Monday, May 5, 2008

Are You Ready To Pray Our Father In Heaven

INTRO - Jn 8:31-44 - We live in an age and culture that no longer believes in God’s absolute moral standards. As a result promiscuity runs rampant, pregnancies occur out of wedlock and many a child never knows who his real father is.
Jesus taught us to pray to “Our Father which art in Heaven.” The Phairsees thought they knew who their father was, do we?

I. GOD HAS MANY NAMES - Is 46:9 - A little boy was working hard on a drawing and his daddy asked him what he was doing. The reply came back, "Drawing a picture of God." His daddy said, "You can't do that, honey. Nobody knows what God looks like." But the little boy was undeterred and continued to draw. He looked at his picture with satisfaction and said very matter-of-factly, "They will in a few minutes." Have you ever wondered what God would look like if we were to draw Him? - The opening words of what is called the Lord’s prayer turn our thoughts to the one we are addressing.
A. Praying In The Wrong Direction - Dn 6:7-10 - Jesus taught us to address God, but how often do we find those who would rather address someone or something else. We are never commanded, or asked to pray to another god or person. We are not to pray to Satan, Baal, A statue or someone called a saint. Prayers to such as these are prayers going in the wrong direction.
B. What Will You Call Him - Through out the Bible you will find God being addressed by various names, each of which reveal something about Him, hence painting for us a picture of what He is like.
1. In Gn 17:1 - He is God Almighty
2. In Ex 3:14 He is I Am
3. In Ex 6:4 He is Jehovah
4. In Dt 4:24 He is a consuming fire
5. In Dt 4:31 He is compassionate
6. In Dt 7:21 He is a great and Awesome God
7. In Dt 10:17 He is the Lord of Lords and God of gods
8. In Ps 7:11 He is a righteous judge
9. In Ps 46:1 He is our refuge and strength
10. In Is 12:2 He is our salvation
11. The list could go on and on and on yet with all these wonderful names by which we could address God, Jesus asks us to address Him as Our Heavenly Father

II. THE PERFECT FATHER - Mt5:48 - It has been said that "a child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father." Recently a mother asked the preschool class in her Sunday school to draw a picture of God. They were intended to be used as an illustration for a Sunday sermon. Toward the end of class the children were excited to show off their work. They came up with rainbows and men with big hands. Finally, the mother’s daughter showed her picture: a man with a suit and tie on. "I don't know what God looks like," she said, "so I just drew my daddy instead." I doubt that God looks like our dad’s but do our dad’s look like God?
A. Why Is He Father - Why is your father your father?
1. God is “our Father” by creation;
2. God is “our Father” by re-creation.
B. When He Is Father - When we see God being addressed as Father it denotes a family relationship
1. It shows that “God [who is] heaven” is the believer’s Father.
2. The word “Father” establishes a relationship between a believer and all other believers.
3. The word “Father” pinpoints God as the believer’s source.
C. How Is He Father
1. In His compassion - Ps 103:13
2. In His giving Mt 7:9-11
3. In His disciplining - Pv 3:12
4. As a caretaker - Jn 15:1-2

III. THE UNWILLING CHILD - Mt 23:9 - One day, a first-grade student named Taylor asked his grandmother if he was a child of God. "Why, of course you are, Taylor," she replied. He looked puzzled, then responded, "Well I better get home and tell Mom and Dad--they think I'm theirs!" - Kenneth Woodward, writing in Newsweek magazine one summer, noted that God the Father is being ignored. Evangelicals focus on the Son, Pentecostals on the Spirit, Catholics on Mary and liberals erase maleness everywhere. “Few theologians these days seem to want a God who takes charge, assumes responsibility, fights for his children, makes demands, risks rebuffs, punishes as well as forgives. In a word, a Father. To be a father ones needs to have children. Have you ever thought about what it means to be a child of God? When we pray “Our Father who art in Heaven” are we willing to....?
1. Are we really willing to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of being one of God’s children? - 1 Pt 1:17
2. Will we strive for perfection or will we settle for mediocracy? - Mt 5:48
3. Children often like to imitate their parents. Are we imitating God? - Ep 5:1
4. All too often we want to be our own boss. We want to be the one in charge instead of the one in submission. We want God as Father but we want our lusts as well. - 1 Pt 1:14
5. Do we love those around us, we do if we are to be His child. - 1 Jn 3:10
6. Are we proving that love? - 1 Jn 3:18
7. When others see us at work are they apt to glorify God? Are we willing to let them? - Mt 5:16
8. Are we doing the Father’s Will? - Mt 7:21

CONCL. - Mt 23:9 "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. - I don’t believe that ever prayer we say needs to be started by calling God our Father. There may be times when God is more a stronghold for us or a provider or a comforter or a... Ultimately, I believe, it’s not about wanting God to be our Father, but are we willing to be His child and all that goes with that privilege. Are we ready to pray “Our Father in Heaven”

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