Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Lord's Prayer Part II - Talking to the Father about the Family, Part 16 of 61

TEXT: "In this manner, therefore, 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 this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:9-12).

IDEA: One way to think about sin is as a debt owed that must be paid.

PURPOSE: To help listeners understand what is involved when we pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

I owed 200 marbles to a fellow in our neighborhood. When I told my mother, she replied, “You should not play marbles for keeps!”

Have you ever owed a debt you could not pay? Did you take it seriously?

I. We are often aware of the debt other people owe for what they have done.

When something or someone goes wrong, we want to get someone to pay whatever is owed.

The Gulf oil spill had politicians assuring the public that BP would pay for the spill.

Wars come from this. The Muslims must pay for what they have done, and they believe that we in the West must pay for people killed.

Retaliation is simply paying back in harm for what others have done to us.

The church must pay for what priests have done to children.

Forgiveness to those people who have hurt us seems impossible. We can’t forget what they have done.

II. We are less likely to feel the debt we owe for what we have done.

When we pray, “Forgive us our debts,” we would be brought up short if God insisted, “And exactly what debts do you have in mind?”

Jesus doesn’t teach us to pray, “Avenge the guilty.” It is OUR DEBTS and MY debt that is part of it.