Daily Bread 2020 #2
A Thought To Ponder:
Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.
Ever been tempted to give up on something before completion? A diet, a workout regimen, a personal financial plan. They all often meet an untimely death after an impassioned start. You don’t have to look any further than the NFL playoffs to once again be reminded that “nothing is over until it’s over.” That happened today to the poor Houston Texans. (Spoiler alerts to follow) Up 24 points to zero early in the their game, the Kansas City Chiefs scored 21 points in three minutes of game clock in the second quarter and a contest that looked all but decided became one of the greatest comeback victories in NFL history. Maybe you dozed off, or changed the channel, or went to do chores thinking “this game is over.”
It happens in our own lives as well. We get behind on our intentions and slip back into our habits. We sink deeper into debt or see a higher number on the scale and think “there’s no coming back from this.” Our failures appear to be fatal. Not so with Jesus. If you’re looking for great comeback stories, unbelievable stories of redemption, take a look at the lives touched and transformed by Jesus. A mouthy fisherman, an adulterous woman, a demon-possessed man. If you knew these people, really knew them, you would’ve long given up looking for the happy ending. But, the love and grace of Christ turns our winters to spring. If you’re ready this, I would like to ask you to do one thing. Wait. Hang on. Don’t give in to the darkness of doubt. Let God finish writing your story. I promise you that you’ll never see the end coming!
Questions To Discuss:
1. What are your memories/recollections of the Lord’s Prayer? When and how do remember praying it?
2. Why do you think it’s so easy for us to give in and quit before we complete the goals we set out to accomplish?
3. Jeff said in his sermon today that “all prayer is surrender.” Do you agree with that statement? How might we pray in such a way that isn’t fully surrendered to the will of God?
4. Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon write the following:
“When we say “our,” we are not being possessive. This God will not be our property. Many a person has come to grief attempting to domesticate God as a cheerleader for the American way or as a cosmic Federal Express. We say “our” because of the astounding recognition that this God, the one who created the universe and flung the planets into their courses, the great God of heaven and earth, has willed to become our God. Before we reached out to God, God reached out to us and claimed us, promised to be our God, promised to make us God’s people. Thus, not because of who we are or what we have done, but rather because of what God in Jesus Christ has done, we are privileged to say, “Our Father.” (Lord, Teach Us: The Lord’s Prayer & Christian Life)
How do you respond to such a description? How do you feel calling God “Father?”
5. If Jesus and the Father are one, why do you think He spent so much time praying?
A Prayer For Change:
From The Voice translation:
Our Father in heaven,
let Your name remain holy.
Bring about Your kingdom.
Manifest Your will here on earth,
as it is manifest in heaven.
Give us each day that day’s bread—no more, no less—
And forgive us our debts
as we forgive those who owe us something.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[But let Your kingdom be,
and let it be powerful
and glorious forever. Amen.][a]