lords-prayer

Genesis 25, Esther 1, Psalm 24

Today we’re reading Genesis 25, Esther 1, Psalm 24.

This devotional is about Psalm 24.

This world belongs to God. Its majestic mountains, its powerful rolling ocean waves, its placid lakes, its glorious skies, the abundance of life in plants and animals, humanity and its cities, towns, villages, farms all exist under the Lordship of God the Creator of everything (vv. 1-2).

Yet, fellowship with God the Creator is impossible. Only the righteous can know him, fellowship with him, and receive his blessings (vv. 3-6) and none of us qualifies. God in his grace forgives those who trust in Him, but none of us deserves the favor of his presence.

When we know God, we realize that there is a strange tension between the fact that we belong to him but are unworthy to fellowship with him or receive his blessings. What hope is there of resolving this tension?

Jesus.

David didn’t know him by that name, but he did know and he believed that the true king would come to live among his people. Verses 7-10 describe the person of Christ and express the hope of his victorious coming. When Jesus, the true king, comes, he will defeat his enemies (v. 8) and enter his city victoriously (vv. 7, 9). David wanted to see “The Lord Almighty... the King of glory” not just own the earth, but to dwell on it among his people. This, too, is our hope. It is why Jesus commanded us to pray, “Your kingdom come.” It is why Jesus came the first time--to begin gathering citizens from all over the world into his kingdom by faith.

When the world is unjust, unsafe, ungodly, unsatisfying, and just plain weird, here is where we should turn our hope. Jesus, the king of glory, has defeated sin and death through his death and resurrection. When he comes again, he will defeat all the enemies who oppose him and establish the perfect kingdom we are waiting for. Let that hope carry you through the tough, unhappy times in this life. The pain will be worth it when the king of glory, the Lord Almighty, comes!

Luke 11

Today’s reading is Luke chapter 11.

Does God really answer prayer? Going by what Jesus said here in Luke 11:1-13, not only does God answer prayer, he is waiting to bless us by answering our prayers. Why don’t we get more answers to prayer?

One reason is that we pray very differently than Jesus told us to pray. Verses 1-4 record what is called “The Lord’s Prayer” but should be called “The Lord’s Guide to Prayer.” Jesus was not telling us to pray this prayer in these words but rather to let the themes he touched on be the things that we talk to God about. Namely:

That more and more people would come to worship him and stand in awe of his holiness and greatness (“hallowed by thy name”). That his kingdom would finally arrive finishing the redemption of his elect and giving us a place to finally be the society he created us to be (“your kingdom come”). That he would provide for our daily needs not make all our dreams come true (“give us each day our daily bread”). That he would make us holy just as he has declared us to be (“forgive us our sins... and lead us not into temptation”). That he would give us the grace to resolve the relationships we have broken by our sins (“for we also forgive everyone who sins against us”). Jesus’ healing ministry shows us that God does care about our physical problems, but how often is our praying dominated by praying for ourselves and others to have physical healing? But do we pray for each other to avoid sin? Do we take time to worship God for who he is and ask him to save more people so that they can worship him? These are the things Jesus told us to pray for, so let’s let his instructions mold our own talks with God each day.