Bible Study

This is a copy of the Sunday School Lessons presented to an adult class each Sunday.

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

Retired, Lobbyist in Washington,DC - Management - BS Chemistry and various continuing education courses

Friday, June 24, 2016

Bible Study - Transformed (4) - Transformed in My Plans - Matthew 6:25-34 - June 26, 2016

Bible Study – Transformed (4) – Transformed in My Plans – June 26, 2016

This is lesson (4) in our series entitled “Transformed: My Life in GOD’S Kingdom.”

Our focus scripture is Matthew 6:25-34.

GOD is able to provide all I need.

What do people need? In general, we need food, water, clothing and shelter to sustain us physically but are these sufficient? GOD made mankind with a Spiritual void that needs to be filled. We, as humans, try to fill that void with religion, gathering things, careers and socializing. These are good things but what is GOD’S desire for the human race? What is JESUS’ purpose? ONLY JESUS can fill the Spiritual void in our lives. Let’s explore!

Let’s read Matthew 6:25-30:

The Cure for AnxietyTrust in GOD’S Care

25 "This is why I tell you: Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing?

We studied verse 24 in our last week’s lesson, "No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.” In whom do you place your trust and have become a slave, GOD or wealth and self-sufficiency? Having wealth is not the problem but the question becomes which controls your life. I have known very wealthy people who love the LORD with all their hearts and were obedient to HIS call.

JESUS continued HIS teaching. When you place your trust in GOD and  choose to be GOD’S slave or bond servant over self-sufficiency and the things the world has to offer, this leads us to beginning of verse 25, “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry –.”

The Greek verb translated “worry” can have positive or negative implications. It can mean “concern for” or to “care about.” Worry embraces “fear” which is the opposite of faith in GOD. “Faith expresses confidence in GOD’S care while worry expresses doubt about GOD’S care.”

Some of us think that worry expresses care. Worry is different from concern. Christians can be concerned and do what they are led to do as they trust in GOD to intervene according to HIS knowledge and power. Worry can be debilitating and result in creating anxiety and it distracts from the will of GOD. “Loving concern allows others to see our trust in GOD while worry causes others to doubt our trust in GOD.” [Pages 48, 49, 50 and 51, Advanced Bible Study, summer 2016, LifeWay, Nashville, TN, Rev. Lane, pastor, West Side Baptist Church, Greenwood S.C.]

The key words are “don’t worry.” JESUS was not saying “not to plan” but to keep your eyes focused upon what is important and critical in your life.
JESUS used the word “life” which is translated from the Greek word “psyche.” “Psyche” refers to the entire human being and its needs to sustain itself. JESUS focused on the human needs for food, drink and clothing. Physical needs are important but there is a much more important need and that is our Spiritual need. JESUS acknowledged the need for the physical but the human need for an intimate, loving relationship with GOD is greater. Can we trust GOD?
JESUS continued HIS teaching by using a form of instruction the rabbis used which was referred to as “light to heavy.” That is JESUS used an example that was true in a lesser degree which helps us to understand that which is true in a greater degree. We see this as we continue.

26 Look at the birds of the sky: they don't sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they?

GOD cares for the helpless of HIS creation, the birds. That is, if HE cares for the birds, “How much more will HE care for you,” thus the lighter to heavier. JESUS was saying in essence, “Now think about what I am telling you, aren’t you worth more than the birds of the sky?” The response should be a resounding “YES!” Where is your faith in GOD, Who cares for the birds? 

Don’t you think you are of greater value to GOD? JESUS continued with another example.

27 Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?

Does worry get you anywhere? No! A cubic referred to the distance from the elbow to the middle finger or about 18 inches. Bottom line, worry cannot change that which is fixed. Only GOD can change that which is fixed and accomplish the impossible.

28 And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don't labor or spin thread.

If worry does not help, then why worry but take a lesson from nature.

29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!

King Solomon could adorn himself in splendor and grandeur but human effort pales when compared to GOD’S adornment. Consider nature and its beauty which is a reflection of the love of GOD. When we, as humans, abide in CHRIST, GOD is making and molding us into the image of HIS only Son, JESUS. The great reveal will be the instant we step from our earth suits into the presence of JESUS, GOD and all who have gone before us. GOD does not make junk! That instant will be the great reveal for all in heaven to see what GOD has done in the life of every Christian.

30 If that's how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won't He do much more for you-you of little faith?

GOD provides for our needs. HE does not provide for our excesses or our desires but our needs. HE will not give us things that will harm us. We must keep in mind that JESUS is referring to those who have placed their faith in HIM.

Life offers many storms and angry waves but our focus must be upon the ONE Who can calm the storms and the angry waves. It does not mean that we test GOD and go head long into an obvious storm but to trust in the leadership of GOD as we journey through life, trusting HIM.

Let’s read Matthew 6:31-32:

Trust in GOD’S Knowledge

31 So don't worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?'

Those who have placed their faith in GOD through the example of JESUS are not to worry about their physical needs. GOD always provides. Worry does not provide but action as GOD leads does.

32 For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

The word “idolaters” means “nations” or “Gentiles.” The Jews used the term to refer to anyone not born in the ancestral line of Abraham. Does that leave us non-Jews out? No! What made Abraham acceptable to GOD? It was his faith. Romans 4:9:

9 Is this blessing only for the circumcised, then? Or is it also for the uncircumcised? For we say, Faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness.

It is our faith in JESUS that GOD makes us righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21:

21 He (GOD) made the One (JESUS) who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we (those who place their faith in JESUS) might become the righteousness of God in Him.

GOD made humans and HE knows what they need to sustain them physically and Spiritually.

Those who worship false gods seek the things of the flesh and the things the world has to offer.

The gods worshiped by non-Jews were fickle, capricious (given to sudden changes) and unpredictable but the One True GOD of the Israelite's is trustworthy. HE said what HE means and means what HE says.

In whom have you placed your trust? Have you placed your trust in The One True GOD and Father of the LORD JESUS or something else? JESUS said it best in John 14:6:

6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Place your faith in JESUS. Now is your opportunity for salvation. JESUS gave HIS sinless life just for you to have forgiveness for your sins and to have eternal life. It is a free gift to you but as with any gift you must reach out and accept it. Will you? The choice is yours to make.

Christians are not to worry but we do. What does that reveal about our core belief in GOD? It reveals our true relationship with GOD through CHRIST. There is still work that needs to be done in our lives. We must confess our lack of trust in HIS ability and capability. Something has blocked our trust in GOD’S ability to carry us through these times in our lives. The angry waves speak louder than the still small voice of GOD.

We studied in last week’s lesson about the “eyes of the heart” and the things that can either help us to see truth or rob us of seeing truth and responding to truth.

JESUS continued HIS teaching. What is HIS advice to Christians?

Let’s read Matthew 6:33-34:

Trust in GOD’S Provision

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

34 Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It is all about setting priorities. Ground zero is choosing who we will serve. In last week’s lesson, JESUS told us that we cannot serve two masters. HIS desire is for those who chose to follow HIM to be hot and not lukewarm. Every Christian must make that choice of being either hot or cold because lukewarm makes GOD sick.

When Christians choose to seek the fullness of CHRIST in their lives and to obediently serve GOD ass guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, you will encounter Satan. Satan does not want you to obediently serve GOD. But all Christians must keep in mind as recorded in 1 John 4:4 “Greater is HE that is in us than he that is in the world.”

JESUS makes it plain that when our priorities are right, all the things needed to sustain both our physical and Spiritual lives are provided.

How do we know that? Study GOD’S word and see the number of times GOD provided for HIS children. Consider the times that GOD provided for you and your family in the past. GOD’S desire is for Christians to walk with HIM daily. 

The past is just that and the future is yet to be.

So what do we have? We have the present and JESUS tells us that “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Christians are to plan for tomorrow but act upon the present as GOD directs us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. When GOD created the world what HE created each day was created to support what HE planned to create the next day.

The key question is whose plan, whose life plan are we following - GOD’S or ours? JESUS gives us the answer, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”

GOD’S desire is for every person to trust HIM by asking JESUS to forgive him or her for his or her sins and ask JESUS to come into his or her life. Salvation is the foundation upon which we partner with GOD to obediently serve HIM and build with HIM upon that foundation. What has happened in the past is gone. The future is yet to be. The present is now. Who will you serve? Who will you trust? What will you seek? What will you worry about? Blessings!!! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bible Study - Transformed (3) - Transformed in My Possessions - Matthew 6:19-24 - June 19, 2016

Bible Study – Transformed (3) – Transformed in My Possessions – June 19, 2016

This is lesson three (3) in our series entitled “Transformed: My Life in GOD’S Kingdom.”

Our focus scripture is Matthew 6:19-24

Possessions don’t last. Your relationship with GOD does.

Our eldest son went to be with The LORD August 1, 2012. He fell down a flight of stairs while attending a workshop. I was his “personal representative” or what used to be called “executor” of his estate. I settled his estate. Debts were settled and what little that was left went to our granddaughter. He took no earthly possession with him but he did have treasure waiting for him in heaven. Not only is he with the LORD JESUS in heaven but what he sent to the heavenly treasury was secure.

Do you have heavenly treasure waiting for you? What is heavenly treasure? 

Let’s explore!

Let’s read Matthew 6:19-21:

God and Possessions

19 "Don't collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.

20 But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don't break in and steal.

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

JESUS continued HIS teaching. Making money is a gift from GOD but what we do with the money we make reflects the attitude of our hearts.
In last week’s lesson, JESUS was teaching Christians how to pray and HE instructed them on their daily need for both Spiritual and physical needs: “Give us today our daily bread.” How and what Christians do with their daily bread is a reflection of their hearts.

In the scripture for this lesson, JESUS makes it clear that the things Christians treasure reveal their hearts.

This scripture in no way means that Christians are not to plan for retirement or have a budget. JESUS cautions Christians not to depend upon their material possessions to get them through life’s difficulties. Material possessions are subject to vanishing in any number of ways e.g. physical disaster, thieves, and the list goes on.

JESUS emphasized the need for Christians to focus on “collecting heavenly treasure.” What is “heavenly treasure?” Our salvation is the most valuable heavenly treasure. There is also holiness of character, obedience to the Holy Spirit, the salvation of others, nurturing others in the name of JESUS. We do not know all of the things GOD considers “heavenly treasure” but the Apostle Paul addresses some in 1 Corinthians 3:9-14:

9 For we are God's co-workers. You are God's field, God's building.

10 According to God's grace that was given to me, as a skilled master builder I have laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it,

11 because no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid-that is, Jesus Christ.

12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw,

13 each one's work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one's work.

14 If anyone's work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward.

15 If anyone's work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.

All Christians build upon the solid foundation of JESUS CHRIST. There is no other foundation upon which Christians build. We build with a number of materials: gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw.

A speaker, at a CBMC conference, I attended many years ago had done a study of these building materials in GOD’S Word and related them as follows:

Gold is a Christian’s reflection of JESUS in their lives. We will likely never know that we have reflected CHRIST in something we have said or done that ministered to another person: Thus a gold reward.

Silver relates to salvation. Silver relates to our salvation and the salvation of others in whom we have been instrumental in leading them to a saving knowledge of JESUS. We may not know that the person actually asked CHRIST to come into his or her life but we planted a seed, encouraged, gave a cup of cold water, added a piece to life’s puzzle, led the person to CHRIST, helped remove some weeds, gave nourishment and the list goes on. Whatever our role along life’s journey, as we obediently serve our LORD JESUS that leads to the salvation of another person goes into the heavenly treasure as a silver reward. We, often, have no clue that GOD has used us in such a mighty way. GOD is the record keeper.

Costly stones or precious stones relates to our knowledge of CHRIST. As Christians study the Bible and discover truth about GOD and JESUS these are precious stones, gems. As we obediently serve our LORD and we learn more about HIM as we walk with HIM, we earn precious stones. Every Christian has the opportunity to get to know GOD through his or her relationship with JESUS. As false notions about JESUS and GOD are dispelled, truth prevails. GOD’S desire is for HIS children to know HIM in truth not some fabricated notions.

Wood, hay and straw relate to the things we, as humans, count as important. These are good things in the eyes of society such as giving to worthy organizations, building medical centers, building charitable organizations, giving to church and the list goes on. One may ask what about giving to religious organizations or charities? We must keep in mind that GOD looks at our hearts. Do we give to or build these various institutions because GOD has led us or to earn our way to HIM? If we operate via ego, then our works will be tested by fire and not survive. However, if we have been led by GOD, then they will survive. No person can earn his or her way to heaven. Salvation comes only one way and that is by placing your faith in JESUS the CHRIST.

All of our works will be tested with fire. Will they survive or be burned up? It is important for us to focus on verse 15, even if what we, as Christians have done in the flesh is destroyed, they themselves will survive. Heaven is the ultimate destination of all who place their faith in JESUS.

Have you placed your faith in JESUS? If not, now is that opportunity. Ask HIM to forgive you for your sins, believing that HE died for you to pay your sin debt in full and ask HIM to come into your life now. HE will. If you did ask HIM into your life then thank HIM for saving you. If you are not already in a Bible believing and teaching church then ask HIM to lead you to the place where HE would have you to be fed, to grow, mature Spiritually and to obediently serve HIM.

JESUS ends with this “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Where is your heart? The opportunity for every Christian to earn daily rewards is available as we journey through life obediently serving our LORD. Are we, as Christians, more concerned about serving ourselves than serving our LORD? Father, help me to see and keep my eyes focused upon the things that are important to YOU.

Let’s read Matthew 6:22-23:

22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness-how deep is that darkness!

JESUS continued to teach.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:17-19:

17 [I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

18 [I pray] that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,

19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.

Notice in verse 18 “the eyes of your heart.” What are the eyes of your heart? To me this is the very core of our being. It is where we come before GOD and truth is revealed and either accepted or rejected. It is where the rubber meets the road of our lives. We can fool others regarding our relationship with GOD through faith in CHRIST but we will never fool GOD. Truth prevails in the “eyes of our hearts.” 

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:16:

16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children,

I believe “the eyes of the heart” is the place that JESUS was teaching about as HE related physical light to Spiritual light. The very core of every person either allows the light of GOD to shine into his or her very core or false notions, evil or any number of filters block the true light from GOD to penetrate in his or her very core.

When a person rejects even the glimmer of Spiritual light, he or she must know that Satan has planted a stronghold in his or her life and that stronghold must be dealt with by the power of GOD. Strongholds can come from ancestral lines and/or come from things we have opened ourselves up to such as astrology, fortune tellers, horoscopes, mind over matter, ESP, witchcraft, devil worship, tarot cards, bitterness, hatred, bearing false witness, lying, cheating, various addictions, pornography, sexual deviations and the list goes on and on. Satan’s desire is to control your flesh appetite and prevent you from experiencing the joy of salvation. Satan’s intent is to destroy you, thus barriers and filters are in your life to prevent the light of JESUS from penetrating to the core of your existence.

If you sense that this has happened to you, confess it now and ask JESUS to dispel this and to reveal truth to you by removing the blocks and filters that Satan has placed in your life. Seek truth by placing your faith in JESUS the CHRIST Who gave HIS life that you might be set free from your sins and to walk in the light as HE is the Light.

This leads us to our next verse.

Let’s read Matthew 6:24:

24 "No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.

Who do you serve? Every person either serves GOD through faith in CHRIST or Satan by serving the flesh. JESUS made it clear that every person is either a slave, meaning belonging to, to GOD or to Satan. There is no in between. Many of us try to straddle the fence but do you know what straddling the fence means when it comes to being a Christian? It means that you make GOD sick.  

In the Book of Revelation 3:15-16:

15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot.

16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.

Many Christians are lukewarm because they are afraid to take a stand. I know I was and still find myself lukewarm at times now. Are you lukewarm? Am I lukewarm? Each Christian must ask this question. As stated, there are many times I am lukewarm. But guess what? When we confess it, JESUS restores our relationship and encourages us to move in lock step with HIM. There is much to do in GOD’S vineyard and the laborers are few. Christians must work while there is still light.

Christians must keep in mind that they are the salt and the light. Father may we as Christians obediently serve YOU and walk with YOU each day as led by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Help us to be hot and not lukewarm. Only YOU can reveal our Spiritual temperature to us as we walk with YOU. Walking in the flesh is of no value to Your Kingdom. May we, as Christians, walk in obedience to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  Blessings!!!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bible Study – Transformed (2) – Transformed in My Prayer – June 12, 2016

This is lesson two (2) in our series entitled “Transformed: My Life in GOD’S Kingdom.”

Our focus scripture is Matthew 6:9-15.

Prayer is grounded in a desire to honor GOD.

What comes to your mind when you think of “transformation?” One way to consider “transformation” is metamorphosis. A beautiful butterfly must go through transformation/metamorphosis to become a butterfly. Salvation is the beginning point of transformation through the process of “sanctification.” The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:2:

2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

The indwelling Holy Spirit renews the minds of those who accept CHRIST as their Savior through sanctification. It is a daily walk in the Spirit seeking to do the will of the Father.

Our lesson for today centers on JESUS teaching HIS disciples/followers 
how to pray. Prayer is talking to GOD but also, just as important, listening to GOD when HE speaks to us. How does GOD speak to us? HE speaks in many different ways. It can be a whisper/still small voice or any number of ways that GOD knows how HIS children will listen and know that HE is communicating with them. The important thing is that GOD speaks to us today in many different ways.

This scripture was covered briefly in last week’s lesson.

Let’s read Matthew 6:9-10:

The Model Prayer (Also referred to as The LORD’S Prayer – JESUS was teaching.)

9 "Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.

10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The key words are “our Father” and the location of the Father to whom the prayer is addressed, “Heaven.” “Our Father” is to make certain to Whom we are directing our prayer, Who is located in Heaven. This is not to be confused with our earthly father or some earthly religious leader.

A person must be GOD’S Son or Daughter through the miracle of rebirth in order to call GOD Father. Does this mean that GOD does not hear the pleas of those who have not experienced the miracle of rebirth? GOD always responds to all who call to HIM for salvation. Let’s read John 3:15-17:

15 so that everyone who believes in Him (JESUS) will have eternal life.

16 "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

GOD did not have to provide the way of salvation but HE did. Salvation is through HIS Only Son JESUS.  Because GOD did provide the way for humans to be redeemed from the original sin, which carried the penalty of eternal death, reveals HIS love to the off-spring from Adam and Eve.

There were two trees in the center of the garden – one the tree of life, the fruit of which Adam and Eve could eat at anytime and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which they were not to eat.

Adam and Eve chose to disobey GOD and eat the fruit from the forbidden tree. It was the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they ate the forbidden fruit, death came upon them and all of their offspring, just as GOD had told Adam. GOD had placed Adam in charge of the Garden of Eden and he was responsible for what went on in the garden. 

Adam was standing next to Eve when she took a bite of the forbidden fruit and Adam did not try to stop her. As GOD promised, as soon as Adam took a bite, their eyes were opened to their sin. They lost eternal life and inherited eternal death. All humans are their offspring, therefore, the penalty of their original sin, which is death, falls upon all humans. We are all in a fallen, sinful state and eternal death looms over every human. Therefore, all humans are in need of salvation/redemption. GOD made man and woman with the freedom to choose in heaven. Freedom of choice carried over to our fallen state upon earth. Sin blocks all humans from reentering heaven. 

Thus all need JESUS. JESUS paid, in full, GOD’S requirement to redeem or purchase humans from eternal death. JESUS broke the sin barrier.

Have you asked JESUS to forgive you for your sins and for HIM to come into your life? If not, now is that opportunity. That is the only way GOD becomes your Father and we as HIS children can honor HIS name.

When we realize and comprehend that JESUS rescued us from certain eternal death and GOD planned for our rescue before the foundations of the world we begin to appreciate the extent of GOD’S love for all humans. It is impossible for us to save ourselves from eternal death. John 3:16-17 is GOD’S provision for mankind through faith.

As a side note: Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Have you ever thought that is our world? We all live in a world of good and evil. It is a beautiful world but it is not the environment GOD planned for the off-spring of Adam and Eve. Therefore, HE sent HIS only Son to redeem those under the penalty of death. JESUS gave HIS physical, sinless life to pay, in full, the penalty for the original sin, which is eternal death. The death of the sinless lamb, JESUS, by the shedding of HIS blood, broke the sin barrier for all humans, who place their faith in JESUS, to have complete access to GOD.

JESUS stated in John 14:6:

6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

JESUS continued HIS teaching:

“Your Kingdom come” – JESUS had not given HIS life to pay the sin debt, in full, when HE was uttering these words. The “Kingdom of GOD” did not come until JESUS gave HIS earthly life to pay, in full, to satisfy the original sin debt. When JESUS died, the proof that HE paid, in full, the original debt for sin was revealed when GOD resurrected JESUS. There was yet another step in GOD’S plan. GOD needed to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all who place their faith in JESUS so that the “Kingdom of GOD” would be established in their hearts. This happened at Pentecost and will continue as long as the Spiritual church remains upon earth. There will be a time when the “Kingdom of GOD” will be fully established upon earth as JESUS taught and revealed in the Book of Revelation.

Until the Kingdom of GOD is fully established upon earth, may all who are born into GOD’S Kingdom be obedient to GOD’S will, plan and purpose for their lives. Christians are citizens of heaven. Christians are ambassadors of GOD. We need to act like it. Christians are to pray that GOD will bring about the final act of establishing HIS Kingdom upon earth. But in the meantime Christians are to live according to their heavenly heritage because the Kingdom of GOD has already been established in their hearts and lives.

So to review these verses again:

9 "Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.

10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
GOD desires obedience from HIS children!

The model prayer begins by focusing on our relationship with GOD through faith in CHRIST. Our relationship can vary depending upon our ability to know GOD not just to know about GOD. JESUS made it clear in Luke 11:9-10:

9 "So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

When we are in relationship with someone, we get to know the person. Marriage is such a relationship. One of the keys to marriage is effective communication, respect and working together in harmony and unity.

Having an intimate, loving relationship with GOD through faith in JESUS is the foundational relationship with GOD all must have. JESUS then addressed our daily physical needs as born-again humans/children of GOD.

Let’s read Matthew 6:11-13:

11 Give us today our daily bread.

This verse focuses upon physical needs. Notice the word “us.” “Us” refers to those who have placed their faith in GOD through faith in JESUS.

The Greek word for “daily” can be translated “for tomorrow” or “necessary for existence.” Christians walk with GOD on a daily basis and HE provides for HIS children both Spiritual and physical nourishment on a daily basis. 

Christians need to be cognizant that their daily needs are provided by GOD and not to become complacent or self-sufficient. Our walk with GOD is on a daily basis. We would not neglect keeping in touch with our very best friend on a daily basis. Yesterday has gone and tomorrow is not promised. But we are to plan for today and for tomorrow. The Greek word for “daily” implies planning for tomorrow.

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

Debt means that which is owed. In this context it refers to “offense or sin.” Notice, the word “debts” is plural. JESUS taught that GOD’S children fall short in a number of ways when they walk with GOD each day. That is why every Christian is under GOD’S grace and we have to confess our sins on a routine basis.

When we utter the word “debts” it should trigger an introspective review of the things where we have failed to measure up to GOD’S standard. As we seek forgiveness from GOD for our short comings, we in turn need to be honest with our attitude of forgiveness toward others. As Christians, we expect GOD to forgive us when we do not measure up and in turn we are to forgive those who have wronged us.

13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Forgiveness is after the fact, whereas temptation is before the fact. The idea is for Christians to live in such an intimate relationship with JESUS that the Holy Spirit provides us with the strength not to sin. Temptation carries the idea of a “trial” or “test.”

Most of us do not like to be tested. But GOD allows HIS children to be tested through the sanctification process. In industry, quality control is vital to ensure that the product(s) meets the specifications. The same is true in our Spiritual lives, GOD allows HIS children to be tested to reveal flaws in their Spiritual walk and growth.

Christians can be led into temptation by their natural desires. Many desires come from our human DNA. Over the years Christians may have been taught false doctrine that needs to be tested by the truth of GOD’S Word or the truth regarding GOD or JESUS.

The evil one, Satan, is like a hungry lion seeking those he can devour. Satan’s desire is to lead Christians astray any way he can to prevent them from obediently serving GOD. Christians must know the truth of GOD’S Word and know GOD because HE is truth just as JESUS is truth. Knowing truth provides the basis for Christians to be delivered from the snares of Satan. Christians still have the freedom to choose.

Let’s read Matthew 6:14-15:

14 "For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.

15 But if you don't forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.

These verses are “quid pro quo” verses regarding forgiveness. Quid pro quo is a legal term which means something given or done in exchange for something else. When Christians forgive others for their wrongdoing, GOD forgives them accordingly for their wrongdoing.

Notice the word “people.” Forgiveness applies to all fellow humans. When Christians forgive, it reveals the attitude of their hearts toward GOD and in turn toward others. GOD’S desire is to forgive us and when we are in right relationship with HIM our Spiritual nature is to forgive.

The King James Version uses the word “trespasses” instead of “wrongdoing.” The Greek word for trespasses refers to a lapse or deviation from uprightness. This could be an intentional or unintentional act. Forgiveness means to “send away” or “abandon.” The Bible gives us insight in what GOD does with our confessed sins in Psalms 103:12:
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

And Micah 7:19:

19 He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You (GOD) will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Once Christians confess their sins and repent GOD forgives. HIS example is our example toward our fellow man or woman.

The rote recital of the model prayer is of little value if we do not consider the intent of the model. It is to guide GOD’S children to consider their relationship with GOD and their fellowman. Are we, as Christians, modeling the Christian life GOD intended for us to model in everyday life? The next time you sing or recite the model prayer, consider what you are uttering in light of JESUS’ teaching.  Blessings!!!