The Lord’s Prayer – for Thine is the Kingdom

If you’ve been following our Lord’s Prayer study in your bibles, you will note that Matthew’s account ends abruptly after the phrase we touched on last: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13) Traditionally, however, when the prayer is verbalized a doxology is added onto this scripture reference.

“For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.” 

This phrase is likely drawn from one of King David’s final public prayers at Solomon’s coronation.   As he comes to the end of his life and hands over his earthly kingdom to his son, David reflects on the source and the continuation of everything that he has accomplished.

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

As we pray, it is helpful to remind ourselves of the same things. We contribute to God’s kingdom, but the kingdom isn’t ours.  His Kingdom will be built and His purposes will be accomplished. He is in control, and we are not.

We can ask God to help us forgive, and withstand temptation, and trust Him for our daily bread.  He gives us the power to walk in forgiveness, freedom and faith.

If we properly locate ourselves in his Kingdom, and rely on His power, we will know, as David did, that God deserves the glory for everything that we say, do and accomplish. As one commentator notes, “For His glory is His own end and the end of all creation… Whoever are great among men, it is God’s hand that makes them so; and, whatever strength we have, it is God that gives it to us”.

“Amen” means literally “so be it”.  It is a phrase that attests to the truth of the testimony it accompanies.  Jesus is referred to as the “Amen” – the faithful and true witness.

As we end this series on The Lord’s Prayer, can we say, “Amen” to all that we’ve studied and observed?

For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory.  Amen.

 

Kristal Toews

Director of Women’s Ministry

 

 

 

Fall Updates

Can you believe we are already halfway through summer? Our Fall programs are starting up in September and it’s not too soon to register!

Oasis Mornings begins on Wednesday September 19 at 9:15 AM

This Fall at Oasis Mornings we will be studying “Lord I Want to Know You – A Devotional Study On The Names of God” – by Kay Arthur

This will include a combination of DVD as well as in person teaching.

“So much of our confusion and pain results because we don’t know God – who He really is, how He works in our lives.

But with Lord I Want To Know You, that will all change. When you know God more fully by studying His names – Creator, Healer, Protector, Provider and many others – you’ll gain power to stand strong. You’ll find strength for times of trial, comfort for pain, provision for your soul’s deepest needs. And your walk with God will be transformed.

Let Kay Arthur guide you through the Scriptures in this deeply insightful study. Your daily time with God in His Word will introduce you to the limitless treasure available to you as His child.”

You can register online at this link

 

Oasis Evenings begins on Monday September 17 at 7:00 PM

Oasis Evenings meets at Sweet Dreams Bed and Breakfast. You can get more information at this link.

This Fall at Oasis Evenings we will be studying “James – Mercy Triumphs” by Beth Moore

“James, Jesus’ own brother, started out as a skeptic. In “James – Mercy Triumphs”, see how one glimpse of the resurrected Savior turned an unbeliever into a disciple. Bible scholars compare James to the prophet Amos. In other ways, James more closely resembles the Book of Proverbs than any other New Testament book. Topics in this study include: joy, hardship, faith, reversal of fortunes for rich and poor, wisdom, gifts from above, single-mindedness, the dangers of the tongue, humility, and prayer.”

To register online, click this link.

 

MOMs begins on Tuesday September 18 at 9:30 AM

“To affirm, nurture, and encourage women on their journey of motherhood” 

• Provides a network that encourages and equips moms to be the best mothers, wives and friends they can be.
• Provides the opportunity for mothers to develop their skills and talents, giving them confidence in their personal growth.
• Provides a safe place for women to share their struggles and concerns related to raising a family.
• Provides mature women the opportunity to mentor younger mothers.

For more information on MOMs click here.

 

See you in the Fall!

Questions? Email me at sterling@northview.org

 

Sterling Ray

The Lord’s Prayer – Lead Us Not Into Temptation

We’re nearing the end of our study on the Lord’s Prayer today, and are looking at the words, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  An interesting phrase which begs a question: Does God actually lead us into temptation? 

James teaches, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:13-15)

Evil desires lead to temptation, which leads to sin.  Sin, if it is allowed to grow, gives birth to death. Where does God fit in?

Many commentators point out that the Greek word used to express temptation in this prayer also means  “trial” or “test”. While God does not tempt us, He sometimes allows us to be tempted  – perhaps as a trial and a test – for His own purposes.

Jesus warns Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

God allowed Simon Peter to confront temptation.  Peter was forced to decide if he would acknowledge Jesus at the risk of his own safety, or deny him.  Peter gave into his own desires for self-protection, was tempted to deny Christ and sinned.  By God’s grace, however, this sin did not become “full-grown”. Peter failed, repented, and was restored to Jesus.  He became the rock on which Jesus built the church as prophesied in Matthew 16:18.

After this experience, Peter was a different person.  Coming face to face with his own frailty forced him to rely on God more for strength.  He writes and speaks in the Biblical text with more compassion for others and less bravado.  Confronting temptation and being restored to right thinking builds humility.  It makes us recognize how desperately we need God to deliver us from evil.  This should bring us to our knees in prayer.

As one commentator notes: “Jewish parallels suggest that “Do not bring us into temptation” may be idiomatic for “Do not let us be overcome by temptation” or “Do not let our faith be tested beyond what it can bear.” James 1:2–3, 13–14 shows that “temptation” can have a negative or positive purpose—the one an enticement to sin, the other the strengthening of faith. God pursues only the latter, and Satan only the former.”

If temptation is before you today, therefore, you have a decision to make. Will you bring it before God so that He can use this experience for your benefit, or will you allow Satan to use it for your destruction? If you have made a decision to follow your own desires rather than God’s word, God can still use this situation for your good and for His glory, if you return to him as Peter did.

As long as we are alive, we will never be free from the pull of our own “evil desires”, and the temptation to sin will always be before us.  This need not frighten us, but it should cause us to ask God for protection and strength as Jesus teaches in this prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

 

Kristal Toews

Director of Women’s Ministries

PS. Biblical stories “were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of ages has come.  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12). If you don’t know how to handle an issue, examine the bible for guidance.  Our personal stories can also serve as warnings for others, and I encourage you to share yours with people in your life. We are often quick to relate our victories, but reticent to talk about our failures or near-brushes with mistakes. My parents were brave enough to tell my brother and I about both, and I am so grateful. 

 

Beth Moore Simulcast – Saturday September 15, 2012

Join us on Saturday September 15, 2012 to kick off the new ministry year!

Northview will be hosting the Living Proof Live Simulcast, with teaching from Beth Moore and worship led by Travis Cottrell.

This event is open to women from all over the Fraser Valley so invite friends and neighbours to join in!

Time: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Location: Northview Worship Center, 32040 Downes Road, Abbotsford, BC

Tickets are $20 each, and include lunch if purchased prior to September 9, 2012.

Purchase the tickets on-line or at the House of James.

Questions?  Email women@northview.org.

The Lord’s Prayer – Forgive us our Sins

Forgive Us Our SinsWe have worked through some challenging content in the Lord’s Prayer during the last few weeks.  Today is no exception:

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.” OR “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

What does this mean? I had to do some reading to help think this through.

As I paged through commentaries I was impacted by various explanations for why the words “debt and debtor” have often been used in translations. The word “debt” goes further than the word “sin” in explaining why we need God’s forgiveness in the first place.  It describes our position in relation to God: we live in debt to Him.

Here are some excerpts:

“Sin is pictured as a debt, and the sinner as a debtor.  Accordingly the word represents sin both as a wrong and requiring satisfaction.”  The image of debt is “a vitally important view of sin, this – as an offense against God demanding reparation.”

It is sometimes our tendency to separate sin against others, and sin against God.  We tell ourselves that, although we have unfinished business with a person, we are ‘good with God’.  These comments deny this idea.  All sin and disobedience is a direct affront to the holiness of God – offenses demanding reparation.

Because we cannot live perfect lives, “as the debtor in the creditor’s hand, so is the sinner in the hands of God.”  He doesn’t owe us anything.  We owe Him everything.  Have you ever been in the hands of a creditor, completely powerless to repay a debt?  That is our condition.  “By asking him to ‘forgive us our debts’, we are acknowledging a lifetime of accumulating debts we cannot repay before a God who can forgive.”

How does this translate into how we forgive others?  “no one can reasonably imagine himself to be the object of divine forgiveness who is deliberately and habitually unforgiving towards his fellow men”.  Think about that for a while.  Who are we, really, to withhold forgiveness?   If we are powerless to save ourselves why do we think we can hold things over other people?

A final quote and I will leave you with more than enough to think about. These commentaries have cut through several layers of my own self-justification and I confess to feeing a little bit raw. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use them in your life as well.

“If God answered the prayers of a believer who had an unforgiving spirit, He would dishonor His own name.  How could God work through such a person to get His will done on earth?  If God gave him his request, He would be encouraging sin! The important thing about prayer is not simply getting an answer, but being the kind of person whom God can trust with an answer.

 

Kristal Toews,

Director of Women’s Ministries