Thursday, September 27, 2018

Deliver Us to Believe That Evil Is Crushed (Matt. 6:13) + Sunday, September 16 w/ South End Neighborhood Church

When was the last time you personally felt the need to be delivered from evil? When was the last time you prayed for the world to be delivered from evil?

" ... There's a storm out on life's ocean and it's moving this old way. If your soul's not anchored in Jesus, you will surely drift away. ... " + Liz Vice, "Drift Away"

Homily Scripture | Matthew 6:13

| 1 | The Cry “Deliver Us” is Both a Personal and a Public Cry

If you asked someone at the "Help!" stage of praying what the good news might be, they would probably say, "The only good news I'm interested in is getting out of this mess!" That's perfectly all right. That is how people often begin. Deliver us is often the first prayer of any person. + N.T. Wright, Simply Good News (Praying the Good News of the Lord's Prayer)

If we open the Gospel in the latest edition of the Italian episcopal conference, we read, "do not abandon us to temptation." It is not God who tosses into temptation in order to see how I fall. A father does not do this. A father helps his child get up right away. The meaning of our prayer is, "When Satan leads me into temptation, please God, give me your hand." In a prison parish the biggest temptation with which Satan tries to seduce the heart every morning is to whisper, "Give up. … it's all a waste of time." To despair, for me, means to stop looking at the face of Christ. It is also true, however, that when I am tempted I realize how much grace God has given me in my heart. Perhaps I would not have become aware of this if I had not been tempted. Where I come from, they always say that no on can boast of being chaste if he has never been tempted. Recognize the grace that when we are tempted, we actually know its temptation. + Pope Francis, Our Father (Reflections on the Lord's Prayer)

| 2 | The Cry “Deliver Us” is Heard on the Battlefield of Life

Prayer does not ask that we never experience evil; that would be praying to live in some other world than this world we live in. The prayer is rather that we may be delivered. We pray that we may be upheld by God's presence and power in such a way that those things that would undo us cannot undo us. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me ... " (Psalm 23:4). + Anna Case-Winters, "How Shall We Pray? Ethical Implications of the Lord's Prayer"

| 3 | The Cry “Deliver Us” Will Be Completely Answered “Yes” for Eternity

There is temptation to doubt whether God's reign will come and God's will be done on earth. When will that be? What is the delay? Where is God? What is God waiting for? There is temptation to doubt whether we may really receive the grace of God's forgiveness. There is temptation to withhold forgiveness from others even thought it is incumbent upon us as forgiven sinners. It is a temptation to doubt the presence and power of God to "deliver us from evil." + Anna Case-Winters, "How Shall We Pray? Ethical Implications of the Lord's Prayer"

In the end, in fact, evil will be removed and eliminated. At the time of the harvest, meaning the judgment, the reapers will carry out the master's orders, separating the weeds in order to burn them (Matthew 13:30). On that day of the final harvest the judge will be Jesus, he who sowed the good wheat in the world and himself became a "grain of wheat," died and rose again. 
+ Pope Francis, Our Father (Reflections on the Lord's Prayer)

Homily Christian Practice Questions:

+ Take time to listen to, "Deliver Us," from The Prince of Egypt (video and lyrics included). How does this song resonate with your personal and public cry for deliverance? 
+ What seeds of despair in your life need to die in order that hope can be resurrected in Christ?
+ Would you consider praying regularly the "Our Father" or "Lord's Prayer" as a revolutionary desiring Prince of Peace's Kingdom to break in now? 

Questions as You Consider Jesus

Are you curious? Consider asking someone a question or two about Jesus and Christian spirituality even if you don't believe.

Are you open? Consider your emotional and spiritual needs, and step into asking if Jesus can meet them and help you.

Are you searching? Consider exploring more about Jesus even if you are not sure who He is; example: "If I could ask Jesus one honest question that would help me trust Him, what would I ask?"

Are you beginning to believe? Consider how your life would be transformed if you followed Jesus. Ask God to help you understand the Good News that through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, He is restoring everything sin has ruined in your life and in the world.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Jospeh M. Scriven, 1855 A.D. 

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Reckless Love
Bethel Music, 2017 A.D.

Before I spoke a word,
You were singing over me.
You have been so, so good to me.
Before I took a breath,
You breathed Your life in me.
You have been so, so kind to me.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending
Reckless love of God!
It chases me down,
Fights 'til I'm found,
Leaves the ninety-nine!
I couldn't earn it, and
I don't deserve it,
Still You give Yourself away!
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending
Reckless love of God!

When I was your foe,
Still Your love fought for me.
You have been so, so good to me.
When I felt no worth,
You paid it all for me.
You have been so, so kind to me.

There's no shadow You won't light up,
Mountain You won't climb up,
Coming after me!
There's no wall You won't kick down,
Lie You won't tear down,
Coming after me!

Come Thou Fount
Robert Robinson, 1758. A.D.

Come Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above.
I'll praise the mount, I'm fixed upon it;
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I come.
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God.
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee!
Prone to wander Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love!
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above!


May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. + Ephesians 3:14-21

Next sermon audio and liturgy: Saturate Series | Jesus Christ Is All

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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