Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Timeless Truth


The Bible is the Holy Word of God, inerrant in its original text, without compromise in its intent and wholly true in its account. The words were penned by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit from one book to another and designed by God to perfectly fit together and tell one story, His-Story … God’s Story – a story of the creation and the redemption of mankind.

The Bible reveals the plan of God for all mankind and gives detailed accounts of man’s departure from that plan. The intent of the Bible is to present the timeless truth: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For 4000 years after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden and brought the curse of sin and death into the earth, God chose covenant men and women to carry the timeless truth of His love. Then, 2000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus, into a lost world.

Jesus was born of a virgin; He lived a sinless life; He died an atoning death; He carried and buried the sins of mankind in the grave; He was raised to life the 3rd day victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave; He ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us until His enemies are made to become His footstool; and He is coming again in the heavens with a shout at the last trump, the dead in Christ shall rise first and we which are alive and remain shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and be caught up in the air to meet the Lord. The grave shall have no victory and death shall have no sting. Even so we say, come Lord Jesus now!

Three of the 33½ Jesus lived and ministered in the flesh on the earth was spent by Jesus teaching, preaching and healing the sick. He ministered one on one, He raised up a group of disciples and taught the multitudes as well. His passion and compassion compelled Him to do whatever He could to connect people to His Father, God. Some of His most passion-filled moments were spend with Him praying Himself and for others.

Tonight we are going to look at two places in the scriptures that give us accounts of Jesus teaching others how to connect with God in prayer. The first account is early on in His earthly ministry. Jesus is on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee near the town of Capernaum on a hillside which we have come to know as the Mount of Beattitudes. During His classic Sermon on the Mount discourse Jesus turns the attention of His listeners to prayer. This, He said, is how a person should pray:

Matthew 6  KJV
9 ¶  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13  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.
14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

·        The Praise aspect of Prayer
·        The Priority aspect of Prayer
·        The Provision aspect of Prayer
·        The Penitent aspect of Prayer
·        The Petition aspect of Prayer

Three years later we find Jesus praying and one of his disciples asked a question:

1 ¶  And it came to pass, that, as he 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.
2  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3  Give us day by day our daily bread.
4  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
5  And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6  For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7  And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8  I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11  If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?