Breaking out of the Box

Have you ever given much thought to the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer?

Have they ever struck you as life-altering?

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If you’ve grown up in the church like me, you could probably recite this prayer in your sleep. I think I could do it in a coma.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13 NIV

“Our Father” – stop right there.

In the original language, where is says ‘Father’, Jesus actually used the word for Dad or Daddy.

Hmmm.

Not Your Majesty. Not Your Honour. Not even Sir.

Dad.

Wow. Can we even comprehend the enormity of that? Try for a moment.

The God who made more galaxies than there are people, wants us to call Him Dad. The God who made Everest and the Grand Canyon like He was playing in a sandpit, wants us to call Him Dad. The God who could wipe out the universe or create a new one in a split second, wants us to call Him Dad.

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

Sounds like a pretty personal relationship to me.

And how about the rest of the prayer? Jesus instructs us to pray for our needs, for help in temptation and for forgiveness. All remarkable.

Does the President want to hear about how your day went? Will a judge care enough to ensure you have a way out of every tempting situation? Is your employer in a position to forgive you for everything you’ve done wrong?

Nope, nope, and nope.

Yet often we think of God as little more than a ruler, a judge, or a boss.

God is obviously much, much more than any of those boxes we’ve put Him in.

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New Short Story – ‘The Author’

If you enjoyed The Bride, check out my new story in the Parables section, The Author.

The Author

The Author creates characters that literally come to life. But what happens when they decide to write their own stories?

Find out by visiting the Parables section or following this link:

The Author

 

God knows you. That’s right, you!

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matt 6:6-8 NIV

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Wow, did you see that? If not, go back and read it again.

Did you see it this time? There are two amazing truths in those verses that make me feel special and loved.

Number one:  God sees what is done in secret. Usually when you say those words, people shrink down into themselves and glance around, looking for the giant eye in the sky that is spying on them. Like they’re ashamed.

But there’s no need for that, not if we’re forgiven. In this verse, God is watching all the good things we do in secret. In other words, He is paying attention.

Doesn’t that make you smile? He notices the small things: that time you bit your tongue so that you didn’t lash out; when you cooked a meal for an ill mother; when you were honest about your mistake at work. And He hears every quiet word you say to Him.

He sees. He knows. He smiles. And He will reward (not that reward should really be our motivation, but still… it’s nice).

Number two: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him”. Just let that sink in for a minute.

Don’t cheat. A whole minute.

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He knows what you need before you even ask Him.

Does your best friend or your spouse know what you need before you tell them? Sometimes they might be lucky enough to guess. But know? And those are the most intimate human relationships in existence!

God is even better than that.

He knows you. He knows you really, really well.

God and Us. Friends? Acquaintances? Enemies? Lovers?

When you picture your relationship with God, what do you see?

That question was not rhetorical. Stop reading. Think about it.

Contemplation

Is he a bully? A sour-faced judge? A school principal? An absent parent? Or is he even paying attention to you at all?

Many people think that Christianity is just a ticket to heaven, and maybe following some rules. That’s what the Bible says, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Maybe, just maybe, he actually wants a personal, intimate relationship with you. One where you can talk with each other. One where you know one another. One where you can’t live without one another. One where you’re totally consumed.

Does this sound a little unrealistic? Or even irreverent?

Let’s have an honest look at the Bible together and see what kind of relationship God wants to have with us.

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