The world says, "Those who are happy are truly blessed by God."
Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Mat 5:4).
I can find only ONE THING that Jesus’ followers asked to be taught. You know what it is. “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Out of all the things that His followers witnessed as they watched and listened to Jesus, it seems very significant to me that they only asked Jesus to teach them one thing. And you know how Jesus answered. We call it the Lord’s Prayer.
And the priority of that prayer is the glory of the Father (“hallowed be your name”). How is our Father glorified? Well, I’m glad you asked because I think Jesus answered this question in the prayer He taught us. The two requests that follow are “your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matt 6:10, and Luke 11:2.The Father is glorified in the coming of the kingdom of His Son, Jesus and as we do His will here on earth just as the angels in heaven do.
Maybe that’s no big news to you, but consider the similarity between what Jesus taught us to prioritize in our prayers and what He left with His followers just before His ascension, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20).
He begins by describing His role as King of Kings (“all authority”) and then instructs His followers to make other followers who will do all that He commands. That sounds a lot like what Jesus taught us to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer. But somehow, I have never before recognized the connection between the Lord’s Prayer and Lord’s Command (Great Commission) to reach the nations and establish followers in all places among all people.
ONE THING that we are taught to pray for is God’s mission to reach the nations with the gospel of the kingdom of His Son, Jesus, which is the ONE THING that glorifies the Father.
What do you think?
“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15
After posting yesterday about the maturing of my son, I was struck by the relationship of young and the old in Psalm 144 and 92, quoted above. Our culture, at best, minimizes the value of each: the older generation is sent to the waiting room of the dead and dieing while our youth grow up on a steady diet of entertainment. Those of us in the middle are the only ones who bear any burden of expectation in their lives.
But according to these two Psalms, they are uniquely positioned to bring special honor to their God. He is after all the One who makes strong the weak and has compassion toward the orphan and widow. So it would seem that those of us who are tweeners should have a great deal of humility when looking on the old and young alike. God delights to make them fruitful both sooner and later than we naturally expect. We should expect great things from our children while they are young and look forward to our older years of on-going fruit bearing for our Savior.
Lord, raise up the generation of youth to do wonders for the renown of Jesus and give us the wisdom to look to the sages in our midst who are younger at heart and more full of love than those who have known you fewer years than they.
“Rescue me, save me from the power of strangers, foreigners; whose mouths speak worthless words, whose right hand swears an oath to what is a lie.
“Then our sons in their youth will be like full-grown saplings.” (Psalm 144:11-12)
This has been a prayer of mine for my sons since the early days of becoming a father some 13 years ago. I was reminded of this prayer of my fatherhood today as I, in amazement, read the blog of my oldest son. Of course I’m biased, but as I read his thoughts the past couple of days, I thought an older, more mature person must have stolen his password and ghost blogged.
That’s when I remembered Psalm 144 and my Father’s goodness and His faithfulness to His promises. I can’t wait to see what other surprises He has in store for me as my sons grow mighty in our Father’s grace right before my eyes and before His throne.
The phrase “nova facio” comes from the Vulgate, an ancient Latin translation of the Holy Bible. It is found in the book of the Revelation, chapter 21, verse 5 and is translated by our english phrase “making all things new.” This is a guiding principle for understanding life’s circumstances: God, the Creator, is moving all things forward, not to some end abstractly disconnected with the present. The future end designed by our reCreator is being shaped today. He is moving all that He loves from brokenness toward wholeness. Our fragmented and broken world (hearts, minds, bodies and relationships) is being renovated by the Master.
This blog is dedicated to my observation and experience of His renovating work.