July 27, 2022

July 27, 2022

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
July 27, 2022

Philip said to him, “Lord show us the Father, and it is enough for us”. Jesus said to him “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Phillip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything anything in my name, I will do it.”

John 14: 8-14

The apostle Paul was very honest when it came to his struggle with sin wasn’t he? Romans chapter 7, and you could say it’s a good struggle. If you have no struggle, if you can’t understand Romans 7 that’s not a good sign. We have to know experientially a struggle with sin. That’s a good struggle and we could say the same about prayer. We struggle to pray, most of us would admit that. There’s very few people I know who don’t say they don’t struggle when it comes to prayer. I’ve said this many times before but we struggle with prayer because of our own remaining sin. Sin is reluctant to pray, sin wants to run from God. It doesn’t want to run to God. We also can’t forget the devil, if there’s anything the devil doesn’t want us doing, he doesn’t want us praying.

Sometimes we struggle with prayer because of our own physical tiredness and exhaustion. You see that with Jesus and his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus even seems to make an allowance for the fact that they are falling asleep, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” So we all struggle when it comes to praying consistently, regularly, passionately, earnestly etc. But God gives us lots of encouragements to pray, lots of encouragements to overcome our sin, to resist the devil and even our tiredness. What kept Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane, when his disciples fell asleep? Well there might have been a number of things. Certainly he saw the cross in front of him. He was in desperation there in terms of help from God, even to sustain himself physically. I think it’s this more than anything else, his fellowship with his Father. He craved fellowship with his Father. No one put the word Father on his lips more than Jesus. You know how many times in the Gospels Jesus spoke of the Father? Jesus put that name on his lips 150 times, that’s a lot. No one talked more about the Father more than Jesus. In that section that we read from John 14 he mentions the Father nine times. He tells his disciples on at least 30 occasions that God was their Father. He wants us to see that God is also our Father. We have those two very clear references in the two Epistles by Paul. Galatians 4 “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘‘ABBA! Father.” Romans 8:15 “But we did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but we received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry “ABBA! Father!.”

One person put it this way; “To the Christian, God is more than God to us, God is our Father.” Dr. JI Packer put it this way, in the book Knowing God, he states it in such a wonderful way, in terms of the understanding that we are children of God and how important that we understand that we have a Father in heaven. He says “If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, come find out how much he or she makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.” “If this does not prompt, control, his worship and prayer and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.” That’s quite a statement. “Father, he says is the Christian name for God.” So if there’s anything that should impel us, encourage us to come to the throne of grace- there’s many things. Certainly the fact that God is our Father, we also have Jesus our High Priest who sympathizes with us in our weakness. We also have the Spirit that indwells us who enables us to cry ABBA Father. We have every reason brethren to draw near to God and cry out ABBA Father.