If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)
(This devotional is not a part of our current teaching series)
'O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!... Every day I call upon you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you... O Lord, I cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.' (Psalm 18:1-2, 9, 13)
In these challenging days, we need to be reminded that we can come to the Father - we have full access to Him. Sometimes, we don't know what to pray. When there is so much pain and confusion, sometimes all we can do is 'cry out'.
The Psalmist speaks of spreading out his hands to God. Sometimes it's good to embody what we're praying: there's a time to dance, to shout, to sing, to kneel, to prostrate ourselves, to stretch out our hands...
Let's come every day, no matter how we're feeling. Let's come to Jesus daily. He hears us whether we pray at length, with few words, or even in silence - He hears the cry of our hearts.
This is our great privilege as God's children. We can come to our Father at all times. As the author to the Hebrews tells us,
'Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.' (Hebrews 4:16)
Please watch this video.
During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – KEEP WASHING OUR HANDS (KEEP ASKING FOR, AND KEEP GIVING, FORGIVENESS)
Do you find it easy to say sorry? How often have you done so in the last week?
Introduction - please read in your group
This week we will learn from Jesus what it means to pray,
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
During this Coronavirus crisis, we are being encouraged to wash our hands regularly for 20 seconds. When you do so, why not get into the habit of saying The Lord’s Prayer? Washing our hands is a great illustration of receiving and giving forgiveness - it needs to be done regularly.
Forgiveness means 'to send away' to have our sin sent away. This has been made possible because Jesus has died for us. To forgive others, is to send their sin away - we send it to Jesus and allow Him to be the judge. We can forgive much more easily as we remain mindful of how much we ourselves have been forgiven.
Read The Lord’s Prayer
“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (“…For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”) (Matthew 6:9-13)
i) The cost of our forgiveness
i) When we talk about forgiveness, it’s easy to think that when we say sorry to God, He just chooses to overlook our sin. However, sin cannot just be forgiven (sent away) - anyone whose ever brushed something under the carpet knows that it just goes under the carpet! Forgiveness is possible because of the cross.
Discuss: What does Ephesians 1:7 say about our forgiveness?
ii) The cost of forgiving
R. T. Kendall wrote about forgiving,
This means that you keep on doing it - as long as you live. It won’t do to forgive today and then return to folly tomorrow. I know of a person whose wife said, ‘I thought you forgave me.’ He replied, ‘that was yesterday’. Total forgiveness is a life-long commitment; you may need to do it every single day of your life until you die. No one said it would be easy.’ (R. T. Kendall, Total forgiveness, Page 59)
Forgiving is painful for us. It's choosing not to be bitter toward someone. It's choosing to treat our 'debtors' with love. It's a great sacrifice.
How does remembering the gospel help us to forgive others?
What advice would you give to someone who is finding that their anger and resentment keeps flaring up?
Pray together as you feel led.
Please share from this week’s Church News.
In particular, can we all be sharing the digital invite for our Sunday morning service.