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Deliver us from Evil Luke 11:1 - 4 Pt.2

February 16, 2020 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 11:1–11:4

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Luke 11:1 - 4   Part 2  Teach Us To Pray

      1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
            ‘Father, hallowed be Thy name.
            Thy kingdom come.

     3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.

     4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
            For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            And lead us not into temptation.’”

Last week we began this section of Jesus teaching about prayer in Luke's gospel.  It is generally known as "The Lord's Prayer" but some have called this, rather, the disciples prayer.

We said that this is a pattern for prayer.  A skeleton or outline of areas that we can use as we flesh out all of the different areas while we pray to our heavenly Father.  

And you'll recall that we said that prayer, speaking to God, talking to God is the natural response of Him speaking to us.  As we read and study His words, all of the words in this book, as we look into this mirror that shows us what God looks like and then what we look like in comparison, our natural recourse is to speak to God, to pour out our hearts to God about all that is needed.

And the natural sphere that we come to Him as we read and study His word, is one of humility.  We read God's revelation to us and we quickly discover that He is holy, and we are not.  So we come humbly and penitently before God in childlike humility.

As we study this prayer that Jesus gives to His disciples upon their request to be taught how to pray, we see that there is a natural division.  The first part is a recognition of who God is, Holy and set apart, and the second part only comes after the first, we bring our need for provision before a perfect and righteous and Holy God.

There is a sense in which we've seen this pattern before in the old testament.  If you think about the 10 commandments inscribed and given to Moses to bring to the people of God, you see the same division.  The first four commandments are vertical and have to do with our relationships with God and His worship.  While the second tier 6 commandments all deal with horizontal relationships.  man to man.

So there's always this sense that God is first.  We strive to get our response to God correct, and then with His blessings and help, we consider our horizontal relationships between us and others.  

Jesus recognizes this exact order during the sermon on the mount where He speaks of all of God's provision for us.  At the end of that section Jesus tells us the order of things exactly as we're considering them this morning;

Mt. 5:33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

First comes God.  His authority to reign.  His kingdom.  His hallowed name.  His holiness that sets Him apart from all creation, fallen and not fallen.  He is above all things.  We honor Him with that recognition which is worship.

Next comes our provision.  I might insert just here a little side note, a little margin addition.  No human first of all could know these things unless God revealed them.  And second, no mere human could sum up everything necessary in the universes in such a compact form.  

We have millions upon millions of books.  If the computer hadn't been invented we would have lost the ability to catalogue all the books that have come pouring out of mankind in recent history added to all the books from antiquity.  Mass quantities of information.  Mountains of books.

And yet, all the books ever written don't come close to what Jesus taught His disciples in just 36 or 37 words.  Even less in the greek.  In a couple of sentences Jesus states everything we need to know about God and about ourselves.  No ordinary human can do that.  

This prayer is yet another signpost that points to the nature of inspired words.  We believe our book is the very words of God, because we look at passages like this and marvel.  No man could have written so much in so few words.  The prayer itself is an argument for verbal plenary inspiration of scripture.

So then, with that short introduction, let's look again at these brief words of Jesus in answer to His disciples asking Him to teach them to pray;

     2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
            ‘Father, hallowed be Thy name.
            Thy kingdom come.

     3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.

     4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
            For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            And lead us not into temptation.’”

Last week we considered the first section of the prayer.  
Father, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.

Abba, Father, high above all things, set apart in Holiness, ruler of everything,
bring your "kingdom", your authority to reign, to this rebellious place.

The fact that we ask for it is the acknowledgment that His authority to reign on this earth is not the norm.  This world is in rebellion against it's creator.  We acknowledge Him as holy holy holy and ask for Him to come and restore this place to His righteous rule.

Those first words about God and His sovereign judgement and rule can only come from a heart that has been regenerated.  This prayer can't come from lost and separated people.  

Ordinary sinful rebellious people, the unregenerated, unsaved if you will, have no knowledge of God, or His holiness, or His soveregnty, or of judgment that must come upon this rebellious world.  

The prayer is intended for believers.  Those who have come out of Satan's rule and rebellion who have believed this revelation about God, who have been tranferred by regeneration into God's realm.  His authority to reign.  His kingdom.  This is the prayer of the redeemed.  These words can only come from a spirit that has been quickened from death to life.

Yet the words are so simple and easy to memorize that we hear it sung and spoken mechanically by people who don't have a clue about what they're saying and asking for.  People who have rejected the only Saviour and God, the Lord Jesus Christ who died and rose again to purchase salvation.

If you want to hear a stirring rendition of the song, "The Lord's Prayer" you can listen to Andrea Bocelli with the entire Mormon tabernacle choir and orchestra singing to thousands of people . . . who don't know God.  Who cannot say the words of the first section of this prayer with any heart knowledge.  And there isn't a dry eye in the place.

The words are so majestic and so powerful that even unbelievers have a sense of the majesty that flows out of the words themselves.  The nobility of the inspired words gives even unbelievers a sense of awe.

We want to be those who pray these words with full knowledge of what they mean and from a position of humility and forgiven acceptance into God's kingdom.  Trust me, when He brings His authority to reign on this rebellious world, the only place you want to be is revealed with Him in glory.

Father, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come

Now then, having stated God's position and our position with Him in humble child-like submission to His authority and rule, we come to the second part of the disciples prayer which is us asking our Father for His provision for our needs.

And in just a few short words, Jesus defines all that we need, physically, mentally, and spiritually for our wellness.  

     3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.

     4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
            For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            And lead us not into temptation.’”

We could find some natural divisions in this portion of the disciples prayer.  

Daily bread = physical needs.  Food.  Covering.  A roof and warmth to keep the rain and cold away.

Forgive us = spiritual needs.  Us forgive others = emotional stability and joy.

Lead us not into temptation = security needs.  Protection in a world full of harm.

Our daily bread encompasses all that we need physically.  

In Proverbs 30 somebody named Agur says;  8 Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the bread that is my portion. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and deny You, saying, “Who is the LORD?” Or I may become poor and steal, profaning the name of my God.

I've often mused out loud that one of Satan's best tricks is his last.  He discovered in America that too much plenty causes people to forget about God.  Who is God?  Who needs God.  We have video games, and porn, and a check from the government enough to buy some food and a roof and we're all set.

God is a hard sell in our culture.  Who needs Him.  Funny how a little wake up call like 9-1-1 and suddenly everyone goes to church for about the next 6 weeks, and then we get back to business as usual.  Who needs God.

Agur was a wise man.  Don't give me so much that I forget you,  Don't give me so little that I become a thief and profane you.  Our politicians have taken the rightful place of God.  They parade around and promise to give us more, more, more.  Free stuff.  We don't need God to provide.  We need the politician who promises the most free stuff.

3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.  This is a humble recognition of what we have forgotten in our land.  God provides our next breath.  He feeds the birds.  He clothes the flowers.  

In His book He says through the apostle Paul, if a man will not work, neither let him eat. 2 Thess 3:10  The Bible recognizes work.  We work so we can eat and dwell under cover.  And then we thank God for His gracious provision.  He gives us all things.  For us who all have too much, this is a daily reminder that God is the source of everything and we must humbly thank Him for all of it.  

If we live to see the day when the house of cards we live in collapses, we are those who can approach the Father and say, please give me this day my daily needs.  Bread and shelter and covering.  That day may come.  But for now, remember that all that you enjoy came from Him, and use it with thanksgiving.  

Physical provision comes from the Father above.  Next is spiritual provision.  

4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
            For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            
Sin is what removed us from fellowship with God.  We can only come out of this sinful world and into His Kingdom if sin is removed.  The cross of Jesus opened the way for us to know and have fellowship with God.  We are adopted sons, dwelling in His Son, positionally sinless.  We have a righteousness, not our own, the righteousness of Christ, given to us.  Imputed to us.

13 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  Colossians 2:13,14

He took the full punishment for our sins in His death on the cross.  He gives us His righteousness.  That's our position.  But in practice, we stumble.  Often and in many ways.  We sin.  And like David we must continually say; Restore the joy of my salvation.  

As long as we remain in this world and in our old fallen flesh, we will need this provision for spiritual cleansing and restoration.  Spiritual breathing.  Be being kept filled with the Holy Spirit. Eph. 5:18  But then sin happens.  

We stumble and sin.  And the Holy Spirit says, Have a nice trip, I'm out of here, right?  And then we come to God and repent and ask for restoration.  It's almost like inhaling and exhaling to those of us who are veteran sinners.

This provision is for that scenario.  Forgive us our sins.  But look again.  This is the only provision that has a qualifier.
4 ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            
We skip over this.  This doesn't apply to me.  Oh, really?  Actually, as far as I know about, we are in fairly good shape at this local body.  I don't know of any on-going hardness of heart or bitterness problems here.  If you know about some, don't tell me.

But, I know I offend people.  I know, you're thinking, how could a fluff ball like you ever offend anyone Jim?  Right?  In America, unlike the first century church, if we don't like someone, we vote with our feet.  Somebody takes offense at something I said, or how I said it, and they don't ever let me know, they just move 3 blocks over to the other church.  And then when that guy offends them, they stay home.

This is a big deal.  Huge!  Unforgiveness quenches the Holy Spirit and makes living churches into dead churches.  And the cost of holding grudges is enormous!  Look at it.  That's a high price in order to hold your grudge.

The bottom line is, who are you to hold a grudge, to not forgive sin?  You must be more important than God himself, since He always forgives and you figure it's optional.  It's deadly to not forgive your brothers and sisters.  

We'll get to the story about the slave who owed his master a figure like the national debt.  Huge.  And when he begged forgiveness, the master forgave.  And then that same unwise slave is choking a brother slave for $300??  And they bring it to the attention of the Master.  That wicked slave gets turned over to the tormentors.

That's a picture of horizontal versus vertical forgiveness.  God forgives us the national debt that we have no resources to ever repay.  We better not be choking our brothers for some minimal comparatively offense.

And we all know about Peter.  Magnanimous Peter.  The jews forgive 3 times then lower the boom.  Peter, thinking himself very magnanimous asks Jesus, what about us?  Do we forgive up to 7 times.  Double plus one.  Peter the rock star.  And Jesus says, I tell you not 7 times, but 70 times 7.  In other words, you never stop forgiving.

The reason Pam and I have managed to stay married for 45 years.  Simple.  We take the Lord's words very seriously.  We forgive each other.  Her a lot more than me.  We both laugh that the reason we forgive is we're lazy.  It's a lot of work to stay mad at someone.  So much easier to forgive and move on.

It's also wonderful that our gracious God insisted on this part, us forgiving those who have done wrong things to us, for another reason.  Joy.  Emotional stability.  People who are angry and bitter and hateful because of some wrong actually make themselves sick.  Bitterness is destructive.  It's more harmful to you than whatever the wrong was that was done in the first place.

Christians are largely joyful for a couple of reasons.  We have God.  God is for us, who can be against us.  We have the promise that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us.  We have the lasting root of joy that God dwells in us.  

And secondly, we aren't allowed to  harbor bitterness toward those who wrong us.  God commands us to let that go.  And if we do that, it makes us emotionally healthy and stable.

The final provision in the disciples prayer is protection.

And lead us not into temptation.’”

At first your thought might be, this seems redundant since James clearly tells us that God doesn't tempt anyone.

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. Jas. 1:13

So why are we asking God not to lead us into temptation when He says He doesn't do that.  Listen to Jesus high priestly prayer in John 17 and I think you'll see a parallel passage.  Parallel ideas.

Jn. 17:14 “I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 “I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

We are not of this world.  We have the word of God.  Therefore, the world hates us.  Jesus didn't ask the Father to take us out of the world.  He asked His Father to protect us IN the world.

While we are in this world we are the same as enemy combatants in the middle of enemy territory.  Satan would love to get his hands on us.  Do you think it is any accident that the Jews have suffered persecution and harm everywhere on earth they have ever landed.  They are God's chosen people, His chosen nation, and Satan hates anyone and anything that belongs to God.

When you became a christian, you walked away from the ruler of this world and became his enemy.  Satan hates christians.  And the more effective you are for the glory of God, the more Satan hates you.  Unfortunately, some of us should be causing Satan a lot more discomfort than we are.

If Satan and the demons know your name because you're causing them problems, snatching their people out of the fire, you're a rock star.  Those are the real christian rock star's.  The ones who are causing trouble in Satan's kingdom.  Causing him harm.  If you're one of those folks, you'd better be praying this prayer.  Lead us not into temptation.

This world is filled to the brim with harm.  Natural disasters.  Evil people.  We are vulnerable every day, all day.  We pray this part of the prayer to align ourselves with Jesus who prayed to His Father that we be protected in this world.

Consider a scenario that is pictured in this book.  We hope after we're gone, but it could come to a land near you, and soon.  A world where being a christian is so toxic that your parents or your family or your children in laws turn you in to the authorities . . . because of Jesus.  

A world where you are running for your very life from village to village trying to stay one step ahead of the inquisitors who if they catch you will punish you and maybe kill you.

We've seen something like that already with ISIS in Syria.  The heads of christians lined up in a row sitting in the dirt.  No bodies, just heads.  Now think about this prayer for those folks in that day.

Father, hallowed be Thy name.
            Thy kingdom come.

     3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.

     4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
            For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            And lead us not into temptation.’”

All of a sudden daily bread is something that you have no idea where it's going to come from.  And forgiveness of others who are persecuting you is a whole new thing to deal with.  And lead us not into trouble, but deliver us from the evil one, wow, that would be on your lips at all times.

In America, this prayer for provision is something we talk about and give lip service to, but we've never had to pray this prayer like someone who is toxic, being chased, being thrown into prison, being killed . . . because the world hates them because they have Jesus.

That scenario has been normative down through 20 centuries.  We forget that America and it's historic basis in christianity and friendliness to christianity is actually the aberration, not the norm.  

But we're getting back to normal now, right quick.  Shunning our heritage.  Re-writing history.  Denying our christian roots.  And christians, real ones, are getting thin on the ground.  More toxic every day to our culture.

This model prayer has served all christians in all situations through all of the centuries.  So brief.  So compact, and yet so full of power that it is immeasurable.  I hope that we will pray within this framework with new understanding.  

The words that Matthew included that Luke perhaps did not, deliver us from evil, should be on our lips every day.