The Lord’s Prayer
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He answered, in this manner 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 this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).
Our Father in Heaven
In our prayer, we should recognize our son-ship to the heavenly Father. We are God’s children for two reasons: First- by creation, “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). And second by redemption. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The ultimate expression of divine love is the Father’s gift of His own Son, through whom it becomes possible for us to be “called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
God Accepts the Repentant Sinner
We may be undeserving to call God our Father in heaven but whenever we do so in honesty, He receives us with rejoicing. The prodigal son felt so unworthy and came to His father admitting, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father accepted him joyfully and said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry” (Luke 15:21–24). When we are penitent, our heavenly Father receives us as His sons.
The fact that God is our Father in heaven, binds us together with all Christians in a universal brotherhood of faith. Jesus commanded His disciples: “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). The command to love one another is not new. It was part of the law of Moses: “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). In this injunction are summed up the last six of the commandments (Exodus 20: 12-17).
This command also is found also in the Mishnah: “Be thou of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, [be thou] one who loveth [one’s fellow-]creatures and bringeth them nigh to the Torah” (Aboth 1. 12, Soncino ed. of the Talmud, p. 8).
This command was new in that a new demonstration had been given of love, which the disciples were now asked to model. By His revelation of His Father’s character, Jesus had opened to humans a new revelation of the love of God. And humans are to have the same relationship with one another that Jesus had with them.
Man can actually love God and his fellow men through God’s enabling grace and changing power which the heavenly Father had made available to all. For “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9).
In His service,