Day 5 – What is his Name?

“So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” Jesus did and said some super uncomfortable things. The day prior to the attempted stoning “he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him”, his own family encouraged him to chill out “for not even his brothers believed in him” and his strange teachings were getting around and “the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him”.

What did he say that made the Jewish people decide for themselves, yeah, we should probably throw rocks at this guy until he’s dead. Let’s go to Exodus 3:13 where Moses was knee-deep in excuses telling the God of the Universe how he just wasn’t the right guy to lead the Israelites our of Egypt.

13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

I love that this Bible translation capitalized “I AM”. It makes me feel like God YELLED IT at Moses. (It’s not all caps because he was yelling, the Jewish people had special names for God, the capitalization denotes this was one of them) Who are you God? I AM. So simple and so powerful. When we pray to our Father in Heaven, remember that he is good, respected, honored, and he IS. Revelation 1:8 says that he is and was and is to come. Talk to your Father in Heaven. Your Father loves you and wants to hear what you need, what you’re thinking about, and everything about you. And when you have tough times, remember that HE IS.

P.S. Back to Jesus. The Jewish people asked him why he said that he had seen Abraham. His response: “Truly, truly, I say to you before Abraham was, I am. So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”

Day 4 – God is Good

If you couldn’t tell, we’ve been moving thought by thought, word by word through the first part of the Lord’s Prayer. Our Father in heaven, HALLOWED be your name. As we talked about this past Sunday, “hallowed” means to honor as holy, greatly revere and respect. So we’re saying “Our Father in heaven, holy, revered, and respected is your name. I like to simplify even more with just saying that God is good. Has a nice ring to it. Everything about our Father in heaven can be trusted. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God, the skies display his craftsmanship.” We can see in the world around us that God is powerful, big and because of this we respect his name! (And yes, this world is broken and completely imperfect, keep coming Sunday mornings, that will be addressed later in the Lord’s Prayer!) I love the way the Psalm below sums how we let God know we are thankful for all the things he has done. “May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you”. Read Pslam 19. Tell your Father in Heaven with the “words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart” that he is good, he is honored, and he is respected.

Psalms 19

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. 2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. 3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. 4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. 5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. 6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. 7 The instructions of the lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the lord are clear, giving insight for living. 9 Reverence for the lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the lord are true; each one is fair. 10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. 12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Day 3 – …who is in heaven

“Our father… who is in heaven”. It seems like a simple way to address a prayer, like addressing a letter to God the Father at 100 Heaven Way. (Seriously, who still sends mail, what a terrible metaphor!) It’s much more than that. It shows us our place and God’s place. R. C. Sproul writes, “Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.” We are talking to the God of the Universe. That’s huge! Almost enough to make me more than a little nervous when starting a prayer. And yet, God, in his grace and humility still wants to hear from me. One person, living at this time, on this planet. Just crazy and amazing. I love what Ecclesiastes 5:2 says. “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” For God is in heaven and you are on earth. Things may not always make sense in our lives. But God is in heaven, and we are on earth. Pray humbly to the God of the Universe. Pray that you can see things in your life his way. Pray that you remember your place.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Day 2 – The Prodigal Son

If you’ve been in church long enough, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the “parable of the prodigal son”. It’s a good one! Every time I interact with this parable, I hear something different. Sometimes I’m being a reckless and wasteful child, not thinking about others or our heavenly father, only thinking of myself. Sometimes I’m the sibling, getting angry at the grace shown to others, feeling jealous, or not celebrating when good things happen to others. And sometimes I’m the parent, needing to show grace, love and forgiveness to the people who have wronged me, even though they don’t deserve it. Take some time and talk to YOUR heavenly father – the one who shows you grace, love and forgiveness when though you can’t earn it and don’t deserve it. Even a simple “thanks God” would be an awesome start. Your father in Heaven finds it “fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found!”

Luke 15:11-32

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out toone of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’


20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants,‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

Day 1 – Your Heavenly Father

Yesterday we focused on the “father” part of the Lord’s Prayer. God is our Father, and Jesus tells us that the Father loves us and wants to take care of us. And man, talk about powerful, in verse 33 “seek FIRST the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” Pray that you would seek first God in your life! Pray that you can trust God to be a loving father and that he will take care of your needs! And tell YOUR heavenly Father what your needs are. Don’t overthink it, just start a conversation with the Father who loves to hear you talk to him!

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.