Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on July 12, 2015
Open your Bibles to Psalm 2. Today marks our second week of our Summer of Psalms. Next week we will take a short break while we are at the park and I will be preaching the basics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Next Sunday would be an excellent time for each one of you to invite someone who is not a follower of Jesus Christ. As for today, however, we will be examining Psalm 2. Therefore let us read, pray that God would open they eyes of our heart, and examine the Word of God.
As we look at Psalm 2, we can see that there is no indication of its Author. Some Psalms have the Author listed at the beginning, but Psalm 2 does not. Having said that, Peter in Acts 4 tells us who wrote Psalm 2 and he credits it to two authors, David and the Holy Spirit.
First, let us begin by talking about David. David was the second King of the nation of Israel around the time of 1000 B.C. He was chosen by God through the Prophet Samuel to replace King Saul. We see the narrative of this story in 1 Samuel 16.
Upon David taking the throne of all of Israel, God began to use David to subdue the enemies of Israel. And this is the best way to understand the role of David. He was not a defensive King, but instead an offensive King. He did not sit around waiting for the attacks of the surrounding nations, he moved forward and conquered.
Interestingly, the first place David conquered was none other than Jerusalem. We see this documented in 1 Chronicles 11:4
Foreshadowing of Christ
When David was writing this Psalm, he was writing in the context of his life. He saw these words in Psalm 2 as applying to him and his role as Israel's King. Having said that, many of you know that the Old Testament is a foreshadow of Christ, and this is especially true for David. David is considered a type of Christ. By this I mean that God used David to point to the coming of the Messiah. And as we read Psalm 2 from the other side of the cross, we can easily see this deeper meaning. This Psalm is not just about David, it is about Christ. In fact, it is primarily about Jesus, and secondarily about David. We know this because of Acts 4 that I mentioned earlier. If you recall, I said that Psalm 2 had two authors, David and the Holy Spirit.
So please turn with me in your Bibles to Acts 4. Acts 4 is the narrative of the early Church right after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven. In Chapter 3, Peter and John were arrested for preaching the Gospel. In Chapter 4 we see them making their defense before the council, the same people who voted to crucify Jesus, and before these rulers Peter says in verse 11 and 12, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among menc by which we must be saved.” After this statement, the council threatened Peter and Paul and told them to stop sharing the gospel. Now look at verse 23.
Peter makes it very clear, Psalm 2 is all about Jesus. And as you look at the words of Psalm 2, this, to us seems obvious. Verse 7 says, “I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” Words like this remind us of verse like John 3:16 which say, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Likewise in verse 2 we see the word “annointed” which in Hebrew is “”mashiach”, which is the word Messiah. So, like Peter who stood on the other side of the cross, it is clear that Psalm 2 is about King Jesus.
So the question is, what is it telling us? I belive it is telling us four things 1) God's Enemies, 2) God's Sovereignty, 3) God's Victory, and 4) God's Appeal.
Look at verse 1-3, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, 3“Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Since the moment of Jesus arrival over 2000 years ago, the world has hated his name. In Isaiah 53:3, we are told he was destined to be “despised and rejected by men” Right out of the gates there was a hit put on his head by Herod. Even his hometown of Nazareth tried to throw him off a cliff.
Jesus was very tuned into this reality. He says in John 15:18, ““If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” The raging of the world against Christ is as old as the world itself, whether it was raging against the shadow of Christ or raging against the substance of Christ. Whether it was Nero, Diocletian, Joseph Stalin, or Kim Jung Un, it is nothing new. It is estimated that 70 million Christians have been killed for their faith since the death of Christ.
We, here in America, have been living in a bubble. The rage of nations is something that we are not familiar with, at least not firsthand. However, I believe this is changing. You can sense the rage rising in our news, our work, our communities, an even our families. Having said that, there efforts to destroy Christ, as it says in verse 1, is vanity.
Look at verse 4-7, “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6“As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.”
God's laughter is not comedic. God's laughter is one of absurdity. The nations have no clue who they are waring against. If they did, they would not fight, but instead lay down their arms. God is infinitely powerful, and the nations are nothing compared to God.
As it says in our text, God has decreed that Christ is to be on the throne. The decree of God is not like a decree of man. It is a guarantee. It is locked in stone. It is a decree that will become reality. Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.“ Isaiah 46:9-11, “for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose”
No matter how hard ISIS fights, no matter how many Christians are locked up and murdered in North Korea. No matter how much Iran hates Christians and Jews, God's sovereign plan of Christ on the throne will not be defeated. As we read in Hebrews 12 today in Sunday School, it is a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.
In fact, the victory is already ours. Verse 8-9 says, “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Upon the cross Jesus was victorious. In Matthew 28:18-19 Jesus speaks of this victory when he says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ” The work is over, Christ is on the throne. Not only was it decreed by God, but it was fulfilled in Christ. And some day, one way of the other every knee will bow to Christ. The question is not will Jesus be King. The question is will you submit before it is too late.
Which leads us to God's gracious appeal, which in my opinion is the primary purpose of Psalm 2. God has laid out his Sovereign Plan before us. He is not hiding the ball. He has determined and proclaimed that the Universe will revolve around his anointed, only begotten Son. And not only will the Universe revolve around Christ, but he will rule. He will be King. This is the will of God. This is the purpose of Creation.
Failure to accept God's will, failure to submit to God's plan of Christ-centeredness results in perishing. This is the second week we have seen this word, perish. We saw it last week in Psalm 1 when God said “but the way of the wicked will perish.” Now in Psalm 2 we see perishing as the destiny of those who fail to kiss the son.
Failure to receive eternal life will not be because of lack of warning, it will be because of the lack of submitting. The only way in which we, or anyone else on this planet avoid the wrath of God, is by loving Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life, no one gets to the father but through him (John 14:6).
This Kiss of the Son is not a kiss of Judas, which was a kiss of hypocrisy. Instead the Kiss of the Son is one that is more like the sinful women in Luke 7:38 which says, “and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.”
Kissing the son is humbling ourselves and embracing him for who he truly is and what he truly has done for us. It is recognizing that he is a suffering King, who died in our place. It is recognizing that he is the anointed Son of a loving God, who was sent to ransom a wretched people for his own possession.
So in summary, what is Psalm 2 about? It is about God's soverign plan that cannot be defeated. It is about the Messiah who will reign. It is about the gospel message of God's love through His Son. It is about proclaiming these truths to the nations that rage. We should see Psalm 2 just like Peter saw Psalm 2. After he quoted Psalm 2 what was his prayer? “And now, Lord, look31 upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on December 24, 2014
Once again, I want to welcome everyone here tonight who has chosen to spend Christmas Eve with us here at Cornerstone Church. I do not think you will regret it. I don’t say that because of me, or because this building, or even the company or cookies, but because of God and what he has for us tonight in His Word. The only reason we have this Holiday is because of this book and what it says. It only makes sense for us tonight to sit at the foot of God’s throne and soak in His Word.
With that said, I want to encourage each one of you to start a new Christmas tradition this year, that is, if you don’t do this already. Before you open presents, I encourage you to open up the Bible. Spend time reading about the love God as is displayed in Jesus Christ. My suggestion for this year is to read Romans 8. It is not the Christmas story, but it is why we celebrate the Christmas story. After you read this passage, pray and tell God thank you for all He has done through Christ. I cannot think of a more important Christmas tradition than this.
Now let us turn our attention to tonight’s message. Open your Bibles to Matthew 4:12-17. Here at Cornerstone we have camped out in this text for a little over three weeks. Let’s read it pray, and then see what God has to say to us this Christmas Eve.
Darkness is simply the absence of light. Where there is light there is no darkness. Where there is darkness there is no light. The darkness as mentioned in this text, however, is not material darkness it is a spiritual darkness. The light is God, the darkness is the absence of God. Therefore this darkness is a reference to a people who live separated from God. The darkness mentioned in verse 16 is not exclusive to the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. The dominion of darkness covers the entire planet. All you have to do is watch the news to figure this out. The darkness encompasses all humanity, because we are all sinners. We all run from the light into the domain of darkness. As it says in John 3, people love the darkness.
This darkness, that we love, is not a good thing. Living in darkness results in fear, anxiety, lostness, futility, dysfunction, suffering, and anguish. The sin in your life may feel good in the moment, but it produces a wake of disaster in your life. This is the world we live in, broken, rebellious, living as if God is dead to us. However, this is not the worst of it, for this darkness is just a taste of the ultimate and eternal spiritual darkness, Hell. Jesus calls Hell the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and this is the guaranteed destiny for everyone absent a Solution.
Which leads me to point number two, the answer to the darkness is singular. Remember, darkness is just the absence of light; therefore to remove darkness you must have light. Nothing else resolves the problem of darkness, other than light. And what is the answer to the spiritual darkness? What is the solution to the highway to Hell that every man walks upon? Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus stands up and proclaims in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
The answer to the darkness, the answer to the dysfunction, the answer to the suffering is Jesus Christ. No matter where the darkness lies, the answer is the same. Jesus, the Light of the World. This is why the angels proclaim in Luke 2:10 to the Shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Jesus is not the answer for some, he is the answer for everyone!
The question I ask everyone tonight is are you following the Light? Do you follow Christ? And I am not asking do you go to Church from time to time, or are you a good person. I am asking do you love Jesus? Have you laid your life down at the foot of the cross and said, “I am yours.” If you have not yet chosen to follow Christ, then you are still are a citizen of the domain of darkness? This means that the suffering you are experiencing now is nothing what is waiting for you in Hell.
Kingdom of Heaven
The question is how does this occur? How does one go from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of Heaven? What does Jesus do?
It is the Word of God and the power of God that pierces the hearts of man and awakens them to their need for Jesus. The Gospel message opens their eyes to the depravity of darkness and the treasure of the Light of Christ.
Having said that, we still live in this darkened world, not of it, but in it. We still live in a world that is full of sin, dysfunction, perversion, brokenness, rebellion, suffering and anguish. We still feel the weight of this, to an extent. This is a reality for all Christians. We are Citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven, however, for a moment; we live in the domain of darkness.
And despite the love, peace and joy that we have in Christ, and is an undercurrent to our lives, we still mourn, weep, and suffer. We still get cancer. We still struggle with our flesh. The road for a believers is not easy street, it is hard, it is narrow, but it is good. Because we know where our journey ends. It ends with God.
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on August 17, 2014
Today marks our third and final week on the topic of money. My goal from this short sermon series was to put money in its proper place and God in His. As I stated last week, I believe that we in America have reversed their respective roles. We have used God to serve our love for money instead of using money to serve our love for God. If the self-proclaimed Christians would recognize that money is a gift from God to be used for the glory God, we would start to move some major mountains in this fallen world; even us, tiny little Cornerstone. If you don’t believe me, listen to this text regarding the poor and afflicted Churches in Macedonia.
In light of this goal, today we are going to explore one of the major obstacles that prevents us from giving, fear. Because of the uncertainty of what tomorrow may bring we cling to every last cent that we have. However, today I am not going to limit myself to talking about anxiety as it relates to money only, but anxiety in general. So lets is read our text, pray and turn our eyes to God's Word.
This week there has been a flurry of tweets, posts, blogs and articles written about the death of Robin Williams, with everyone grasping for straws seeking answers and solutions. Many of these people never once thought about what God says about the topic. I don’t believe it is an accident that today we here at Cornerstone arrive at a text that provides the solution. However, before we get there, I want to us to understand something about Jesus.
In verse 34 Jesus says, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” This understanding of trouble is not a distant understanding. Jesus is acutely aware of the difficulties of life. He knows what it is like to be hungry. He knows what it is like to have enemies. He knows what it is like to have burdens. Why? Because we have a God who came down from his throne and dwelt among us. Listen to Hebrews 4:15-16.
First let us talk about God's will as it relates to anxiety. In our text we see Jesus say three times “do not be anxious”, verse 25, 31, and 34. This word anxious in Greek is merimnaō. It means to be troubled, worried, concerned, to overly dwell upon something. I think we can all agree that all of us have been troubled, worried, or overly concerned about something in our lives. Perhaps as I speak right now you are only half listening because something is weighing heavily on your mind. Perhaps you didn’t sleep very well last night because you were worried about your finances, work, kids, your marriage, school, politics, the economy, insurance, your health, the middle east, etc. The list can go on and on. The bottom line is that we are worriers, and therefore this scripture is extremely relevant to our lives.
In our text Jesus makes it abundantly clear that God’s will for your life is for you not to worry. His desire for you is that you not be anxious about any of those things I just listed. He does not want you to lose sleep over money problems, food problems, and relationship problems. God wants you be free from the slavery of anxiety.
I think this understanding is extremely important for Christians. So many times, Satan convinces us that God doesn’t care about our day to day activities, baloney. God cares. He cares about the nervousness we feel as we drive down the interstate. He cares about the cold sweat we experience when we are interviewing for a job. He cares about the sickness in our gut when we are waiting for the phone call from the doctor. God cares. We need to know and be reminded that the Sovereign God of the Universe is 100% for you. He wants his children to be cured of this condition of anxiety, and this text is proof. So first of all we need to hear loud and clear that God’s will for your life is that you an anxiety free.
Let us now turn to the problem. Why do we feel anxious? Why do we work ourselves up into a frenzy, or become so overwhelmed about things that we can barely get out of bed? The answer is in our text.
No the source of our anxiety is not a world problem, it is a heart problem. We worry because we have “little faith.” Our lack of faith produces the anxiety, the worry, the concern. Our problem is a trust issue. Now when we hear faith, we should never let that word be an end in itself. For faith must have an object. Faith in what? Jesus is referring to faith in God. Now this is important, because many people when they say have faith, they are not saying have faith in God, they are instead saying have faith that everything will work out. This is the health and wealth movement of Joel Olsteen. God never promises a change to your troubles. But he does talk about a changed heart. They are talking about outcomes, not God.
We need to be clear hear, that Jesus is not talking about outcomes, he is talking about God. Our problem is that we do not have faith in the Sovereign God of the Universe. Turn with me to Mark 4:35-41.
This truth is important for us to know. Jesus, who is the Author of Life, has diagnosed our illness as a lack of faith in God. Now that we know the problem, we can figure out the solution. Now we can move forward. Therefore the next time you find yourself being anxious we can pinpoint that the cause is not the situation, but our little faith in God.
So if our little faith is the problem, what is the solution? This is what I love about the Bible, Jesus gives us practical advice that can easily implement in our life. Today we will very quickly touch on five ways to overcome anxiety. The first one is common sense, but important.
1. Worrying doesn't help.
Verse 27, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” No matter how long you stay up at night and trouble your spirit about your finances, it don't add a second to your earthly existence. God tells us that our days our numbered, and worrying doesn't change that number. You will die when you die. This is so important, we spend so much time worrying as if our worrying has power. It doesn't, so stop. Worrying is one of the most worthless things you can do.
2. God values you.
Verse 26, “Are you not of more value than they?” What an amazing verse. The God of the Universe who needs nothing, finds value in you. You are not some random collection of accidental cells floating through space. You are not a nobody, you are a somebody. God looks down from His Almighty throne and he cares for you. In fact he cares so much for you He sent his Son to die for you. Listen to this verse.
3. Life is more than food and clothing.
Verse 24, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Why did God create you? It is not to look good. It is not to have a fridge full of processed food. God created you to glorify him. This is why we wake up in the morning. This is why we have jobs. This is why we have families. Everything we do is to glorify you. When we have this mindset, lacking things that are secondary to life start to take on a proper place. No longer do we lose sleep over our budget, for life is not about budgets, it is about God's glory.
4. God knows you and knows your need.
Verse 32, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
All of us have made God too small and too distant. We fail to recognize that God is sovereign over all creation. This is a God who is so awesome, that he feeds the birds, and clothes the lilies. He is in complete control over everything. Nothing happens in this life without him doing it. This is what Jesus is proclaiming. This is what Jesus was rebuking the disciples about in the boat. They didn't get that the storm is not outside God's plan, God orchestrated it.
This is also true for your life. God is intimately aware and in control of everything in your life, whether large or small. He is present in your life, and nothing happens to you without his permission. This means that if you lose your job tomorrow, this is not a surprise to God. This means if you get cancer tomorrow, there is a God ordained reason for it.
The truth of God's utter and all powerful control holds so much comfort in times of trouble. When we accept that God is in utter control of all things, we can stop worrying and start worshiping. We can turn to Him and say, I don't get it, but I trust you. And instead of tossing and turning when the storms are raging, we can sleep, just like Jesus did in the back of the boat.
All of these solutions, serve one purpose, to increase our faith in God. We must battle our anxiety with faith in God. The bottom line is that we need to understand that we are not God, but there is a God who holds the Universe in His hands and he knows you and loves you.
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on July 27, 2014
Today we are going to begin a short sermon series on money. I am not sure how long I am going to preach on it, so bear with me as God leads me. Before I get too far into the sermon, I want share with you a book, the Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn. I have purchased 25 of these books and I want each family to take one and read it. It is only 120 short pages, so you could easily read it in a day if you were motivated. In fact, I hope you read it several times over the next couple of weeks. With that said, let us read our text, pray, and see what God has to say to us about His money.
Here at Cornerstone, we love the Bible. It is God’s Word, breathed out by Him. We believe the Bible is living and active. We believe that it will not return to God void, but will accomplish what it sets out to do. We believe it is food to our souls. We believe it is a weapon to use against Satan’s attacks. We believe that it will shape us into Christ-likeness. If we believe all these things then we should recognize the immense amount of attention that is given to money in the Bible. According to Randy Alcorn, fifteen percent of Jesus’ teaching is about money. He talks about money more than Heaven and Hell combined.
If Jesus preached on money, than I need to preach on money. In fact, if I want to strike a Christ-like balance of fifteen percent, than I should preach on the topic of money eight Sundays a year.
On top of that, we need to face the music. Money plays a significant role in our lives. Money is used to purchase food, clothing, homes, appliances, furniture, cars, phones, insurance, medicine, vacations, books, entertainment, toys, etc. Generally speaking, the way we receive from others is through the transaction of money. The reality is that money is involved in a majority of the decisions in your life, both big and small; therefore, how you relate to money is substantially correlated to how you live your life.
So to begin, I want to us to recognize that the topic of money should, and must be preached from the pulpit. Failure to preach about money is a failure to have the Word of God shine light on the path of our life. Show me a pastor who doesn’t preach on money, and I will show you a pastor who doesn’t love his sheep.
A Matter of the Heart
The next thing I want us to understand is that the topic of money is not about what is in your bank account, but it is about what is in your heart. Jesus makes this abundantly clear in verse 21.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will anyway, God does not want your money. God is the Sovereign Creator of all things. Everything that exists is His.
Fleeting and Eternal
The first thing He does is to point out the reality of fleetingness. Creation is cursed, and because of the curse everything decays. This will continue to happen until Christ returns and the curse is lifted. The house you live in will someday be dust, so will your car, phone, computer, clothes and everything else you own. In a thousand years the place we are currently in, along with everything in it will be nothing more than rubble, at best. Everything, that is, but you. You and I are the one tangible thing that will still be around in 1,000 years, in 1 million years, in 1 billion years. The stuff in your life will be a distant memory, but you will remain.
If you believe this, does your life match this alleged belief? Do you spend your time and your money in a way that reflects that your faith is real, or are you just fooling yourself? In my day job as a prosecutor I live in a world of evidence. People come into my office and lie to me all the time. My first thought is, “prove it.” Show me evidence that supports what you are saying? Jesus does the same thing. Look in your text at verse 21?
With that said, how many of you have ever heard the phrase, “He is so heavenly minded, that he is no earthly good.” Do you know who came up with this line? If I were to guess, I wold say Satan, the Father of lies, because this statement is just not true. Jesus is case in point. He was the most heavenly minded person to walk the planet and did more good that the entire world combined. Listen to what Jesus says about home owhership.
Like Jesus, we are just visiting. This is not our home. Earth is more like our hotel. This is a place we are merely staying for a moment. We are reminded in 1 Peter that we are sojourners on this planet, just passing through. Paul tells us this in Philippians that our citizenship is not America, as much as it is heaven, and he says some pretty direct comments about those people who live for this World.
Jesus calls the man who invested in this world a fool? Why? Because his actions did not make sense in light of the truth. If I were to ask you, do want a dollar now, or a million dollars tomorrow, you would be a fool to take the buck, but that is what we do every day when we live for the dot in our life. Here is another quote from CS Lewis, “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen; not only because I see it but because be it I see everything else.” God has revealed truth to us through Jesus, let us live in a way that is not foolish, but wise.
The reality is, no one knows when the dot of your life will end. It may be today, it may be tomorrow, but there is no doubt it will end, the question is what is waiting for you? Heaven of Hell? Treasures or regrets.
We cannot change the past, but today is a new day. Let us chose today, whom we will serve. Will it be the passions of our flesh, or will it be the Lord. Will we trust God's investment strategy or will we listen to deception of the world? Are we willing to accept the eternal rewards of God, or would we rather be like the prodigal son and eat the pig slop of this world?
Don't settle for this world, set your eyes on the prize that lies before us in Christ.
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, Iowa on June 8, 2014.
Today we find ourselves in Matthew 6:5-9. Today marks the second week in our four or five week sermon series on prayer. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get right to work.
Having said that, how often have you taken your prayers and lined them up to the Lord’s prayer? As I stated earlier, prayer for Christians is assumed. If you are a true child of God, you will pray to him. You should pray without ceasing. When you pray, are your prayers “like this” or like something else? If not, why not? Are you praying wrongly? Perhaps.
With all of that under our belt, I want to work through the Lord ’s Prayer verse by verse and word by Word. Therefore today, we are going to examine on verse 9.
The next word that I want us to meditate on is “Father.” This word has become empty to us as it relates to God. In the days of Jesus, this was not the case. Calling God Father was highly unusual, prior to Jesus. Only a handful of times in the Old Testament is God referred to as Father. However, when Jesus comes onto the scene that changes dramatically. Father becomes the primary way that the Christians address God. To us this title is second nature, but to the Jews during the days of Jesus, it was enough to start a war. Jesus coming into the reality was the tipping point to this transition. Why? Because it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that we have the right to address God as Father. It is his blood that signs our adoption papers.
When we begin our prayer with “Our Father” we are saying something overwhelmingly profound and wonderful . With these two words we are placing ourselves on the lap of our Father, and this is by far the greatest gift we can fathom. The Almighty, Sovereign God of the Universe, is our Dad, and he wants us speak to Him with this on our lips and on our hearts.
With this said, what does God want us to request?
Next, what does it mean to hallow. Hallowed means to be sanctified; to be holy.. To set apart as not common, sacred. What does that look like. It looks like Isaiah 6.
When Jesus says, “Hallowed be Thy Name,” it is not a statement of fact. It is a petition. It is a request. Jesus is saying, “Father, make your name hallowed. Father, make your name Holy. Father, let your majesty, your authority, your glory be seen and revered. Father, cause us to see you high and lifted up and cause us to worship you! This is what “Hallowed be your name” means, and this is the first request that Jesus tells us to pray to our Father.
I want us to think about something for a second. This prayer is Jesus' example of how we are to pray in the midst of life. Let that sink in. Life is a mess. Life is full of trials and tribulations. Life consists of cancer, broken hearts, financial stress, deaths, loneliness, anxiety, stress; the list goes on an on. Life is broken, and Jesus is not oblivious to this. In fact, Jesus is more intimately aware of this than an of us. He gets your pain, and with that in mind, Jesus says to start with God's Holiness. This is to be first on your heart, despite the storm of your life.
Why? Why would God put our pain on hold, for the hallowing of his name? Perhaps he knows something we don't. In fact, what are we told in verse 8?
When we approach our Father with tears in our eyes and brokenness in our hearts, and crawl up on his lap and seek His face, what we need more than anything in that moment is to feel the sovereign, all powerful, arms of God wrapped around us. We need to know that our Dad is an awesome God. We need to recognize that there is nothing that is outside His control. That he is able. We need to feel his love and his strength. The hallowing of God in your life, puts everything into its proper perspective.
When we do this, when we hallow the name of God in our lives we, we find joy in the midst of our suffering. We find peace in the midst of the storm. We find contentment in the midst of all circumstances. We are able to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, for God's rod and his staff comfort comfort us.
The hallowing of God is the foundation of our lives. We are designed to stand upon the foundation that is the Holiness of God. Too often, instead of planting our feet upon the rock of God's sovereignty we seek the quick fix of the removal of the thorn.
Here is the question that I will leave all of us with today, do you believe it? Do you trust Jesus in the example that He gives? Do you believe that your greatest need is the hallowing of God's name in your life? Do you believe that the deeper you go in the hallowing of God's name the higher he will lift you above the waves crashing against your boat?
We are told not to put God to the test, but we are told to trust Him. So I say to you today, trust Him. Change how you pray, put God's glory upfront where it belongs.