image courtesy of quotesgram
Of all the lines in the Lord’s prayer, the one we address today is perhaps the easiest to pray but the hardest to understand. Jesus instructs us to ask, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Who doesn’t want to be delivered from calamity? Even those who profess not to believe in God may find themselves in such a hopeless state that they call out for help. These words are easy to pray.
But how are we to understand them? What is the relationship between God and evil? And more fundamentally, are we really to believe that there is an “evil one” out there—Satan, the devil, red horns and all?
The Scriptures’ answer to these good questions may surprise you, whether you’re a Christian or not.
Title: Lead Us Not into Temptation
Text: Job 1.6–12, 2.1–8
- Satan and people
- Satan and God
- Satan and Jesus
Posted in The Lord's Prayer
Tagged Cross, Cruelty, Jesus, Job, Justice, Mission, Prayer, Problem of Evil, Satan, Sober-mindedness, Suffering, Temptation, The Devil, The Lord's Prayer, Theodicy
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Today we celebrate the 125th anniversary in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The cornerstone of this building was laid 25 September 1891, and for the past century and a quarter we’ve called the UWS home.
But Moses tells us in today’s passage that there is a more fundamental home that we have, one that is far more significant than the homes where we live or even the church buildings we inhabit.
Title: Ancient Wisdom, Present Mission
Text: Psalm 90
image courtesy of ray liu
As a church we often talk about our calling as Christians to run into the brokenness with the help and hope of Jesus. We do this not because we want to be a hip congregation that is on the frontline of social justice, but because we aim to be a faithful congregation that puts the glory of God on display in word and deed.
But like every theological truth, there is an underside to our call to run to the broken. If the world is full of brokenness and we are called to work for its healing, then one might conclude that we are all right. They are the problem, we are the solution.
Jesus doesn’t let us go there, and today’s text articulates the fundamental truth of our condition. We pray “Forgive us our debts” because we too are the broken, we too are the fallen, we too are sinners.
And though there is a certain inevitability to sin in this age, Jesus offers tremendous, for ourselves and for our community, that something very different can happen under His rule, even now.
Title: Forgive Us Our Debts
Text: Matthew 18.21–35
- sin as debt
- basis of forgiveness
Posted in The Lord's Prayer
Tagged Brokenness, Debt, Forgiveness, Humility, Jesus, Justification, Mercy, Mission, Self-righteousness, Sin, The Lord's Prayer, Transparency
This month’s PrayerWatch begins tonight, as our church seeks God’s face together for his grace. The focus of our intercession this time is our gospel partners around the globe.
As we’ve considered the past few weeks, we yearn for God’s kingdom to come and for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. So for the next twenty-four hours we intend to ask our Lord to do this on behalf of our missionaries.
In case you misplaced your PrayerWatch guide, you can download it here or click on the picture above.
If you plan to fast, please make sure you’ve spoken with your health care team to make sure that you are healthy enough to participate in this way.
And as I encouraged you Sunday, please take time to contact our gospel partners and let them know you are holding them up in prayer.
Three related events that you should know about:
- Tonight: the Upper West Side community group will be meeting at Richard and Lucy’s home. For more information, please contact Brooke at brookeash at gmail dot com.
- Tomorrow at 6pm: we will conclude our PrayerWatch together with a prayer meeting at the church. Please join us as we pour out our hearts to the Lord together.
- Tomorrow at 7pm: after prayer meeting we will break our fast together with a dinner prepared by Irma.
Hope to see you there!
The word prayer is almost synonymous with making request. In fact, of the 21 replacements offered for “pray” on thesaurus.com, fifteen of them refer to asking for something. Yet in the Lord’s prayer, it’s not until the fourth phrase that Jesus gets around to this aspect of prayer. Why does Jesus think so differently about prayer? What is He trying to show us?
Title: Give Us Today Our Daily Bread
Text: Matthew 6.11