“Our Father in heaven…
…Give us today our daily bread.”
A right attitude to prayer reflects on a right understanding of God. When Jesus reveals the Lord’s Prayer, he reveals God for who he is. From a God who is our heavenly Father, to a God who provides for all our needs. In this line of the prayer, Jesus says we should ask God to provide for our basic temporal needs. Further on in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus elaborates on what it means to rely on God to provide for our needs.
If God is our provider, we should be anxious for nothing, from the basic things of food, drink and clothing, to things such as friends and relationships. What we are to do though is to concentrate on seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness seeking and then doing his will, for God will provide.
It can be a challenge sometimes to rely totally on God and to concentrate on doing his will. Yet, my ultimate happiness in life can only be found by putting God’s glory first and my glory last.
This evening’s sermon moved into the fifth chapter of the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.
We are called to love others in the church as Christ loves us.
This love can be seen in his life, and is described in some of Paul’s letters such as 1 Corinthians 13. This love encompasses the following:
- The love of Christ is unconditional. The Greeks had different words for the different kinds of love. The word which is used in the New Testament most frequently is agape, which means “unconditional love”. Christ doesn’t love us because we are lovable as if we deserve it, if anything, because of our fallen state, we are unlovable and under the wrath of God. Yet, because of God’s grace Christ loves us without condition.
- This love is uncompromising. In 1 Cor 13:6, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth”. Whilst we should love those in the church, we should not allow sin to prevail. We should speak the truth, but in love.
- His love is unreserved. Christ loved us enough to lay down his life for us, that we might have eternal life. Are we willing to love fellow Christians as much as Christ loves them? Are we willing to ensure we provide what they truly need?
Are we willing to love others as Christ loves them?