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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

It Just Ain't Proper!

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 
( ‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭9 )

Let's think about this for a minute; when most Christians address their Heavenly Father, how often do we speak as though addressing a father-figure? Most often, our prayers ( I plead guilty too ) go something like this, 'Dear God ( or Lord ), please bless....thank you for......we ask now that.....in Jesus name, Amen'! Is there anything wrong with such a prayer? No, of course not; not inherently anyway, as long as the prayer is sincere! But, is it proper; is that how our Heavenly Father wishes us to address Him?

'Jesus is Lord'! Amen; no argument there! At least to those under that first covenant, Jesus came as Lord. Remember though that Sarah called Abraham 'lord': today, it is almost traditional in most if not all Christian circles for the husband ( men in general ) to 'lord' it over his wife ( women in general ); here again I must plead guilty! Are men the head of the house ( hold )? Scripture does make that pretty clear, doesn't it?! Well, maybe not so much; the apostle Paul wrote, 'But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.' ( ‭I Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭3‬ ) 'Well, but isn't that pretty clear?' 'Is it?' Paul said elsewhere that 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.' (‭ Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭28‬ ) The context may seem to call for a different interpretation, but it seems to me that our Heavenly Father is placing man & woman on the same level, giving them equal status as His Children. Then again, the apostle also says that the marriage between a man & woman is a picture of Christ & His Church, His Bride!

Paul wrote earlier, 'For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.' (‭ Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭12‬ ) The fact that Jesus is Lord is without dispute; He is/was of one essence with the Father, He being the Lord of all & over all! Is He still Lord of all? Without doubt, He is, but Jesus the Christ, the Jewish Messiah, told His followers, 'No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.' (‭ John‬ ‭15‬:‭15 ) Jesus did not say that He was NOT their Lord & Master, but He DID imply very strongly that He did not wish them to approach Him or His Father in that way!

To many Christians, the Creator of Heaven & Earth is simply 'God' ( BIG 'G' as opposed to small 'g' )! Although this moniker may be noted to be somewhat ignorant, especially in this technical day & age, it again, is not inherently improper or incorrect, so long as the one who uses it is speaking sincerely of the Creator of Heaven & Earth. However, in modern usage, it can be somewhat ambiguous; for instance, take the phrase, 'In God we trust', printed on all or most of this nations monies, does that necessarily mean that the issuer of the note, to say nothing of the bearer, places his or her trust in the Creator of Heaven & Earth? Not very likely! They may claim that their trust is in the Creator, but their actions seem to prove a different god, a lesser god, if you will; there are many gods, Scripture tells us, but only one True & Living God, all the others are simply useless idols of wood & stone ( or paper, as the case may be )!!

To call the Creator of Heaven & Earth by the name 'God' is not wrong, nor is it insulting; it is simply using His title, His very nature ( biblically speaking ) to describe His Awesomeness! Properly, there are many names for the Creator scattered throughout the pages of Scripture, but I believe the one He prefers most is 'Father'! As our Father, we come to Him, not just with our supplications ( though there ARE plenty of those ), but for comfort, for assurance & for strength, just like any child his or earthly father. He IS our Master, our Lord, but He does not 'lord' it over us as many masters do their servants. Rather, He treats each of us in such a way that allows us to approach Him in a familial way, not as a Lord & Master ( King ) who must extend His Scepter in order for enter His Presence!

Our God IS an Awesome God, but He is so much more than that; He is our Father! As His Children, we are instructed to address Him as 'Our Father'; we should always understand that though He is our Lord & Master ( King ), He wants us to come to Him as little children, not as servants to dreadful master!

Charles Haddon Shank

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