Posted tagged ‘God our Father’

The Significance of Our Father

November 30, 2017

Christianpicsco NKFw

Tim Keller[1] says there are no more important words in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray then the first two words, Our Father.[2] The importance of these words is underscored by the way we reference The Lord’s Prayer. We sometimes call it “the Our Father”.

Why are these words so important?

Tim Keller says that these words frame our orientation toward God. He suggests that people either have a transactional orientation toward God or a family orientation. Most of us operate on a transactional orientation toward God and others at times in our lives. Some of us live there. Beginning a prayer by calling God, “Our Father”, orientates us the right way.

A transactional orientation is focused on what we must do in order to have a relationship, a connection, with other people. A transactional orientation focuses on what people (and God) can do for us. A transactional orientation is characterized by offering consideration[3] in order to get something in return.

When we have a transactional orientation toward God, we approach Him completely differently than the way Jesus taught us to pray. We come to Him looking for something for ourselves. We are focused on what we need and want. We feel like we have to offer Him something in order to get what we are seeking. A transactional orientation toward God turns prayer into bargaining.

When we have a transactional orientation toward God, we are not seeking God. We are seeking something from God.

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What Is God’s Love Like?

October 31, 2016
Stairwell in Syria by Steve Murray

Stairwell in Syria by Steve Murray

I recently began reading The Forgotten Way, by Ted Dekker, and the book has been an eye opener. By that I don’t mean that have learned anything new. Rather, I am sensing, glimpsing something that I have not quite grasped yet about what I already know but don’t really know.

Ted Dekker describes his own journey in this knowing in the book. Here is part of the story of his journey:

There in my office, drowning in a sea of self-condemnation and unworthiness, a gentle question whispered through my mind

                Does your Father not love you with the same love that He asks you to love others?

The room was utterly still. I blinked, unable to comprehend.

What is love? The voice asked.

But I knew, of course. Love was a staggering concept that held no record of wrong and was kind in the face of cruelty. When the evil man attacked, love turned the other cheek without offering blame or grievance. This is the love no one knows – the same love Jesus talked about often.

                Does your Father not love you with the same love that He asks you to love others?

I sat in my chair, stunned, unable to accept the implication that anyone could possibly love me in such a way. I had never thought to ask if God loved me in the same way He asks me to love others.

Then I heard another thought, like a voice but not a voice at the same time.

                Let go of all you think you know about Me, so that you can KNOW Me.

Translation: let go of your intellectual knowing so that you can experience my love (to know in a biblical sense).

As a deeply philosophical thinker trained in theology, deeply dependent on logic and intellect, this invitation should have frightened me. Instead, I began to weep with gratitude at such an intimate offer.

You mean I don’t have to figure this all out?

                Has doing so ever led you to this kind of love?

No.

                Taste Me and see that I am good. I am love. I am Father.

I didn’t hesitate. Nothing else mattered to me in that moment, because if it was true that God was this kind of loving Father, I would throw myself off a cliff to fall at His feet in gratitude for such an extravagant love.

And so I did. There, in the night, I closed my eyes, let go of who I thought I was and who the Father was, stepped off a kind of cliff, and I free-fell into that space beyond mere intellect where faith and love are found.

This was my surrender, you see? I let go of my own fear of not having it all figured out; my fear of not having all the right doctrines and beliefs; my fear of not being accepted unless I measured up to the demands of a holy God. I let go of all of that and fell into the arms of trust and love.

It felt like falling into a great unseen mystery, but I was actually falling into the light. I was falling out of a prison – a darkness that had been deepened by my own attempts to make my own light through reason and striving.

As the light filled my awareness, I began to awaken to a whole new reality.

It was then that I began to know my Father intimately in the way Jesus talked about knowing the Father – a word used for a deep intimidate experience between a man and a woman. It was that kind of knowing, not an intellectual knowledge that swallowed me.

There, I trembled at his goodness , because He is infinitely good and complete and could never, never, never be compromised by anything anyone did or thought. Ever.

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Our Father

May 16, 2015

canstockphoto26256275


“Our Father…” (Matt. 6:9) begins the only prayer that Jesus taught.  God the Father, the maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen, the God who exists before and beyond time and space (more…)


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