Lent Reading Challenge: Mark 11

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– LISTEN: Podcasts responding to Mark 8:27-30 will be available this week.  Add them to your devotional practice.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 11

Questions for Reflection:
1. Read Zecharia 9:9 and Matthew 21.1-9. What do you think is the significance of Jesus riding on the colt?  What does it tell us about who Jesus is?
2. Mark records Jesus’ actions in the Temple as a part of His teaching.  What do you think He was intending on teaching them that day?  How do His actions inform what we do in our place of worship?
3. Again the religious elites question Jesus about His authority.  Why?  What do you think they are seeking to accomplish here?  How does Jesus’ answer teach us about our answer to those who would question us?

Listen

Jesus asks the questions in Mark 8: “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”  As an additional challenge this week, you are invited to listen to a podcast by Chip Ingram from the series Who is Jesus Really – Man Myth or Messiah?  Click on one of the following links to listen!
 
 
or if you would like to listen to the whole thing at once:
 

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that we would learn to recognize and clearly see God’s work in our lives and in the world around us.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be about the work of God in the community of Hopkins, bearing much fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Pray for those home on spring break who depend on the schools for childcare and/or food, that God would meet their every need in this week off.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Mark 10

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– LISTEN: Podcasts responding to Mark 8:27-30 will be available this week.  Add them to your devotional practice.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 10

Questions for Reflection:
1. Why do you think the Pharisees were testing Jesus and what do you think their goal was?  What does Jesus’ response teach us about the law and its application today?
2. The phrase “child-like faith” comes from this passage.  What do you think this actually means and what are the implications to your own faith walk?
3. Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler, as he is referred to in the other Gospels, is pretty stark.  What do you think Jesus means when he tells the man to sell everything he has?  What is the point Jesus is trying to make to him and how does it impact how we handle the money God has blessed us with?
4. What do you make of the request of the sons of Zebedee?  Where do you think that came from?  How about Jesus’ response to them?  What can we learn from this?

Listen

Jesus asks the questions in Mark 8: “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”  As an additional challenge this week, you are invited to listen to a podcast by Chip Ingram from the series Who is Jesus Really – Man Myth or Messiah?  Click on one of the following links to listen!
 
 
or if you would like to listen to the whole thing at once:
 

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that we could hear the teachings of Jesus, see our need for Jesus, and receive the grace of Jesus.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we may speak the truth in love and proclaim the Gospel of God’s grace and love in Jesus, and be guarded from pride 
Pray for everyone impacted by the change of schedule on Spring Break, that they would remain committed to the challenge and that God would bless them in that commitment.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Mark 9

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– LISTEN: Podcasts responding to Mark 8:27-30 will be available this week.  Add them to your devotional practice.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 9

Questions for Reflection:
1. Peter, James, and John were the three disciples that witnessed Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead.  Why do you think that Jesus only took these three with Him up to the mount where He was transfigured?  Is there anything we can learn from this seeming exclusivity?
2. Jesus makes both a profound and confusing statement at the end of the narrative of the boy with the impure spirit.  “This one can only come out by prayer,” Jesus said.  What do you think this means?  What does it say about the power of prayer?  What are the implications for our prayer life?
3. We often think about things in this world as being neutral, neither being good for us or bad for us.  Jesus, however, makes a very clear statement about “neutrality” in verse 40.  What does this mean for us?  What does it mean for the “neutral” things in your life?

Listen

Jesus asks the questions in Mark 8: “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”  As an additional challenge this week, you are invited to listen to a podcast by Chip Ingram from the series Who is Jesus Really – Man Myth or Messiah?  Click on one of the following links to listen!
 
 
or if you would like to listen to the whole thing at once:
 

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that the Spirit would give us eyes to see through the things in our lives that we should question or even be rid of, and give us the courage to act.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that the Spirit would awaken people to the need for prayer both as individuals and as the body a church. 
Pray for all those who will be on spring break, that God would grant them rest and refreshment in this time.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Mark 8

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– LISTEN: Podcasts responding to Mark 8:27-30 will be available this week.  Add them to your devotional practice.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 8

Questions for Reflection:
1. There were 5 loaves & 2 fish with 12 basket fulls left over for the feeding of the 5,000.  There were 7 loaves and 7 basket fulls left over for the feeding of the 4,000.  What do you think the significance of the numbers in the two narratives of Jesus’ feeding the large crowds?
2. Think about the contrast Jesus makes in verses 14-21.  What do you think Jesus meant here?  How can we apply this warning to our lives today?
3. Isn’t it interesting how, when Jesus spoke plainly about His death, Peter rebuked Him, not wanting to hear of it?  Do we engage in reactions similar to Peter when we are confronted with hard truths?  How should we react?

Listen

Jesus asks the questions in Mark 8: “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”  As an additional challenge this week, you are invited to listen to a podcast by Chip Ingram from the series Who is Jesus Really – Man Myth or Messiah?  Click on one of the following links to listen!
 
 
or if you would like to listen to the whole thing at once:
 

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that as we enter into the second week of this challenge, you would experience the transformation of the Holy Spirit and that God would instill in you a desire for His Word.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would have the courage to speak and hear God’s Truth, even when it is difficult or challenging.
Pray for those who will be traveling on Spring Break, that they may have safe travels wherever they go.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Left Reading Challenge: Mark 7

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 7

Questions for Reflection:
1. We all have traditions that we follow.  Do any of these traditions get in the way of our worship of God?  How can we identify such traditions in our own lives and in the life of the church?  What should we do about them?
2. The Syrophoenician Woman was a Gentile and, in that day, had no right to even be in Jesus’ presence.  What can we learn from her faith and her persistence?
3. So many people bring their friends to Jesus to receive healing.  Do we do that?  When there are people in our lives who are struggling, do we invite them to meet Jesus?  Do we pray with them?  Why or why not?

Prayer

Pray that our hearts would draw near to God in the coming week of his Lent challenge and that in reading, praying, and listening, we would find more than religion, we would find a relationship with God.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would have the wisdom to discern which “traditions” bring glory to God and build the church, and which ones do not.
Pray for the impact of the Holy Spirit both in and after church today!
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Mark 6

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 6

Questions for Reflection:
1. The people from Jesus’ hometown had a reaction of “who does this guy think he is?”  They knew his family, his past, and what likely was the cultural expectation for someone of his class and upbringing.  How do we do this to others in our lives?  How do you see this happening in the church?
2. After Jesus’ disciples returned, Jesus instructs them to go and rest.  We see this rhythm a great deal in Scripture.  In what ways does this inform/instruct us in how our lives should be lived?  How do you make time for rest in your life?
3. Jesus’ disciples were “completely amazed” at His ability to walk on water because their hearts were hardened.  Can you think of other places in Scripture that the people of God had hardened hearts in the face of God’s miraculous power?  How do you find this to be true in your own life?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that your heart may be softened to the work God is doing in you through this challenge.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would recognize the redemption and renewal present in each other’s lives rather than judging each other (and those around us) by their past. 
Pray for our ability to rest, that we may find times to take part in it and be refreshed by the Holy Spirit.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge – Mark 5

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 5

Questions for Reflection:
1. Why do you suppose that the people from the town were afraid when they found the demon-possessed man in his right mind?  Why do you think they wanted Jesus to leave their region?
2. The faith of the woman who had trouble with bleeding was so great for something so simple; she just wanted Jesus, to touch Him for just a brief second.  How do you think we can apply this to our own lives?
3.  Jesus didn’t let anyone in the room with him except His “inner circle” of 3 disciples.  Then He tells them not to say anything about it either.  What do you think the reason is for this?  Wouldn’t it have been more powerful if everyone had seen?  

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that your eyes may be open and heart receptive to the power and working of God in your life and in the world around you.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would seek Jesus above all else and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, not on our programs, reputation, or any other human-created things.
Pray for our mission trip group and for the fundraiser they will be having tonight (March 22).
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge – Mark 4

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 4

Questions for Reflection:
1.  What do you make of Mark 4:12?  Jesus is quoting Isaiah 6:9-10.  What do you think it means?
2.  Many of Jesus’ teachings begin with “The Kingdom of God is like…”  How do you  (have you) see the Parable of the Growing (mustard) Seed happening in your life?  In the life of the church?  In what ways could you participate in fostering that growth?
3.  Reflect for a moment on the narrative of Jesus calming the storm.  Can you relate to the response of the disciples?  Does Jesus’ response surprise you?  When have you had an experience like this in your life where God intervened dramatically?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that your heart would be good soil, that the Word of God would take root in you, and that it would yield a great harvest in your life!
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be a bright Kingdom light in the community of Hopkins
Pray for our facility, that it would be a tool for sharing the Gospel of God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ both to those who regularly attend here and those who are seeking God.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge – Mark 3

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 3

Questions for Reflection:
1.  Do you ever feel like those around you are “watching you closely,” waiting for a reason to accuse you?  Scripture calls Satan “the accuser.”  Why do you suppose others do this?  Why do you think we do this to others?  Many people have said that they don’t desire to go to church because this atmosphere exists there.  Peter says in 1 Peter 2:12, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”  How can this better be our reality in the life of Hopkins Community Church?
2.  Why do you think that Jesus commanded the demons to not tell others about Him?
3.  Jesus speaks about an “eternal sin” that cannot be forgiven.  What do you think about this?  How does this match up with the forgiveness you know to be true in Scripture through Jesus Christ?  What do we do with such a difficult passage?

Prayer

Pray for the coming month, for your commitment to this challenge, openness to the Spirit’s voice, and protection from Satan’s attempts to derail you.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that God would show us where we can have a great impact in the Hopkins community.
Pray for the Cadets program as they minister this evening (March 20) and continue for the next several weeks.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge – Mark 2

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 2

Questions for Reflection:
1.  Why do you think that Jesus forgiving sins was so offensive to the teachers of the law?  Do you think it really had to do with God, or would they have been using God as an excuse to keep them in power?
2.  Jesus associated Himself with many people that the religious people didn’t.  Why do you think this is?  If we are to “follow Christ’s example,” how would things need to look different in our own lives?
3.  What do you think Jesus means when He says, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”?  How does this change the way you think about (and participate) in Sabbath rest?

Prayer

Pray for the coming month, for your commitment to this challenge and openness to God’s leading and protection from Satan’s attempts to derail you.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would see a renewed hunger for the Word of God.
Pray for the GEMS program as their last meeting night of the year is tomorrow (March 20).
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge – Mark 1

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
Each day, we will try to post some reflection questions and some prayer prompts to aid you in your engagement.  Feel free to post reflections yourself, questions you may have, or encouragement to others here as well!

Read Mark 1

Questions for Reflection:
1.    Jesus lived a perfect life and had no need for repentance Himself, so what do you think is the significance and/or of Jesus’ Baptism?
2.  Luke 5:1-11 records a significant event in the calling of Jesus first disciples.  Have you experienced significant events like this in your life that led to you following Jesus?  What events or circumstances led you to follow Jesus in your life?
3.  Jesus teaches His disciples to pray both directly and by example.  What was the example that Jesus set in prayer and how can you follow that example in your own life over the next month?

Prayer

Pray for the coming month, for your commitment to this challenge and openness to God’s leading.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would embrace this challenge and God would strengthen us through it.
Pray for the Consistory as we have our leadership meetings tonight (March 18).
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Psalm 67

Psalm 67 New International Version (NIV)

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us—
so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you rule the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;
    God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.



2018 Blog

Good morning and Happy New Year!
 
I am looking forward to 2018 and all that God as in store for us as a church and a community as He continues to lead us in great and powerful ways!
 
One of the ways that I feel God has been working is through this blog and through our examination of Scripture and, lately, the Heidelberg Catechism.  I’ve learned and have grown a lot through this exercise and look forward to continuing it in the future.
 
That said, in this coming 2018 year, I have been feeling as though I need to take a step back from the constant posting for a while.  Though I love to write and enjoy the rhythm of devotional study that this blog brings, I also have to take a step back and recognize the things that are going in the bigger picture.  This year will mark the arrival of our second daughter and the transition that will be involved in that.  We are working on some big things here at Hopkins Community Church which I hope will eventually lead to the addition of a worship leader, the launch of small group ministries, and the filling of team positions as we continue to expand the ministries of the church here in Hopkins and follow God’s call to the community of Hopkins.
 
I also have taken some personal interest in some other blogging opportunities for Bethany and me, something that will take time to develop over the next months.  We are looking forward to sharing how God is leading us to “rethink normal” and be intentional in a culture that seems to drive the status quo.  This too is a response to Scripture’s call to #makethemost of every opportunity.
 
During this time I will also be gearing up for a major commitment with regards to this blog: The Old Testament.  Blogging through each chapter of the Old Testament in the way that we did the New Testament is, essentially, a 4-year commitment.  I do not take a commitment like that lightly and want to be able to give the best that I have to it.  That too has led to the decision to wait a year.
 
With all this said, the focus for this year’s blog is going to be somewhat different.  We are going to take a turn toward encouraging conversations at home, building relationships within the family.  How this will look is that a question or series of questions will be posted at the beginning of each week.  You are encouraged to talk about these questions with your spouse, kids, friends, and maybe even co-workers.  They will be prompts to encourage conversation and deepen relationships.  Hopefully, these are conversational beginnings that will lead to much more.
 
If you feel so led, I would welcome feedback, thoughts, and even reflections on the discussions that you have.  Perhaps that will encourage others to bring these discussions places in their lives as well.  May God bless you and the discussions you have and the relationships you are in 2018!


Closing Prayer: H.C. Lord’s Day 52

Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 52

Q 127: What does the sixth petition mean? 
A 127: “And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one” means:
By ourselves we are too weak to hold our own even for a moment.
And our sworn enemies—the devil, the world, and our own flesh—never stop attacking us.
And so, Lord, uphold us and make us strong with the strength of your Holy Spirit, so that we may not go down to defeat in this spiritual struggle, but may firmly resist our enemies until we finally win the complete victory.
 
Q 128: What does your conclusion to this prayer mean?
A 128: “For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever” means:
We have made all these petitions of you because, as our all-powerful king, you are both willing and able to give us all that is good; and because your holy name, and not we ourselves, should receive all the praise, forever.
 
Q 129: What does that little word “Amen” express?
A 129: “Amen” means: This shall truly and surely be!
It is even more sure that God listens to my prayer than that I really desire what I pray for.
 
The closing of both the Lord’s Prayer and the teaching of the Lord’s prayer represent three things, a recognition of God’s presence in our daily walk, a reiteration of God’s sovereignty, and a trust in God’s faithfulness.
 
First comes the phrase “save us from the time of trial,” an update from the traditional “lead us not into temptation.”  The original texts of Jesus’ teaching on the Lord’s prayer were never meant to give a false indication that God is the one who either prompts or creates temptation.  God’s presence in the midst of our trials and temptations, however, is a gaurantee in Scripture.  He promises to never leave us or forsake us; He walks every step of our lives with us, sustaining us even when He doesn’t approve of our actions or the things we get ourselves into.  Even when we are clearly in over our heads, there is nothing that God cannot save us from.
 
When we find ourselves in the midst of these times, Jesus reminds us of two things.  First, that we are indeed not alone.  We are not caught in temptation because God has left us, but rather because we are walking away from Him.  Even then, however, when we are faithless, He is faithful.  And second, He reminds us that we can always call to Him when we are lost.  There is nothing that we can get ourselves into that discounts us from turning back to God and God receiving us with His full love and open arms.
 
Second in the closing phrases of the Lord’s prayer is a sort of reprise and a reminder of the whole purpose and goal of prayer in the first place.  Prayer is an act of worship, and through it, we see a transformation in us that prompts us toward desiring and enacting God’s will and purposes in the world.
 
This is also a declaration of the state of our hearts.  Saying, “The Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,” means that, for us, those things belong to God and as such they are not ours to control.  Rather, we are placing our trust once again in Him and recognizing Him for who He is: God.  
 
Finally, the prayer is ended by the word “amen.”  This word is not just a nice Christian word for “prayer done.”  It carries with a very real and very specific meaning: “this is sure to be!”  When Jesus is talking to His disciples about things that are sure to be, He says in the Greek “amen, amen,” or “truly, truly…”  The emphasis here points to the certainty of God’s actions in our lives and in the world.
 
Have you ever prayed and felt like your prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling?  Have you ever felt alone and not sure if what you were praying would even come to be?  The word “amen,” is a statement of trust.  We say this because we believe, deep in our core, that God hears and answers prayer.  In one of the closing statements of his book, Kevin DeYoung says this, “God is so gracious that He is more willing to hear our requests than we are sure that we actually want what we pray for.”  God’s desire that we come to Him, even in the midst of our doubts, is so great that we are assured that no matter the state that we are in, God will always here and answer. 
 
DeYoung finishes by saying this, “How Liberating!  Go ahead and pray to God better than you feel and you may just find that in His mercy you end up better than you deserve.”  How wonderful and true.  God is able and willing to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine, even at our best.  So the invitation of God is to come… no matter where you are or what is going on… go to Him!


Amen: H.C. Question129

What does that little word “Amen” express? 
 
Isaiah 65:24 – Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
 
2 Corinthians 1:20 – For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
 
2 Timothy 2:13 – if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.