Friday, September 11, 2009

Treasure Hidden in the Word of God

Yesterday the Lord showed me something wonderful. One of the overriding themes the Holy Spirit has impressed me with now for months is praise. We must learn to praise our God, we must learn to put him first and keep him first in our hearts and minds. So what does the Lord show me yesterday? Some treasure buried in the perfect prayer, that is, the prayer Jesus taught us:

Matt 6:9“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

Here's what I want you to see this morning. Look carefully at this perfect prayer our Lord taught us. How does it begin? What's first?

1. The focus is on who? The Lord...“‘Our Father in heaven,
2. Once we have addressed and focused on the Lord, what's the very next thing?
PRAISE for HIM........hallowed be your name
3. After praise for our God, where is our focus next? His kingdom, His will...10your kingdom come,your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

So....the perfect prayer, the prayer Jesus taught us has praise first, then his will and his kingdom next, THEN we get to us......Give us today our daily bread.....

What does this add up to? What's the "lesson learned?" HE COMES FIRST, not us. His praise, his will, his kingdom come FIRST. Friends, this really really needs to sink in. We MUST fully grasp and comprehend and make a lasting impression on ourselves with this. How many times have we said this prayer without thinking of what we are really saying? How many times did we not "get" the pattern our God was trying to show us. Did I say "pattern?" Indeed I did. There is a way, a pattern that we as servants are to follow. The most basic way to state the pattern is "him first, then us." We see this clearly in the Lord's prayer, do we see it anywhere else? Sure we do:

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;give thanks to him and praise his name.

The very second we decide to approach our God, his praise and thanksgiving need to be on our lips. That's why we say "hallowed be thy name" FIRST in the Lord's prayer. His praise comes first:

Hebrews 13:15
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.

I cannot overstate just how important this is. What is calling itself the church today has gone so far astray. It's time to get back to fundamentals of the faith and there is nothing more fundamental than this. This is "Christianity 101." In this 101 class the first topic is his praise, his glory, thanksgiving to him.

Psalm 34 has always been my favorite, and just look at the very first verse:

Psalm 34:1I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

It's everywhere we look in the bible but do we "get it?" Do we understand just how important his praise is? His kingdom, his will, his glory are FIRST.

I know that you "get it" so now we just have to do it. This is fundamental. What is a christian without praise on his lips? Let us be found with his praise and thankgiving ALWAYS on our lips, in our hearts and in our minds. If you have been looking for one thing you can do to transform your walk with the Lord, and your life in general, then learn to do this: praise Him.

Grace and peace