May 17, 2023

May 17, 2023

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
May 17, 2023

Matthew 6:9, “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

1John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God; and so we are.”

Matthew 7:11, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask!”

I’ve been listening to a podcast—I don’t listen to very many podcasts, but this one is by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson titled “Things Unseen”. It’s only about 5 to 6 minutes, every day he gives us a little devotional. It’s excellent, it really is. But he’s been going through the Lord’s Prayer and it’s one of the things that he said recently that struck me—I don’t think that I ever thought of it this way but when you think about it, it makes sense. He said the Lord’s Prayer is not only here to teach us how to pray but how to live. And I thought about that, it’s sort of like the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments begins telling us the basic outline for living a life that glorifies God. The Ten Commandments start off by focusing upon God—God first and foremost. You shall have no other gods before me. The Lord’s Prayer begins not exactly like that obviously but does say put God first in your life. Hallowed be your name. What are you saying? You’re saying I want your name hallowed everywhere but I certainly want it hallowed or glorified by my life. Hallowed be your name should be the greatest desire, the greatest longing for the child of God—that’s God name would be hallowed or glorified. So those who have God has their Father, that’s us His children should be praying that prayer—Hallowed be your name, I want to put you first in my life in all my decisions, in everything I do in terms of everyday life.

Certainly one of the greatest privileges we have as Christians is that we are the children of God! Many theologians and that would be men like Dr. Packard and Dr. Ferguson and I’m sure a few others would say that adoption is the greatest privilege we have as Christians. It’s the pinnacle of all the blessings we have in Christ that we are now the children of God. And that word “Father” is a very intimate term, it speaks of the deep close filial relationship that you sustain with God. So here is what our Lord is saying in the Lord’s Prayer, we are invited—you could even say in different places we’re commanded—we are invited, commanded to speak to the God of heaven. Our Father in heaven, just think about that—that means the God who made everything, the God who sustains everything, the God who controls everything that happens in your life, my life, and the world at large, the sovereign King of the universe, Omnipotent that he’s all powerful, Omniscient all knowing, Omnipresent he’s everywhere present. He is our Father! That means he has time to listen to us and more than that he wants to hear from you because you’re one of his children. Lots of people grow up in homes where they have fathers at least a father in name but who never really loved them. Sometimes cruel fathers but we can’t say that about our heavenly Father! He’s a perfect Father, perfectly wise and perfectly loving. When you and I are struggling with doubts—from time to time Christians do—we struggle with doubts and questions about God’s love. Yes, where do we go? We go to the cross—the first place we should go. You could also argue this that you should go to your prayer closet. You should go to a prayer meeting and remember who you are. You are a child of God! You were once a child wrath, you were once alienated from God but now you are a child of God or a child of light. It’s because of his love and again, listen to what 1John says, Behold what manner of love—he sent his Son out of love for us but also he adopts us into the family of God because of his love. It’s like John is stunned—Behold!, Behold what manner of love that we should be called the children of God! So those are the two verses I mentioned earlier.

But there is one other wonderful text on the Fatherhood of God and that’s Matthew 7. It’s also found in the Sermon on the Mount and here Jesus reminds us that our heavenly Father loves to give good gifts to his children. Our Father in heaven loves us more than anybody else could ever love us. From eternity past he’ll never stop loving us right through eternity future. So, what a privilege it is and we should never cease to wonder and be amazed that we are the children of God!