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There's power in singing scripture. It reinforces truth, and implants it in your soul.

Walk in truth today, and join me in this prayer:

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by today.

See you again soon.

Ben

9

GreaterGlory

Our heavenly Father, may the glory of your name be the center on which our life turns. - Luke 11:2 TPT

What a great prayer.

You’ve probably heard this verse translated like this:

Father, hallowed be Your name. - Luke 11:2 NASB

The only time you hear the word hallowed, or any part thereof today, it’s linked to Halloween. So when Brian Simmons translated the Lord’s prayer in Luke 11, he put a spin on it that you can wrap your heart and mind around.

Allowing the glory of the Father’s name to be the point on which our lives pivot would bring Him to the center or our every decision. It would create an awareness of God in our daily walk. This phrase helps me understand what it means to abide in the vine.

When I abide in Him and He resides in me, His glory and the glory of His name settles to the center of all I am, and then out of that center—that well of life—all my decisions flow—all my choices originate in the fountain head of glory at the center of my being.

Will you pray this with me today?

Our heavenly Father, may the glory of your name be the center on which our life turns.

Why His name? What’s so special about His name?

His name is His promise—His covenant.

Moses leaned His name—I AM.

Then Father, through the scriptures and finally through His son, revealed His nature, His character, and His covenant to us though His wonderful name.

Yahweh-Jireh “The Lord will Provide” (Genesis 22:14)
Yahweh-Nissi “The Lord is my Banner” (Exodus 17:15)
Yahweh-Mekaddesh “The Lord Sanctifies” (Exodus 31:1)
Yahweh-Shalom “The Lord is Peace” (Judges 6:24)
Yahweh-Rohi “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1)
Yahweh-Tsidkenu “The Lord is Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Jeremiah 33:16)
Yahweh-Shammah “The Lord is There” (Ezekiel 48:35)

I AM the bread (John 6:35)
I AM the light of the world (John 8:12)
I AM the door of the sheep (John 10:7)
I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11)
I AM the resurrection, and the life (John 11:25)
I AM the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)

That is some serious glory, some serious promises, and an amazing covenant. Let your life pivot on this. Let it be your core.

Jesus, be the center!

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by today.Encounters With Jesus

Keep the light on.

Ben

For more thoughts on His great name, check out:

Thy Name, Part 1
Thy Name, 8 (well 9) Old Testament names of God
Thy Name, 7 (well 8) New Testament names of God

If you'd like to learn more about my new book - Encounters With Jesus - you can read about it here.

 

1

Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?

Song of Songs 8:5 NASB

Before we move on the verse 6, I wanted to slide back up to the idea of leaning.

How often Christianity has been tagged as a crutch. A device to help the week and infirm get along in a world their just not cut out for.

But here we see the bride in full maturity leaning on her Shepherd King.

So is dependency a sign of weakness?

Does she lean out of her own inability?

Probably so. A mark of Christian maturity, is that we understand it is Christ in us that makes us who we are in Him. It’s the immature believer who strides out in pride and self sufficiency and invariably come back broken, beaten and burnt-out.

Like the maiden, early in the song, we get out ahead of the Lord and try to go it on moral strength and will power.

It’s not our strength that demonstrates our maturity, it’s our ever-increasing dependency on the Lord for support.

What is it that we lean on the Lord for?

We get some clues from the supplications the Lord taught the boys in His model prayer.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. - Matthew 6:11-13 NASB

We lean on Jesus for our provision—He is after all Jehovah Jireh—The Lord will Provide.
We lean on Jesus for our forgiveness—There is no other name under heaven by which we may be saved!
We lean on Jesus for leadership—He is our Good and Great Shepherd.

The interesting thing about this position of leaning is that it’s not following from behind. No—instead we find our selves in a defendant partnership. We walk with the Lord, like Adam and Eve did in the cool of the day, before the fall.

So does it show weakness to lean?

It is the way Jesus walked in relation to the Father! Jesus was always looking to the Father for His provision and His guidance. Even His salvation (though He certainly did not need forgiveness.)

When Jesus fed the 5,000:

Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, - Matthew 14:19 NASB

When He looked to heaven—was His silent prayer - “Give us this day our daily bread?”

When He was hanging on the cross and ready to finish His work, He cried out:

And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last. - Luke 23:46 NASB

Jesus entrusted the Father for the final phase of His own work—I have done all you ask of me, my Father, now receive me, and my offering.

And finally Jesus looked to the Father for leadership in every day of His walk:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. - John 5:19 NASB

Was the Lord’s leaning on the Father a sign of His own weakness or inability? NOPE! It was a demonstration of His confidence in the Fathers love and care for Him. It was intended to open our eyes to His total ONENESS with the Father. The same oneness He offers us.

There’s an old hymn of the church from the late 1800s.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is a hymn published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman.

Showalter said that he received letters from two of his former pupils saying that their wives had died. When writing letters of consolation, Showalter was inspired by the phrase in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:27 "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms"

===

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain:
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

===

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by today.

Leaning on Jesus,

Ben

When I first moved my blog to WordPress, and didn’t know any of you wonderful folks over here, I was just starting to blog through the Lord’s Prayer.

In fact, my blogging career (chuckle) started back in June with the Beatitudes followed closely by the Lord’s Prayer. These are 2 of the most significant and crucial passages in the Bible, and so that is where I started.

Then I decided to go back and fill in the blanks between them.

Here I am back at the doorstep of the Lord Prayer, so rather than blogging through it again, and repeating my self, I thought I would index those posts here for anyone who is interested, and we will jump on to what’s next.

Hey - don't feel like you have to read any or all of these, but if anything strikes your fancy give it a whirl. I have tagged (*) a few that I really love, but hey I often agree with myself.

Here is the list:

OUR Father… *

Our FATHER… *

Perspective

How does one Hallow?

Thy Name, Part 1

Thy Name, 8 (well 9) Old Testament names of God

Thy Name, 7 (well 8) New Testament names of God

The Increase of Influence

3 Peeks at the Will of God *

Don’t Undermine Your Prayers

The Will of God vs Your Circumstances

Pull It Forward! *

Thy, Thou, Us and Our – A Template for Life

A Visit to the Fridge

Abandon Your Offenses *

Know Forgiveness or NO Forgiveness

Finding Your Way Out of Temptation-ville

Anybody Want A LifeSaver?

Where Did You Get That?

Take it From the Top

Forever

Ever Increasing Peace!

Divine Punctuation

Bring Me the Bill

7 Things Jesus Modeled in the Lord’s Prayer

If you got this far you must be ready for a nap - or just waking up from one.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

See you tomorrow.

Yours,

Ben

As I leave the Lord Prayer (for the moment at least) I wanted to take a quick look at this as a model once again.

This is not intended (though any public reading of Jesus words has value) for public reciting on a weekly basis. As I said when we first started this study, that can become no more than vain repetition, which Jesus repudiated.

This IS a great place to start as an outline or structure for your own prayer life. [Tweet This]

Our Father - Remember with Whom you are speaking

In Heaven – Remember His (and your) perspective – Pray from outside your circumstances if you can.

Hallowed be Your name – (#1 Worship) Begin with Praise, Adoration, Worship. If you run out of time, you will have done Job 1.

Your Kingdom come – (#2 Submission) Your prayer life should have the specific intent of getting into alignment with God’s reign.

Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven – (#3 Intercession) Here we ask the Father to bring a manifestation of His economy into the lives of those around us, and those He puts on our heart.

Give us this day our daily bread – (#4 Supplication) Here we deal with our needs and wants.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors – (#5 Confession) Do not leave prayer without a clean slate between you and the Father. This may actually be #1 since Jesus twice tells us to fix our relationships before we approach the Father.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil – (#6 Guidance) Lord, you lead, I follow.

For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever, Amen. - (#7 Worship) We end where we begin with our main job in life – Worship the King!

Not every prayer has to have all of these elements, but this is a great place to start.

Thanks for reading today.

Come back soon.

Ben

PS - If you are new to the blog, you can check out "the Lord's Prayer" category for dozens of posts as we moved through this prayer phrase by phrase.

Amen (Matt 6:13)

Finally Jesus closes His model prayer  using the word Amen. The word “amen” is not like the ham radio sign off – “over and out!” It is not us telling God we are done now, or worse that we are now dismissing Him.

Amen, when used at the end of a sentence has the implication – “let it come to pass.” Jesus uses this word often. The striking thing about the way Jesus uses this word is where it comes in His sentences.

Jesus starts His sentences with ‘amen’. The thing is that when He does this it is usually rendered truly or verily. In looking this word up, I was impressed by the following information about this ancient word in

Thayer's - Greek English Lexicon

“The word "amen" is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related -- in fact, almost identical -- to the Hebrew word for "believe" (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly", an expression of absolute trust and confidence.

Today, not only our prayers, but our lives need to be punctuated with Amen – fore and aft! [Tweet This]

Thanks for reading today.

Come back soon.

Ben

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:10)

Ok, so I have been ranting on about Thy will be done for days now, but lets finally clear something up. The “Will” of God that Jesus is instructing us to pray for is the will of God as it is expressed in heaven.

It is almost like Jesus is saying, the greatest promises you have in scripture, those having to do with eternal promise, peace, health, joy, freedom, everything that you look forward to in heaven, pray for it to manifest right here right now.

The prior thought was about the kingdom or reign of Christ, so we should start there. Your will be done – You reign on earth the way You do in heaven. That is a prayer worth praying, and you have the OK to pray it right here coming from Jesus.

But there is more, and to illustrate, I want to take you to a Greek woman who came to Jesus because her daughter was demon possessed. (You can find this story in Matthew 15:21-28) The woman approached Jesus and asked for Him to free her daughter from the clutches of this wicked spirit.

Jesus ignored her, and the disciples pressed Jesus to send her away. She persists. He finally responds, and tells her He is only here to help the Jews. He tells her He can’t give the children’s bread to dogs. (feels like He is actually calling her a dog, but something may be getting lost in the translation – hmmm) Finally she persuades Him by saying even the dogs can eat the table scraps. This does it. Jesus heals the woman’s daughter.

What is the point? Jesus is basically saying that at this time He was there for the Jewish nation only. We know there would be a day when all the gifts Jesus gave the Jews would be lavished on the Gentiles as well, but that was not at this time or in this place.

The woman however is able to pull the future promise into her present reality.

And this is what Jesus calls for in this model prayer. For us to draw that which is promised for the future, our ultimate reward, and life, into our current circumstances. [Tweet This]

If you ask me to pray for healing – I will do it every time, because Jesus said pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and I know that no one is going to be sick in heaven. I know that tears are wiped away, and peace will reign supreme. So I pray that way. Pull it forward! Storm heaven, and plunder it!

That is what Jesus is asking us to pray. To come boldly before His throne for help in time of need.

Let’s storm heaven today.

Thanks for stopping in today

Ben

Cover of
Cover of When Heaven Invades Earth

By the way – Bill Johnson’s book “When Heaven Invades Earth” does a great job on this topic. If you have never read it, you should.

Thy Will Be Done (Matt 6:10) Part 1

Can I know the will of God? This is a question I hear in one form or another all the time.

  • A teen trying to decide where to go to college
  • A 20 something trying to decide whether to get into a relationship, or how far to take one. “Is he the one?”
  • A woman choosing to leave a job to take another,
  • A man choosing to leave a job to pursue “full time” Christian work (as if there is any other kind of Christian work.)

There are 3 places in the Bible where we can see the will of God.

Lucas Cranach the Elder - Paradise (cropped)
  1. The first is the Garden of Eden, where things were just the way God intended. There was no sin, but more than that, God, Adam, and Eve were all in right relationship. When Jesus (ok – I am assuming Jesus since He is the one that most often takes human form, but perhaps it was the Father) and the lovely couple goes walking through the garden in the cool of the day. (This is the will of God on earth.)
  2. The glimpses we get of heaven must also be a demonstration of life in the will of God. We get some suggestions of how this will be, and I know there are men and women who have much greater revelation than me about what this will look like. I know one thing. Then I will know as I am known, then I will see Him and I will be like Him because I will see Him as He is. Then this part of me that struggles to keep me bound even after I have been set free, will no longer entangle me, and I will be in right relationship with the Father again. (This is the will of God in heaven.)
  3. Finally, and to my mind, the clearest and fullest look we get of a man living in the will of God is the Man, Christ Jesus. Jesus, the man who knew no sin, but came only to do the will of the Father, is the perfect expression of the will of God. There is much to say about Jesus and His perfect re-presenting of God’s will to us, but for today, all I want to point out is that Jesus was in perfect communion with the Father. His relationship with the Father could not be better. His first priority at all times was His connection with the Father. “I only do what I see the Father do,” “I only say what I hear the Father say.” “I have come to do Thy will.” (This is the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.)

My point today in this first pass at “Thy will be done” is that God’s will for your life is first and foremost about His relationship with you. [Tweet This] The details of what to do, who to date, where to work or go to school will all work out, if you have this ONE THING right. David said it this way in Psalm 27:4

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate in His temple.

This is the will of God for you!

Are you intentional about your relationship with the Lord, or just let it happen?

Today, make some time to walk with the Lord in the cool of the day.

Thanks for reading. In the next days we will look at some other aspects of the phrase “Thy will be done.” Come back again.

Ben

Your kingdom come (Matt 6:10)

Some think of a kingdom as a body of land governed as a monarchy. But I do not believe Jesus is calling us to pray that we return to Theocracy

Castle
Photo credit: Dave Stokes

like early Israel. I don’t even believe that He is requiring our legislature to enforce godly laws.

This phrase always reminds me of the story of Robin Hood. To me that story gives a really good sense of what the Lord is getting at when He instructs us to pray “Your kingdom come.”

Robin Hood: Men in Tights preview
Photo credit: Jameson42

Robin Hood was a man who had a king. That king was not currently on the throne, and Robin afforded no respect to the man who had usurped the throne. Robin’s allegiance was to King Richard alone, even when King Richard was nowhere to be seen, and there was not even any proof that he was still alive. Yet Robin stayed faithful to this absent king.

The point is not that God is absent, but that a king reigns over those who align themselves with him, those who pledge their allegiance to him. His kingdom reaches as far as His followers take it, and His reign spreads as His followers walk under His leadership.

So it is with God. He is rightful king of all the earth, and it won’t be long until every knee does bow, but in the mean time we are asked to pray, “Your kingdom come.” In me that might sound like “Lord, reign in me,” or “have your way” or even “You lead, I will follow.”

[Still praying] Moreover, Lord, I pray that those around me would pledge their allegiance to you as well. [Tweet This] Let your reign spread, your influence increase in my circle, in my workplace, church, town, county, state, country… Let your influence ever increase and use me to make it so.

Can you pray that with me today?

Thanks for stopping by today.

Ben

The Lord's Prayer in a Cemetery in Henderson, ...
The Lord's Prayer in a Cemetery in Henderson, Kentucky
(Photo credit: Lori SR)

If you have followed this blog you know I have been working my way through the Lord's prayer. This week we are digging into Matthew 6:10. "Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven."  I can't wait to share with you some of my thoughts on a few of my favorite topics. Not sure we can get through this in a week.

One new thing I have added recently is a category "Ben's Favs" which is a collection of posts that I think are worth going back and checking out. These are topics that really get me going, so take a look when you have some times, and peruse my "favs."

Megaphone Man
(Photo Credit: Hazzat)

Calling all Bloggers! (or wanna be bloggers)

I want to put out another call for Guest Bloggers. If you have a favorite quote from Jesus that you would like to blog about, I would love to hear from you. I am learning that the Lord often puts the revelation I need into the mouths of my brothers and sisters, just to reinforce my need for community.

By the way - Yesterday's blog was one of those favorites. If you did not check it out take a few minutes and give it a read.

Thanks for reading. Come back soon.

Ben

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