The Lord’s Prayer (vs 9)

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, for ever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

WOW! I did a “quick” internet search for “Lord’s Prayer” and what I found surprised me. I’m used to reading this in Matthew and hearing the song. I discovered differing versions of the prayer based on the Scripture. I found additions to the prayer. I found different prayers based on denomination! And this was all on one web page.

I know that the prayer is given by Jesus twice. Once, in Matthew, He tells followers during the Sermon on the Mount how to pray and once, as recorded by Luke, He is asked by one of the disciples how to pray and His response is the Lord’s Prayer in a slightly different format.  I had hoped to do a study on the prayer itself so I’m going to go with Matthew 6:9-13 in the King James Version of the Bible. If you are interested in the other versions or denominational renderings feel free to look check the link I have above.

Jesus starts out,” After this manner therefore pray ye.”  While I’m not condemning our repeating this prayer, it should be noted that this was not the Master’s intent. He did not say repeat after me rather He said “after this manner” or, as the Good News Bible puts it, “This, then, is how you should pray.”  There’s nothing wrong with saying or reading the prayer either personally or in a congregation as long as it is meaningful and heartfelt. Jesus was very clear not to pray in “vain repetitions” the same thing over and over.  You could say that Jesus was saying something like, “Here is an idea of the basic format that you should use when you are praying.” (Personal paraphrase) So let’s look at this prayer format.  

“Our Father which art in heaven” directs our prayer to Almighty God above.  John Wesley, in his Notes on the Bible says, “The preface, Our Father, who art in heaven, lays a general foundation for prayer, comprising what we must first know of God, before we can pray in confidence of being heard. It likewise points out to us our faith, humility, love, of God and man, with which we are to approach God in prayer.”

We must understand that He is God Almighty. He loves us and wants us to seek Him for help and guidance, but we can never forget where He stands and where we stand.  This is emphasized in the next line, “Hallowed be thy name.”  This means “may your name be kept holy.” Again, positioning God above us.

I’m going to break here. Be sure to like and follow so that you don’t miss any of the following posts as I continue this study.

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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Truth

Truth

What is truth? The popular belief today is that what may be true for you isn’t necessarily true for me. It’s called relative truth, and people love it. It relieves them of responsibility for their bad behavior.  They don’t have the need to learn right from wrong because it’s not their “truth”.

What they don’t realize is that this way of thinking is placing them in bondage; literally making them slaves. Of course, they don’t realize this any more than the Jews that Jesus was speaking to realized it. When He told them that the truth would set them free they got all indignant and huffy saying, “We are the descendants of Abraham,” they answered, “and we have never been anybody’s slaves. What do you mean, then, by saying, ‘You will be free’?” (John 8:33 GNB)

People today can’t accept that they are slaves, or in bondage, to sin. They refuse to believe that continually living in sin shows that they are children of Satan. Yes, this is a strong statement, but Jesus made it, not me. He told them, “You are the children of your father, the Devil, and you want to follow your father’s desires. From the very beginning he was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies.” (John 8:44 GNB) Yes, it is a strong statement, but it is a true statement. It is a statement that the world will not, and is unable to, accept because the truth is not in them.

So, what is the truth? Or, more specifically, what is the Truth? The Truth is: Jesus was born of a virgin and the Holy Spirit. The Truth is: He lived a sinless life. The Truth is: He died for OUR sins, never having committing sin Himself. The Truth is: He rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.

The TRUTH is: Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation. This is not relative. This is not flexible. While you may not accept this as your truth, it is, in fact, the Truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6 GNB) I didn’t make this up because I want more people to go to church. Jesus said this because He wants more people to go to Heaven!

If you can accept this message then you are blessed. Repent, proclaim Jesus as Lord and be baptized. Follow His teaching and commandments. As He said, His yoke (burden or harness) is easy and His load is light because He helps us carry it.  

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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Reaping what you sow

Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant. If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8 Good News Bible)

Have you ever planted roses and found grapes growing on the rose bushes? Of course not. Apples don’t grow on pear trees. By the same token spiritual health doesn’t grow when carnal seeds are planted. By thinking this we are trying to make a fool of God, and this cannot happen. We might think we are getting away with it, but the true nature of the plant will always become known.

We have seen this in public figures and it’s especially troubling when it’s a well-known preacher who falls. But it will happen to us as well if we persist in sinning. I know that we all are imperfect and slip from time to time, but that’s certainly not what I’m talking about. When you slip, not matter how hard the fall, repent and ask God to forgive you and He will. The Bible says that He no longer remembers the sins of those who truly repent (turn away from) their sins.

What Paul was talking about in his letter was deliberate, continual sin. Doing what you know is wrong and continuing to do it even when the Holy Spirit is prompting you to turn away from this behavior. You can’t continue to live like this if you are a believer. God will not be mocked and that what this is doing.

The Southern Gospel group The Chuckwagon Gang sang a song many years ago that had a line that said, “God will set your fields on fire, if to sin is your desire.” Have you ever wondered why nothing is going right? Are you trying and still not succeeding? Maybe it’s the devil blocking you but maybe it’s unrepented sin in your life? Ask God to show you where you have to change then ask Him to help you make the needed changes. He will. He wants you to live a life that brings glory to Him and will help you, even if that help is “to set your field on fire.”

 

© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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Christians in wolves’ clothes

For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of our God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received. (Jude 1:4 Good News Bible)

We hear a lot about false teachers today. But how do we tell the difference in a true teacher and a false teacher. Often the false teachings are so close that it’s almost impossible to put your finger on the difference. The deceiver wants to deceive the believers and he frequently does this with slight, subtle variations on the Word.

Remember when Satan tempted Jesus? Satan used the Word, or I should say misused the Word. Satan quoted Psalm 91:11 correctly but took it out of context and applied it incorrectly. He does the same thing today. False teachers, prophets and preachers correctly quote the scripture but pull it out of context and misuse it. This is why it is sometimes hard to tell who they are. They use God’s very own Word as their calling card and we can sometimes get confused.

Paul said that in the last days there would be a certain kind of people abounding in our gatherings. 2 Timothy 3: 1-9 describes these people as selfish, greedy and boastful. Paul also says that they are merciless, slanderers and violent. Then he advises Timothy (and us) to stay away from such people. Jesus said that by their fruits you will know them. What kind of fruit are these false teachers producing? Often we have to look no further than their teaching to see their fruit. A leader who teaches that abortion is nothing more than a woman’s control of her own body is certainly and obviously not in line with the Word, no matter how many verses he or she quotes. I would like to say that this one is so obvious that no one would ever follow such a leader. Unfortunately, millions around the world and here in the US actually do follow such a leader.

It is imperative that we actually know the Word. Get into a Bible centered study group and do your homework so that you can be better prepared to defend the truth and to actually know the truth.

 

© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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Works

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5 ESV)

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17 ESV)

If someone were to take these two verses, by two separate writers, apart from their context, they could make a great basis for a works based religion. And that has been done many times over the centuries. It seems, at first glance, that both Paul and James are teaching that we must have a certain kind of works in order to get into the Kingdom. But, as a friend of mine likes to say, “what does the rest of the Bible say?”

There are many places where Paul expounds on salvation by grace alone. He is very persistent in letting his readers know that it is not what we can do but what Jesus already did.

Throughout the Old Testament the prophets proclaimed God’s demand for perfect sacrifices. The lambs, bulls and doves had to be spotless. The Israelites were to give their best to the Master. So, with this in mind, how could any flawed human be a fitting sacrifice? We can’t. Romans 3:23 tells us, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We cannot do enough good deeds, or works, to attain salvation. Ever.

So what’s up with the devotion verses for today? It’s not a matter of attaining salvation. It is a matter of living out your salvation. If you are saved, that is “born again,” (John 3:3) then you will have the Holy Spirit living in you. Before you were saved you lived for yourself. Your mind was not set on the things above. Then Jesus cleansed you. He made you a new person. This new person is now filled with the Holy Spirit and longs to please his new Master. (If this is not the case with you then I strongly advise you to get with a Bible believing preacher and get yourself right with God.)

This does not mean that we are perfect. We are still human and still stumble, slip and even fall from time to time. The difference is that when we do sin the Holy Spirit prompts us into repentance. We know that we have done wrong. Not that we have done something that will hurt us, but we have done something that Jesus does not approve of. So the verses for today are not a works salvation. But if you are saved, than you will have the works. Your behavior will reflect the Holy Spirit inside you.

© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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A Different Gospel

I am surprised at you! In no time at all you are deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ, and are accepting another gospel. Actually, there is no “other gospel,” but I say this because there are some people who are upsetting you and trying to change the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-7 Good News Bible)

Who are you listening to these days? There are a lot of “preachers” out there who aren’t all that they claim to be. Some proclaim a gospel of money. Some are speaking only part of the Word and expecting you to trust them to lead you into a new path. They all sound good. And too many of them are agents of Satan. They use bits and pieces of Scripture, just like the devil did when tempting Jesus, but they pull it totally out of context to meet their own needs.

These pseudo-preachers usually mean well. Quite often they sound sincere, because they are. They really don’t know that they are leading their flock to the very gates of Hell itself. But they are and you do not want to join them!

So how do you tell if a gospel is truth or not? It’s fairly easy. If the message is anything other than Jesus it’s most likely a false doctrine. Who or what does the preacher promote in his sermons? Does the messenger have a biblical basis for his message or is he quoting other men on a regular basis. Even famous preachers of the past were just men. Their message may have been from God, but then there should be sound biblical doctrine to back that up. In his letter, Paul goes on to say that the message he is preaching “is not of human origin.” (Galatians 1.11)  Paul was taught by Jesus Himself.  Here’s another clue. Paul says, in verse 24 of this chapter, “And so they praised God because of me.” People were not praising Paul, they were praising God. And that, my friends, is the difference between a gospel of lies and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is it biblical and who gets the glory?

I invite any and all to examine what I preach against the Bible. If, at any time, you find something that I’m saying that is not biblical, I beg you to call it to my attention.

© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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