a lower area of the facility.

And they were just appeasing the man because they thought, well, you know, we'll just be nice. We really want to get back up to the sanctuary and meet Charles Spurgeon. And when he got downstairs, he opened the door and there were 700 people on their knees crying out to God before the service ever started.

And he said, my name is Charles Spurgeon and this is my boiler room. We lighthouse could use a good boiler room, couldn't we need to be people of prayer? Tell your friends nothing's going to happen today, tomorrow, Wednesday, Sunday. The rest of this church's future without us being in prayer. Prayer must precede every work.

It is the rain that comes down upon the soil and it is the God who would move through that. And so how do we pray according to Jesus? Well, he says in verse number nine, after this manner, therefore pray ye.

But he doesn't say in these exact words, does he? Now, I believe this prayer is not simply something that is to be recited, but rather it is an outline for how we are to pray. He had just warned them in verse seven not to pray empty, repetitious prayers. And so sometimes people say, is it wrong to recite a prayer or to repeat this prayer to God? I would ask you, is it wrong to pray the scriptures? Obviously not. Is this scripture?

Yes. And so pray this. Take I would encourage all of us to for the next several weeks as we examine these verses that you would pray this as you enter into prayer with all sincerity, that you would begin to memorize the words of Christ about this and that you wouldn't say my prayer would only contain those words, but they would be an outline that I would understand and remember and repeat over and over in my heart that I would grasp them.

That I would understand how I'm to approach God in prayer, that what I'm supposed to pray for and understand this is a skeleton to hang our prayer request, our thoughts upon. Now, also the word prayer here, he says after this manner, therefore pray is in the present imperative in the Greek, which means it is a command that is to be continually done. Prayer is not to be a blessed pastime, but it's to be a habit of our life. We're to be people of prayer. The Bible says in First Thessalonians 5 17, pray without ceasing. It's the ideas we would breathe to live. We would pray to spiritually find victory.

Luke 18 ones. Jesus says that men are always to pray. So how are we to pray? Well, Jesus tells us, first of all, in verse number nine, that we are to pray our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. First of all, we are to pray to our father. We need to understand the relationship we have with God as we come in prayer. And so when Jesus begins his teaching on prayer, he teaches first on how the believer is to approach God, how we are to see him. This is absolutely monumental because in my mind, I would have thought that Jesus would say, as you approach God in prayer, this is what you should say. Our eternal creator, God omnipotent ruler of heaven and earth.

But he doesn't say that it's not that how you would have thought he would say it. I would have thought you would had to recognize the glorious, dreadful, this awesome creator, omnipotent omniscient. Now, there's nothing wrong with approaching God like that in prayer, but that's not the way Jesus says to start. Rather, he gives us the name Father Pater, this intimate name for God as we approach our God in prayer. Now, the concept of God as Father is spoken of in the Old Testament, but very limited. In the Old Testament, God was seen as father, not of an individual, but father of a nation, father of the Jewish people. Jeremiah 31, 9, God said, I am the father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Ephesians 4, 22, when he came to Pharaoh, do you remember what he said? Israel is my son. And so the Old Testament refers to God as father around 14 to 15 different times in the Old Testament. And it's always to the nation, father of the nation, father of the Jewish people, but not father to an individual person. But when you come to the New Testament, that changes. God is seen not simply as the father of the nation of the Jewish people, but God is father of the individual believer.

It's absolutely incredible. Even in verse one down to verse number 18, again, 15 times in the Old Testament, it's used God as father of the individual 10 times in verse one through 18 of chapter six. Jesus says in verse number one through four, give so that your father in heaven sees it only. Verse five through eight, pray only to your father in heaven who would see it not to be seen by men. Verse eight, he says, your father in heaven knows your needs before you ask it. Verse nine, pray to your father, which is in heaven. Verse number 14 and 15, your father in heaven will forgive you.

Verse 16 through 18, he says fast so that your father in heaven alone would see it. So Jesus refers to God as the father of the individual 10 times just in chapter six, verse one through 18. Jesus refers to God as father 160 times in the Bible. It's in the gospels.

It's incredible. 248 times in the New Testament, God is referred to his father. That's a 1600% increase from the Old Testament.

You think God's trying to get our attention? This is a relationship, friends, that is incredibly powerful to grasp. J.I. Packer and his great book entitled Knowing God. If you've not read that, I would encourage you to do so.

J.I. Packer writes in that book, Knowing God. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God's child and having God as his father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new and better than the old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish is summed up in the knowledge of the fatherhood of God.

Listen to what he closes with. Father is the Christian name for God. Father is the Christian name for God.

Do you understand the weight of that today? Who came this morning in prayer just considered to yourself to prayer to God with the weight that God is our father? Some great truths that result of God being our father, if I could list a few.

First of all, it means that we are loved. Some here never had a good father. Some of you had fathers that never told you one time that they loved you. Let me say this, if you're a dad today, if you're a father, make sure you tell your children you love them. Make sure you tell them. It's a big deal.

My dad tells me that and he was down yesterday and got to see him. My daughter turned 18 yesterday. A whole new set of white hairs came in. Don't ask me how it went.

I'll be 90 years old. She'll still be my little girl, man. She's still my little girl.

Never changed. But it's so important. I know my dad would say, you know, his dad never really said, I love you a whole lot. That was a generation of men in our country that they just they thought it was kind of a weak thing, a thing to say you love someone. It's important to tell them you love them.

They leave some holes. If you say you've never done that before, start today, call your son up, call your daughter up, say, hey, honey, I just want you to know I love you. I don't know if I've ever told you that like I should, but if you feel uncomfortable, you know what courageous men do.

They walk over the threshold of fear. They do what's needed. Young dads, make sure you tell your kids you love them. Not just after you discipline them.

Before and after again. But you let them know you love them. You know, the Bible says in First John three one, behold what manner of love the father had bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.

What love is that? This is also a great difference from all the pagan ideas of God. The gods of false religions in the world are seen as angry God needing to be appeased by some work that man would produce and appease the wrath of that God. The Greeks had a chief God named Zeus. The Romans called him Jupiter. Optimus Maximus. Not not not the what do we I don't know. Optimus Prime.

Yeah, we forget it's been years. But this is this was their premier God. And so they called Jupiter their their chief God, but Jupiter and Zeus were the same person. It just was the Greek God named the Greeks named him Zeus.

The Romans named him Jupiter. And so one of the significant legends of the Greek and Roman gods was the was the legend of Prometheus. Prometheus was a God who felt some compassion on mankind because there was a time they said, according to Greek mythology, that man did not have fire. So life was very difficult for man, and they lived in a very difficult time. And so Prometheus was this God who said, you know what?

I'm going to get some fire from heaven and bring it down to man to increase their life. And so he brought that as a gift to man. Well, Zeus was so upset with this. He was so angry at Prometheus for doing this that he took Prometheus, bound him with chains at the Adriatic Sea on a rock so that he would burn during the day with the sweltering heat.

And he would freeze at night under the coal. And then he would he sent a vulture to eat out the liver of Prometheus, which would grow back, and he would tear it out again and again and again and again. And that was the image of their chief God's feelings about doing something good for those on Earth. We come to the Bible and it's so different. We don't have a God that we're working to appease. We have a God who sent his own son to appease himself.

Christ died for our sins. When you study into Hinduism, you go to the Ganges River. Why do they take babies down and throw them into that river? Why do they? Because they want to appease their gods.

Why did the Philistine lay a baby upon the arms of Dagon or others under the arms of Molech in a burning sacrifice to appease their God? And why do the Muslims who have a good angel, they say on one side and a bad angel on the other, and every day they record their deeds. And if they're 51 percent righteous, they make it into heaven. But if they're not, then they're going to be cast out. That's why the only way for a Muslim to get to heaven is to fulfill and assign fatwa, to become a martyr and to die in a holy jihad. And so that's why these martyrs that you see over these years, it's an act of desperation to appease Allah.

The opposite is with us, isn't it? We come to the Bible and God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. If that doesn't make us just fall on our knees today and say, dear God, how could you be so merciful?

So overwhelming. Well, we have to be careful that John three, 16 doesn't build contempt in our heart because of the familiarity of that verse, right? We are loved friends by a heavenly father. Secondly, we are part of his family. Maybe you come from a family that's broken. You know, the truth is all of us have messed up families.

You ever learned that through the years? Yeah, well, my family doesn't have it all together like yours. Oh, you think there's such a family? Just get enough of them together and you'll find out it's not all together. Oh, our family never has any problems.

Oh, really? Spring all the aunts and uncles together in a whole big jamboree. Get the hundred of them together.

Let's see what happens. Let's bring up Aunt Susie's name. You know, I mean, families have issues, don't they? We all deal with a level of brokenness because of sin, right? None of our families are sinless. Therefore, none of our families are without brokenness at some level.

But no matter what the level of brokenness, praise God, you can be a part of God's unbroken family, a heavenly family. Romans 8 15 says, for you have not received the spirit of adoption of bondage again to fear. You don't have to go back into the fear of the Old Testament trying to trying to think you can you could earn favor through keeping the law.

You can't keep the law. It was never designed to earn favor with God or to any of that. It was it was designed to show your need of mercy. But it says, but you've received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father, Abba, Father. Galatians four six says, and because he our sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his son into your hearts. And, you know, Jesus says here, I want you to come and God to prayer, saying, our father. And when his spirit comes inside of us, you know what? His spirit cries out Abba, Father, from in the believer.

It's an incredible truth. You know, when a baby is born. You always have that little precious child and, you know, Hunter and Jeremy, they have a baby on the way.

Super excited. And we have little babies born around the church and it's just great. You want to have a baby drink enough of the water here, you'll get one on the way.

Amen. So but every time you have a little baby born, you know, dad stands there. It's just like me and my wife. I remember remember saying, say, Dada. She's over there like, say, Mama, you know, I mean, you're fighting over this. Anybody know what I'm talking about? And and, you know, the child always says Dada first because it's easier for them to say Dada than Mama. They can't get them lips together quite yet.

So you know what that means? Like I am the winner. Four out of four, baby. I was like, I was like, who do you love the most? And they're like, Dad, I'm like, I love me the most. See, my little daughter, Kaylee, my youngest is down front.

You may love mom more now, but you love me more then. Amen. All the girls side with the girls.

It is it is that way in the house. You know, they all jump on me. This one looks sweet, but she'll hurt me. I mean, I wrestle around with Candace for three tenths of a second.

I got a elbow in the back of my head. I'm like, well, yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Kaylee jumping on me. Jack Russell, man. But when you when you come that baby, you say Dada. And, you know, if you were if you spoke Aramaic, you would you would get over that child and you say, say, Abba Abba. And that's that would be their Dada, Dadi. That's how they would say it. This is this is an intimate term.

This is a term used by only the family members. And so when he says when when I come inside of you, I'm crying from without of you, Abba Father. Is that incredible?

Is that is that beyond special? You know, when Jesus was in the garden, Mark, 14, 36, he said, Abba Father. Abba Father, all things are possible. And did he take this cup from me? Abba. When's the last time you came to God and.

Just were humbled by that reality. The question one might ask is, can everyone pray this prayer? Our father, who art in heaven?

No. No, because if you're not a Christian, he is not your father. Jesus said in John eight forty four, you have your father, the devil. Before I was saved, God was not my father. He was my enemy. He was my judge. But when I got saved, the judge became my father.

Beautiful and glorious truth, friend. And if you don't know Jesus Christ, if you were to stand before God today and and and he said, why should I let you have you say, I don't know what I would say. I'll be down from brother Tom and we'll have men and women down front at these doors.

And you could come down and say, you know what? I want to know how to be adopted into the family of God. I need to know how to become a child of God.

I want God to be my father. And you could come today and trust in him. Wednesday, we had a couple, a young couple, precious couple who came and they testified of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

What a joy. I thought this is my new brother and sister in Christ. This morning in the early service, we had a couple who gave a great testimony. Caleb and Julia Rogers and powerful testimony of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and what he did in their life and how they want to live for him and take up their cross and follow him and see his work accomplished in their life. And that couple, that young couple got baptized in the early service.

What a beautiful thing that was. There are brothers and sisters in Christ today. If you don't know Christ today, you can be saved. The third wonderful truth of God is our fathers. We have a father who will provide for us. He can be trusted with the needs of our life. Matthew six, verse 31 and 32. Jesus says, Therefore, take no thought for your life. What you shall eat.

I know it's about noon. Some of you are thinking the roast is in the oven. Potatoes, sweet potatoes.

The ice cream is still in the freezer. Don't think about what you're going to eat. Don't think about what you're going to drink. Don't don't don't have fear about provision is what he's talking about here. Don't don't fear what you're going to be clothed with. People were working in that day as day labors. They were they were literally working that day to eat that day.

I mean, this was very, very real subject for them. He said, For after all these things that the Gentiles seek, notice what he says. How do I overcome this fear Christ?

How do I overcome this daily worry whether I'm going to be able to eat today because today have shelter? He says, Your Heavenly Father knows what things you have need of. He knows you have need of all these things. He says in Matthew Chapter six, verse number eight.

You don't have to you don't have to pray some vain repetitious prayer, just constantly chanting to get your father's attention. He says in verse eight, Your father knows what things you have need of before you ask. Anybody glad our father knows our needs, he says in Ephesians Chapter number four. He that stole let him steal no more, but let him labor working with his hands. The thing which is good, not only so that he could have enough, but also that he would have so much that he would give to others who are in need. If you're faithful to work to to be faithful with what God's putting your hands, he says he will make sure you are not only provided for your provided for so much you have leftovers. Isn't that good? Anybody been given the leftovers? Amen.

He gives us more than we need. I'm going to be presenting a need next week from one of our churches that we support in the Philippines. I was connecting with them this week and communicating back and forth and on a log. They have a church that's over on the Philippines and a church plant that they have. You know, this young church, they're trying to raise fourteen thousand dollars to build a church building.

You know what? They're having church under right now. They erected some bamboo sticks and put like some like a lean to type shelter. And that's how they're having church. They've raised over six thousand. I said by next Sunday, if they don't have eight thousand, I believe as a church, we're going to send them eight thousand dollars and let them build that building. Amen. And so say, hey, you know why? Because all of us walk in here and guess what we have? We have a ceiling. We have we have more than enough, don't we?

We've been blessed. I look at these these dear souls on the little girls, little boys, adults, and they're putting bam, cutting bamboos down to have church. I wonder how many Christians across this country would sit under a bamboo hut to have church. We have people that, well, they used to be an old grocery store. I don't know if I want to go to church like that. I loved when we were meeting at the fairgrounds because it's like the only people would come to the fairgrounds or to the old storefront when it was really rough around here. I mean, I pray. We didn't have a car.

I mean, it was rough for a long time. I just preached on some wood on the stage when we were over on the other side. The only people that go to these places are people that are really serious about Jesus. And I would have older pastors tell me once your facility starts getting nice, I'm telling you, there's there's people that wind up coming to your church that you won't see come in the early days. I said, I'd rather have the people come in the early days above any of that. I just want people who love Christ.

We're not. So thankful what God's done. He'll provide. Number four, we have a father who gives us only good gifts. James 1 17 says every good and every perfect gift comes down from the father of lights with whom is no variableness, no no shadow of changing every good gift. You know, God only gives us good gifts. Ephesians one, two says grace be to you and peace from God, our father, from the Lord Jesus Christ. God blesses us with so much. Just all the things that we have.

I believe in prayer. There needs to be a time of thanking our father for his many rich blessings. The Bible says in Ephesians five, 20, giving thanks always for all things unto God and the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know, sometimes people say, you know, these young people in this generation and they they're not thankful enough for what they have. I remember as a child, I walked uphill eight miles both ways in the snow without any shoes on.

It was uphill both ways. These young kids today, they have their laptops and iPhones and all this stuff, and they're not thankful enough for what they have. And we used to go to the bathroom at night.

We'd have to walk outside. And sometimes kids today can be very thankful for what they have and sometimes they can miss thankfulness, just like all of us have done in our lives. But adults, I think that our father in heaven would look at us and say, there's a whole lot that your father in heaven has given to you that you're not thankful for either. You want them to be thankful, but you've missed a whole lot more thankfulness towards your father in heaven and what they've had toward their earthly father.

We need to be thankful, friends. Number five, we have a father who wants constant communion with us. Maybe you had a father that was distant.

That can be tough. Maybe you had a dad that you wanted to go fishing with, but he just. I remember reading that story about. One of the one of the premier politicians in our country where he was writing, there was a journal kept between him and his father, very well known. Dad and son. And the dad had a journal entry that said this went fishing with my son today, a day wasted.

What's interesting, his son had a journal that they found that was on the exact same date, and it read this went fishing with my dad today was the best day of my life. Sometimes we get so busy with life, we forget what really matters. I have a funeral that I do probably every two weeks.

I'm burying somebody. You know, I've never had somebody say, boy, I wish I would have worked more. If only I could have patted my 401k a little bit more. If only I could have done a little bit more to buy more stuff.

But you know what? There have been dads and there have been moms and there have been people who, with tears in their eyes, said, boy, I wish I could have gone back and spent more time with my family. I just worked myself to death.

Don't give all your best to your job. Work hard, do it for the glory of God, but make sure you love your family. What I love in the scriptures is we have a God who wants to be with us. You know, in the Old Testament, there were three tribes on the north and three on the east and three on the south and three on the west. And in the middle of all of those 12 tribes of Israel, God put his tabernacle, his dwelling place right in the midst. And you know what he does in the New Testament, he says, my dwelling place is no longer in a tent or a tabernacle. It's in a body.

It's in you. God wants the intimacy of our relationship so close that he literally takes up residence in us. First Corinthians 6 19. What? No, you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which you have of God.

Not your own. What a glorious truth. And then you get the revelation chapter 21 and it reads, And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people. And God himself shall be with them and be their God. God's going to set his tabernacle.

The word means tent. He's going to put his tent with us. He's dwelling among us. What a glorious and really in the Bible, it says in my father's house are many mansions. It really carries the idea of many rooms like it's his father at the father's house. And he's he's bringing us into his house. What a wonderful thing that God wants us to dwell with him. I can tell you, we probably wouldn't feel that way about all of each other. Right. Out of the six, seven hundred people in this church, you'd say add the few.

I wouldn't mind, you know, if we had a large house, they could live on one or the other. But all of them, my goodness, you know, especially not those 18 over there, you know. Number six, we have a father who loves us enough also to discipline us. As a child, I despised discipline. It was later in life that I realized the value of it. I remember some young kids when I was growing up in a rebellious stage of my life. And and these guys said, man, my mom and dad, let me do whatever I want. And I remember specifically thinking their parents must love them so much.

And then the older I got, I realized their parents don't even care. And it was when they went down a rough road and I seen God turn us by his grace into his mercy and salvation and. That discipline is indeed an act of love. Hebrews 12, verse five says this. And have you forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children?

My son, God is speaking to us. Despise not thou the chastening of the Lord nor faint when thou are rebuked of him. Hebrews 12, verse number six. The Bible says this. We have that verse.

Let's read this together. For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. What that means simply is God disciplines every child that belongs to him.

You know why? Because discipline steers us from the wrong to the right. He is a father who disciplines, but also forgives us. Matthew six, 14 says your heavenly father will also forgive you. Now, it's critical to understand that our relationship to God, especially at times in our lives when we know we're not where we need to be. And sometimes we've made some great lapses of sin in our life. Sometimes we feel like we're just unworthy to come into God's presence. There's been times in my life where I felt like, boy, I don't feel like I can pray. I feel so ashamed and just distant from God and anybody else ever feel like just unworthy to approach God in prayer and just weighs on you.

And maybe that season just continues. Let me read Luke 15, because I believe it. Luke 15 really contains this in a response to this verse 17 of the Prodigal Son, it says. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare?

And I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before they notice the next phrase and am no more worthy to be called thy son. He felt so unworthy, but his desperation drove him to his father. He said, Make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose and came to his father. But when he was a great way off, his father saw him, had compassion. And ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

Who would have thought that was going to happen? He and the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven in thy side, am no more worthy to be called thy son. Verse 22. How's the father respond? Father said unto his servants, Bring the best for hope. Put it on him.

Put put a ring on his hand and shoot us on his feet and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it. Let us be merry for this. My son was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found.

They began to be merry. I believe there's some people in this room today that you have felt unworthy. You feel like God doesn't want anything to do with you.

You have been sitting under a pile of lies. You need to understand this is what Jesus says the father does to those who come to him in brokenness. When you come and say, God, I'm not worthy. He says you never were worthy. It's not about your goodness.

It's about my goodness. Robe him as a child. The father rejoices over you. You say, but I never had a good father on earth. I can't even understand what a good father would be like. That's why the Bible says he's a father in heaven.

This is a father who's better than any father that ever lived. I got four precious daughters, and I've had them tell me this. They say, Dad, it's kind of weird, but when we when we dress up or when we, you know, pretty ourself up, we always ask Mom like, Mom, you know, how do I look? My hair, you know, my dress, whatever. And they've told me this through the years, they said. But but I really want to know what you think.

I don't know why, but I care more what you think than even what she says. Like, I really want to know what my dad thinks about me. I'm gonna tell you something, friends. Dads, let me tell you something. It's a big deal how you and I speak to our children. Let me say this to your sons and your daughters are not your co-workers on a construction site. You don't talk to them that way.

I did construction for six years. There are some gruff ways we would talk. Hey, you foolish guy, get over there, pick that up, get out of here. You know, I mean, guys can get pretty gruff. It's not always right to do. But I just understand. You don't talk to your kids like that.

You don't talk to your spouse like that. You understand their value is being defined by how you're communicating. You know where value, how your dad and your mom think about you is many times how you begin to view yourself.

Your value becomes defined by them. I'm gonna tell you something, dads. You need to make sure you treat them little precious children as precious. When I see Jesus, when I see God the Father in the Bible, He wasn't afraid to express His love. We see John in the upper room laying his head against the chest of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a precious intimacy with our King and God and Creator.

How awesome. And He is a Father who would rejoice over you. Last couple thoughts and we'll be done. And notice in this prayer, Jesus doesn't say, Pray my Father, but pray what? Our Father. So as we enter into this prayer, you don't see personal pronouns, do you?

Nowhere. He says, Our Father, give us our daily bread. Forgive us as we forgive others. Lead us not into temptation, deliver us. One prayer that the Jews would pray was this, God, do not answer the prayer of the traveler. The Jews would pray that because the traveler needed dry weather, good weather, right? But everybody else in that day wanted rain and agricultural setting.

You needed rain. Like don't answer the prayer of the traveler because it's gonna make all of us be sacrificing. And so our prayers need to involve the thought of other people. It's okay to pray for our individual needs, but not at the expense of everyone else. God, answer this prayer if it would also benefit others. Don't don't answer this prayer. I know it's going to be a sacrifice for everybody else around me, but I need you to answer this. No, no, no, no.

That's that's not what he's saying. It's our Father. One key ingredient of effective biblical praying is to pray for others. Pray selflessly. Let me ask you, do you pray for other people? There's six, seven hundred people in this church. There should be somebody you're praying for every week from this church. I want you to think about this for just a moment.

We're almost done. If if you're not if you can go seven days or a couple of weeks or a month without praying for anybody by name from this church, or at least you know their need and your heart's lifted up even if you forgot their name. But you know the person your heart's.

Faking for them, design some praying for something, if you can go a long season without even praying for somebody in the church, what's that saying? Does anybody want a child of theirs to come in their house, sit in their home and then leave without any interaction or concern for anybody else in their family? You know what that would say is that child's really kind of selfish.

That child's really self-focused, aren't they? There should be some concern for the other members in the home. Don't they know their brother over here is dealing with leukemia? Don't they know their mother's dealing with diabetes? Don't they know their father broke his arm the other week?

Is there no concern for that? And they just come in and leave, come in and leave, no thoughts. You understand those things are happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ every week in this church. I don't expect you to know everybody in the church, but I expect us to at least begin to learn who people are and to get around. And every week you should come in and say, you know what, I'm going to learn at least one person's name.

And if you could learn 10, 15, 20 people over the course of the year, wouldn't that be a blessing? And begin to pray for people. You know, when Caleb and Julia Rogers just got baptized this morning, the early service wouldn't have been great to say, hey, I'm going to ask the church, what's their address? I'm going to just send them a letter saying, hey, I'm so excited for you guys, I know you're in a couple. I just want you to know I'm praying for you.

Wednesday night when you see people that are sharing prayer requests and you could pray for them. There was a dear lady in church on this last Wednesday. I said, where's your husband at? I knew he was dealing with some health issues and the chemo radiation really knocked him down. And I said, I'm going to pray for him. And I made sure I prayed for him.

And I said, I just want you to know that. I tell you what, that's a big deal for people, to care for them, to care for their needs. And it's when you're in those state of needs that you realize how valuable that is. Friends, don't be like that child who comes in a home and leaves without interaction. Don't even concern yourself with other people interacting with you. You interact with them. You reach out to them. You care for them. Today we learned that God is our Father.

What a beautiful truth. Maybe today you just need to come and say, God, I just want to thank you for being my Abba Father. You're my dad and I haven't thanked you enough perhaps for the blessings you poured out to me. I'm going through some trials right now, Father, and I pray that you would give me wisdom to navigate them. You would give me courage. You would help me through this struggle here. Whatever you need to employ your Father in Heaven for, His ear is open.

We have not because we ask not. He cares about our needs. And if you're here today and you said, I'm not sure if God is my Father, I'm not sure if I died today that Heaven would be my home, I'll be down front.

We have men and women down front. You could come and say, you know what, Pastor Josh, I just want to make sure that when my life's over, I'd be in Heaven. Wouldn't that be the greatest thing, laying your head on your pillow tonight, knowing Heaven's your home, knowing the God who created all things is your Father?

How awesome. Let's all stand this morning. With heads bowed, knives closed, if you're here today and you say, Pastor Josh, I know Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, would you just raise your hand as a testament of your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Praise God. So good to know Christ.

You can put your hands down. If you're here today and say, Pastor, I'm not sure that if I stood before God that Heaven would be my home, but could you remember me in prayer? Friend, I won't come to embarrass you, but I'd love to know who you are so I could pray for you. Is there anybody like that today and say, Pastor, could you pray for me?

Because I'm not sure that I'm safe. If I stood before God and He said, why should I let you into Heaven, I'm not sure what I would say. With heads bowed, knives closed, if that's you, would you just raise your hand, that I might pray for you, just lift it up and I'll know to pray for you. Pastor, could you remember me in prayer? Thank you, I see you. Thank you. I'm going to be down front with men and women down front. I'd love to talk with you. Pull you aside in a private seat and just sit down and share with you from the Word of God.

You can know that answer today. My encouragement for everyone else is this. All week long, I just want you to go to God and think about Him as your Father. I want you to go to God and think about what are the implications of that.

What does that mean for me? Study the New Testament in the areas where it talks about God as your Father. Spend all week dwelling upon that and see your prayer life increase just in that one area. Father, we rejoice because that Word just came out of our mouth, Father. All the failures that we make as fathers in this world, but all the perfection of the Father in Heaven. I pray that you would grant us a fresh understanding of the weight of that reality. May we embrace that truth this week and just glory in your presence as your children. We ask it in Jesus' name, Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-18 23:19:53 / 2022-12-18 23:44:29 / 25

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