The Lord’s Prayer (NIV)

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

Matthew 6:9-13

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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What are You Worth?

Everything has a value. We put price tags on just about everything. Don’t believe me then go spend some time searching for things on ebay.com. I promise you will be amazed what money can buy. Unfortunately, the value of things is not limited to inanimate objects. I think it fair to say the world is struggling with what is the value of the human life. What is the value of you?

If you have not already noticed, perhaps you have, most people do not think you are worth much. One only has to look at how varied and inconsistent punishment is handed out for taking another’s life to understand how little life is valued. Or, how quickly man takes to war.

However, this is not the way we should be looking at things. For example, I know for a fact that you are worth more than five sparrows…

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Luke 12:6,7

 And worth more than a sheep…

And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:11,12

Of course I am being silly! You are worth much more than this. What to know what you are worth? I know you do.

You are worth the very precious price of one Son of God.

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:17-19

or

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

The human life is worth nothing to the world. But to God, now that is another matter all together. God held nothing back to buy you back. You are precious and valuable.

So why worry, especially when Jesus himself tells us we are valuable to God!

God bless

Missing the Boat

A long time ago, God spoke to a man named Noah. He said…

Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!

“Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Genesis 6:11-14 

The world was full of evil but Noah found favor in God’s eyes. God’s message came to Noah and it was now time to act. Noah had a couple of choices. Build a boat or don’t build a boat (To build or not to build, sorry, just had to say it). The word of God came to Noah, God said, “Noah, I am going to destroy all this I have made, but I want to save you. Build a boat.” Just as Satan caused Eve to doubt the word of God, I am certain he tried to make Noah doubt too.

Noah built the boat.

Today, God speaks to us. He says,

“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3 

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:16-21

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

You may wonder, “Is it true Lord, are you really going to destroy all this? Do you really mean it?” Just remember…

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:18-21

Just as God destroyed the world by water God will return. The water that cleansed the earth then now through baptism cleanses you from sin. Effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The boat has arrived.

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26-27

God bless.

He Promises Protection

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 1 Peter 1:3-5

This is an awesome set of promises. Peter is trying to pump us up!

We have been born again (John 3:3)

We have a priceless inheritance (Hebrews 9:15)

God is protecting us by his power (Ephesians 1:19-20)

The problem – our Faith! We must have faith. Faith is the key. Faith we have been born again, that our inheritance waits, and God is protecting us. We have the gift and the promises. Now we must remain faithful.

God bless. Hold the faith.

Hope, Inheritance, Power

I have found another instance of the three themes of my favorite prayer. I have written before about Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in his letter to them. The prayer can be found in Ephesians 1:18-20. In it Paul prays that they would know hope, the riches of our inheritance, and know the power for us who believe.

Peter has his own twist on the theme in 1 Peter.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

God has shown us the way. It is in his Son, Jesus Christ. Now we have been born into his family to receive the inheritance of princes. Not only that, we are protected by God’s power. Now that is something to hope in.

God bless.

Water Walkin’: Part Two

After giving it some more thought. I felt kinda negative about my post yesterday. There are some very positive and powerful things in Peter’s experience walking on water.

Number One:

Peter could walk on water! I am pretty confident that had Peter been out fishing with the fellows he would have never thought about getting out of the boat and going for a walk. But, by being in the presence of Jesus the unthinkable is very much reality. Wow! Paul said in Ephesians 3:20-21,

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I take great comfort in knowing Christ can work powerfully in me when I submit to and stay focused on Jesus.

Number Two:

When Peter sank, Jesus did not say, “You stupid apostle, who let you in this boat?” And He did not say, “Peter, you are just not good enough.” No. He reached out his hand and picked him up. Peter was not rejected, instead admonished. Jesus asked a very important question, “Why did you doubt?”

Why doubt? Peter was presented with definitive proof of Jesus’ divinity. He experienced it, touched it.

Today, Jesus asks me, “Why do you doubt?”

Water Walkin’

Peter is just so me. One minute on top of the world the next swimmin’ around in the mess.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:25-32

This is just so much how I live. I have fleeting moments of spiritual awakening followed by empty times wondering where God went. Okay, I know it is my lack of faith that gets me into these situations but I got excuses.

Peter was distracted by the wind and the waves. Me, well work, parenting, church and chores all get in the way. Then there are the really scary things like bills, keeping up with the Jones, my never satisfied wanter keeping on wanting, pride, self reliance, denial, and the constant feeling of cover up, you know trying to keep your plates all spinning without people noticing all the broken ones.

Whew, where is God in all that? What I believe I need to do is just quit. I can see Peter hugging Jesus after successfully walking all the way to him if he had never taken his eyes off the Christ. Abraham would have never gotten into trouble with Hagar if Sarah and He had just waited on God to fulfill His promises. Moses would have walked into the promise land if he had not thought he was the one instead of God. Saul would have died king if he had only obeyed God. When will we ever learn?

Today these words echo in my mind, “You of little faith, why do you doubt?” Why? Why? Why?

Lord,
Enlighten the eyes of my heart,
so,
I will know the hope you have called me to,
the riches of your glorious inheritance,
and your power for those who believe.
Lord, help my unbelief.
Amen