A couple of weeks ago, I was driving through a friend’s neighborhood. I needed to ask her a favor and had planned to just text her. Instead, I took the opportunity and pulled up in front of her house, not knowing if she was home.
I rang the doorbell and waited. Sure enough, she made her way to the door and opened it, surprised to find me there. It was a beautiful day, so she came out on her front porch and we sat down on the comfy chairs and before I knew it, I was telling her of some things that were on my mind and heart.
This friend is older than I am and I have admired her for years. She is one of those women that you look at from afar and think, “I want to be like her!” Our conversation was short, but it was filling for my soul. She listened, she encouraged and she gave wise counsel.
I appreciated her more than she knew.
Our front porch meeting was just what I needed to propel not only my day forward, but my heart and mind. Her words refocused me onto what was most important, Jesus.
So what if we were to consider a front porch meeting with God as the owner of the house? What would that look like?
Using the Lord’s Prayer as our guide, for the next several weeks, in collaboration with my pastor, Rev. Dr. Blake Wood, I’m going to be exploring the idea of the rooms of God’s house (Sermon at Faith Community Church – The Porch. I encourage you to be open to listening and responding to the Holy Spirit’s leading and prompting as we “walk through” God’s house.
As a reminder, the Lord’s Prayer is in Matthew 6, where Jesus is teaching the Sermon on the Mount. While most believers have heard and memorized the Lord’s Prayer because that’s just what we do, often it’s just that, what we do. There is not necessarily much thinking or emotion attached with it. But when we take a step back and think about how instrumental the Lord’s Prayer can be in our walk with Jesus, it can create awe and desire within us that we didn’t know was there. It can breathe life into a routine prayer time. It can cause us to humbly surrender to Christ’s lordship in our lives. And it can ground you into standing firm on the foundational truths of scripture so that you not only know the Lord’s Prayer, but you believe it fully.
The Lord’s Prayer can do all of those things, if we are open to hearing from the Lord about it.
The Lord’s Prayer
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 also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Welcome to God’s house. Come on in…
The first room, The Front Porch.
As believers, our goal in life is to become more like Jesus. In mind, in word, in action, in heart. We look to Him as our model of how to live a God honoring and glorifying life. It was Jesus who spoke these words as a means to teaching the disciples, and all believers since, how to pray.
The first thing Jesus does is address God as Father.
Yes, Jesus could have used any of the names for God, such as Creator, Most High God, Eternal God, Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh, Adonai, Almighty, but Jesus chose to use
Jesus addresses God as Dad.
For me, I grew up with an incredible Dad. He was and still is present, he is wise, he is kind, he always told me how beautiful I was and still does to this day, he always tells me how proud he is of me. My dad is wonderful, but for others, their dad caused wounds that are deep within them. Either good or bad, all dads are still human and all fall short of the glory of God.
But this Dad, God the Father, has no brokenness in Him, he has no evil in Him, he has no ability to wound our hearts because God the Father is love. All the fullness of love- kind, forgiving, gracious, merciful, truthful, just – is embodied in God the Father.
So Jesus addresses God as Father. And if we look at scripture surrounding Jesus’ prayer, we see that God the Father not only is love, but He is aware (Mt 6:6), He is responsive (Mt. 6:6), He is perceptive (Mt.6:8), He is forgiving (Mt. 6:14), He is concerned (Mt. 6:26) and He is good (Mt. 7:11). That’s only just a drop in the ocean of the attributes of God the Father.
God is not only Jesus’ Father, He is our Father. He is our Abba, our Papa, our Dad. Are you able to look at Him that way?
When God welcomes us onto His front porch, He, the perfect Father, is calling us by our true name, His daughter or son.
As His sons and daughters, He says that we are chosen, we are loved, we are adopted, we are redeemed, we are forgiven, we are enlightened, we are sealed with the Spirit, we are promised, we are enlivened, we have a seat in heaven with Him and that he is preparing a place for us (Eph. 1-2; Three. Small. Words).
He says, “You are my daughter/son, come up on the porch”
And using the story of the prodigal son as imagery, when God welcomes us onto His front porch, not only is He, the perfect Father, calling us His daughters and sons, He welcomes us by embracing us (we are welcomed and loved), by putting a robe on us (clothing us in Christ’s righteousness), by giving us a ring (a familial sign of authority, ie – being sealed with the Holy Spirit), by placing sandals on our feet (indicating that he has good works for us to do that He has assigned to us), and by preparing a feast for us (the hope we have of eternal life).
God is welcoming you onto His front porch…all you have to do is go to Him.
If you step onto His front porch, reminding yourself of who’s porch it is that you are stepping onto, God your Father’s; and reminding yourself of who you know your heavenly Father to be; and allowing Him to remind you of who He says you are, then you will sit down and stay awhile. You will feel known, loved and encouraged. Your mind and heart will be focused, fixed on Jesus, and ready to enter into the next room of His house.
God is calling you onto His front porch, will you go?
“Come near to God and he will come near to you…” James 4:8
Father, thank you for being my perfect dad. I will come to you.