Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. -KJV
-“Our Father…which art in Heaven”
Literally: “Father of us who in the heavens”
Notice, Jesus didn’t say “my” father or “the” father, though most of the time we look upon God as being ‘The’ Almighty God and Father of creation. But Jesus specifically said “Father of us”–“our” Father and included his disciples as part of his family—the family of God.
The larger context is the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and that teaching was specifically given to his disciples. The Pharisees and Sadducees apparently were not present—they would have gone crazy and probably would have picked up stones—here was Jesus calling God his Father again, but not only that, he included his disciples in the heresy.
This had to sound strange to folks raised upon the Old Testament scriptures and at a time when High Priests only came into the presence of God one time a year. The High Priest didn’t dare to enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple without repenting and fasting first, and even then they tied a rope tied around his ankle so he could be pulled out in case he died in there. No one dared to go into the Holy of Holies except the High Priest on that one occasion. So in that context, assuming an intimacy with Almighty God and calling him ‘Our father’ would have sounded rather heretical to the scribes and Pharisees.
We hear the words ‘Our Father’ so much in church that it is way too familiar. Sometimes the real implications of those words do not properly sink in. In Jesus Christ every believer becomes part of the family of God. His Father is now our Father and we are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ.
Yup, and sometimes we fight just like a family too!
But think about it—the Creator of the universe is our Father. Remember Jesus said that God doesn’t give rocks to his children when they need bread. He really does take care of his creation, the birds, the flowers, and even more so, he only wants the best for his children.
In our day the title ‘father’ is so messed up for many of us, because of the way we were treated or ignored by our natural parents. Some never had any kind of relationship with their natural fathers. Also some were orphans or abandoned by their fathers and never did really experience a father in their lives. While others of us may of wished that we hadn’t.
Because of our past, many of us have trust issues that make it difficult to receive the Love of Our Father in Heaven. Therefore, intimacy with God doesn’t come all that easy and we end up putting Him in a box that will only be unwrapped after our death when we are in Heaven. Even though we may believe in him.
Even someone like Martin Luther had ‘Father’ issues:
“I have difficulty praying the Lord’s prayer because whenever I say, ‘Our Father,’ I think of my own father who was hard, unyielding and relentless. I cannot help but think of God that way.” –Martin Luther
One of the ways to get pass this is to forgive your parents—particularly your Father and then accept what the scriptures actually say about the love of Father God.
16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. -ESV
Repeat after me: God so love me –that He sent His Son, so that I might be saved and have eternal life.
On his last night on earth, Jesus prayed specifically for us—that we might become part of his family—the family of God the Father.
20 “I do not ask for these only (the Disciples), but also for those who will believe in me through their word (us), 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”-ESV
Remember, when Jesus died on the cross the scriptures tell us that the curtain separating the people from their God in Holy of Holies in the temple was split in two. The prayer of Jesus in John 17 started to become a reality.
When we believe in Jesus and accept him as our Lord; intimacy with His Father becomes possible and the almighty creator touches us and dwells within us with his Holy Spirit and we become members of his family and the new temple of God.
It is time for the church to get this down—all of the church. I believe that the ‘Fatherhood of God’ and greater intimacy with Father God is part of the ‘Good News’ of the Kingdom message that is supposed to go into all the world—every nation, people, and tongue before the end. And part of a ‘New Awakening’ coming soon near us.
All of creation awaits for the church to understand more fully what it means to be and act like the children of God and cry out—Abba Father!
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 1
6 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. -ESV
This is the Word of God for all of us today—for all who have receive Jesus as Lord and Savior—
Receive now your identity as sons and daughters of Father God—and heirs of his Kingdom
The Scripture says:
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, -ESV
Pray: Ask the Lord right now to confirm your identity as part of his family.
If you’re reading this and not sure whether you have His Holy Spirit within you, sort of always believed in Jesus but never fully committed your life to Christ; now is your time to become part of the family of God forever. Pray right now:
I need and want your Holy Spirit in my life, I believe in and fully commit myself to your Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Please forgive my sins, help me with my unbelief, and help me to change my life. I want to receive your joy and peace in my life through your Son Jesus and by Your Holy Spirit. I want to become part of your family forever.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Next in this series: Lesson 3 will focus on praise and worship: “Hallowed be thy name”