Good morning to you. How are you today? I am delighted to greet you in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ and privileged to share this short time of reflection with you. I hope you are feeling better this week. For us in Melbourne, the restrictions are eased a bit more and the weather once again is changing to resemble more and more like spring time. While it is so wonderful to enjoy the glorious bursts of beautiful flowers and warmer sunnier weather, please do look after yourself as this is also the hay-fever season.
We continue to remember the majority in our world who are not as fortunate as we are. Remembering especially the millions in many countries that are greatly impacted by the coronavirus, or experiencing wars, or living under tyrannical rulers, or fleeing for their lives as displaced people and refugees, or children dying of preventable diseases, or daily going hungry and without shelter. The inconveniences we experienced these past two years pales in comparison to what they have to endure every day. However, if you are not coping well, please feel free to reach out. We are here to help you.
Let us now pause and pray to our Father in heaven.
Almighty God and gracious Father, You call us to be still and know that you are God (Psalm 46:10). In this uncertain, fearful and chaotic time, it is so hard to be still before You and feel your Godly presence. It is so easy to miss you, to miss the moments of simply sitting at your feet and quietly soaking in your presence.
Help us to be still long enough in your presence to appreciate who you are to us; all that you have done for us; and everything You blessed us with.
Fill our hearts with gratitude for you and help us to refocus our eyes on you. May you again be the centre of our lives so that we may live to glorify you each day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of the Week
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: mercifully grant us such a measure of your grace that, running in the way of your commandments, we may obtain your gracious promises, and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Reading: Matthew 6:5-13.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
Devotion: The Obedience of Love
We start the Lord’s Prayer by praying to our Father. Here, we claim a family relationship with God through Jesus Christ. After this, we pray for His will to be done.
To reverse this order, would be submitting to the will of an unknown God resentfully. He has not only a name to be revered, a kingdom to be established, but also a will to be done. True obedience to His will always springs from love. Think on these statements.
One day, God’s will be totally done on earth, therefore the obedience of his people is His desire for them and for the world. Rebellion in our hearts against the rule of Christ makes obedience impossible (Luke 19:14). Look within your own heart, for the centre of unrest is a will that is off-balance.
The manner in which we are to obey God is “as it is in heaven”. There, God’s will is never rejected or questioned. It is being done instantly out of love, devotion and worship.
Only one man has ever done the will of God completely. He is Jesus Christ who knew no other will than that of His Father’s. Jesus deepest revelation of doing the will of God was at Gethsemane, when He prayed, “Not my will by yours be done.”
How often we argue and query God’s will and even dare to say ‘NO!’ Only the power of the Holy Spirit can change our rebellion and argument into obedience. For only when we obey God in His general will for us all, then He will reveal His daily plan to each of us individually. May our response be “the will of God: nothing more, nothing less, nothing else”.
This is also the same demand made of us by Jesus when he said, “Whoever wants to follow me must deny himself…” When we deny ourselves, we are saying “No” to our way and “yes” to God’s will.
I grew up in a small town where our state has a spares population. In my heart, I am still a small-town boy who still loves the countryside with its wide-open spaces, clean air and lovely scenery. In His humour, God has called me to minister in this huge smokestack city of Melbourne. I can say “no”, reluctantly obey or obediently submit. How much I love my Heavenly Father in my heart is reflected in how I respond to what He wants of me.
Let us together pray the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
May God’s love surround you, God’s Spirit guide you, God’s whisper cheer you, God’s peace calm you, God’s shield protect you, God’s wisdom arm you, wherever God may lead you. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
May you have a lovely week ahead. Do enjoy the outdoors and catch up with friends or loved ones in a Covid-safe manner. Take care of yourself physically, spiritually and emotionally! Till we meet again, trust in God’s love, follow Christ joyfully, rejoice always, do good, love outrageously, enjoy life, praise God. Amen. Till we meet again, goodbye.