Monday, October 7, 2013


    "And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed him.
    When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the Son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him."(Mark 1:16-20)

Jesus could have chosen the wise scholars of the day to take His Gospel to the whole world, and teach the Faith to all nations. But instead He chose uneducated and common men. St Paul says, "For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty..."
(1 Corinthians 1:26-28) BUT HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE!!! St Luke records in the book of Acts 4:13, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Have you been with Jesus? Oh, we believe in Him, at least we profess to know Him, but have we "been with Jesus"? The Apostles walked with Jesus, you say. They were taught directly by Jesus. That is true. And yet we see how they all ended up because of their hardness of heart(Mark 16:14). It was the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father(Luke 24:49), that empowered them, that transformed them and filled them with boldness(Acts 4:29-33), and brought to their remembrance all the things He had taught them(John 14:26; Luke 12:12; John16:12-16). This same Holy Spirit has been given to you, is available to you, is an ever-present anointing to teach you all things(1 John 2:20). Are we doing our part to be filled with the Spirit? Are we continuing in His Word day and night? Are we praying His Spirit-inspired Psalms morning, noon, and night? Oh, we too, are called to become fishers of men, but have we forsaken our nets to follow Him? Or are we entangled in the affairs of this life(2 Timothy 2:1-4)? Is the Word that is in us choked by "the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust for things"(Mark 4:19)?

St Basil the Great is quoted, "Those who are strongly seized with the desire of following Christ can no longer be concerned with anything pertaining to this life, not even with the love of parents or other relatives insofar as this runs counter to the calling of the Lord." Also see Luke 9:57-62 and Luke 14:25-35.

Psalm 107:23,24, "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep." We can see the word-picture clearly, we are to launch out into the deep, out into the sea of the worlds' peoples(Revelation 18:1,15). For the sea is a picture of the peoples of the earth, we are the fishers of men, sent out into the great waters, fraught with all the dangers of such an expedition. But it is when we, with knowledge that Jesus is with us (asleep) in the boat, that we take courage and "go" into the deep. It is then that we we see "the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep". But if we stay on shore, never obeying the Master to go, never launching out into the deep, we will never see the Lord do His work in the lives of the people He has sent us to reach.

Luke 5:1-11(Please read in your Bible - KJV :)
Jesus said to Simon(Peter), "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught(the catch)...Fear not; from henceforth you will catch men."(Verses 4, 10) Notice how it is possible for us to toil "all night" and catch nothing. But, at His word, they caught a multitude of fishes. May we learn, how to fish, when to fish, where to fish? Let us ask of the Lord for this knowledge.

After Jesus's resurrection from the dead he appeared to his disciples numerous times during the 40 days preceding His holy ascension(Acts 1:3, 10, 11). We read in John 21:1-14 about the third appearance of Jesus to his holy Apostles. This time it was Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two other disciples to whom Jesus appeared. Peter says, "I go a fishing", and the other disciples said, "We go with thee". What do you say? "Let's go fishing", "fishing for men". Again, the disciples have caught no fish. But the Lord tells them where to cast the nets and they catch an amazing assortment of great fish and not one is lost. Let us pray to cast our nets precisely where the Lord directs.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Our Father > Jesus revealed the Father to the world - Jesus revealed His eternal power and Godhead(Romans 1:20) - Jesus revealed the Holy Trinity, "One in essence, yet undivided" - Jesus emphasized the reality of the Father in the Gospel of John chapter 14(22 times He mentions Father); John chapter 15(10 times He mentions Father); John chapter 16(12 times He mentions Father). In Matthew 6:8 Jesus introduces the Father's concern for your every "true" need as the basis for the Lord's Prayer found in the following 5 verses!!! - Our life of prayer is founded and based upon our relationship with the Father. - We do not have to badger or cajole our Father God to hear us like the pagans do with their mindless vain repetitions - All we must do is pray according to the divine will and Word of God - Jesus, the Son of the Father by nature, grants us the privilege of calling the Almighty Creator our Father by the grace of salvation/sonship(Romans 8:14-16).

Who art above the heavens > Jesus is not speaking necessarily of a material heaven, a place that is located in time and space. God is creator, he transcends the physical creation and all its' creatures. The word heaven reveals the infinite distance that there is between the Creator and His Creatures. When we pray we must see, we must know, the mystery of God's transcendence, and simultaneously, the mystery "that God was manifest in the flesh"(1 Timothy 3:16). Through Jesus, God's infinite grace has appeared, and bridged the unbridgable gap. Now we have access to God(Romans 5:1, 2; Hebrews 10:19-22). That at the moment of prayer we enter the kingdom of heaven. We, in the Spirit, leave this world of time and space and enter the eternal NOW where God is.

Hallowed Be Thy Name > Hallowed means Holy > The seraphim worshipped the Lord upon His throne, crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy"!!!(Isaiah 6:1-3)  We declare our Father is Holy and that His name is holy. Holy can be understood to mean "divine perfection", and each name of God reflects a perfectly divine attribute or characteristic of God's nature. God reveals Himself and His nature in the many names he gives to Himself. To know the name of God is to comprehend that attribute which that particular name of God
denotes, and to witness the manifestation of those attributes which the name denotes. By learning the many names of God you come to know God and what He is like. One name God revealed Himself as is El Shaddai which means "the self-existent One". To Moses He revealed Himself as "I AM THAT I AM...I AM has sent me unto you(Israel)"(Exodus 3:11-14). Interestingly Jesus called Himself I AM in John 8:58, and many times revealed his nature and work by saying "I am": the Way, the Truth, the Life...the door... the good
shepherd...the true vine...the light of the world...the bread of life...the alpha and the omega...the resurrection. In the Old Covenant God revealed Himself with seven covenant names: Jehovah Jireh - I am the Lord who provides, Jehovah Nissi - I am the Lord your victory, Jehovah Shalom - I am the Lord your peace, Jehovah Shammah - I am present with you, Jehovah Ra'ah - I am the Lord your shepherd, Jehovah Tsidkenu - I am the Lord your righteousness, Jehovah Rapha - I am the Lord your healer. In Psalm 91:14 David speaks of what God will do, "Because he has set his
love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name". All the names of God are wrapped up in the Savior Jesus. Every knee shall bow to His name(Philippians 2:9-11). There is no other name under heaven whereby a person can be saved(Acts 4:12). In the context of "the Lord's Prayer" we may simply magnify the Father as perfectly holy. We can simply acknowledge the Father as perfect in every way his name reveals Him. We can simply worship Him as the "I AM" who is the "all in all".

Thy Kingdom Come > Our desire is to experience God's kingdom here and now, first within us, for Christ said, "The kingdom of God is within you", and the double meaning of our prayer is, "Maranatha, The Lord Comes"(Luke 17:21; 1Corinthians 16:22). "We look for the resurrection and the life of the world to come". "We look for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ"(Titus 2:14). As we pray "Thy Kingdom Come" let us realize we are praying to "actually actualize" the very teachings of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of heaven that are found in the Sermon on the Mount just before he gives us "The Lord's Prayer".

Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven > Our heart's desire is to do the Father's will just as Jesus said it was his desire to do the Father's will. We pray, "Thy will be done" with the thought in mind that we desire to be "heavenly" while here on earth(Colossians 3:1-4).

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread > In this petition we are offering up a 3-layered prayer. 1) We are asking for the earthly nourishment necessary for our daily strength, 2) we are asking for the inner, invisible nourishment of the Word of God, the "bread of Life", 3) we are looking prophetically to the banquet of the heavenly kingdom at Christ's second coming as we eat our bread of today.

And Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us > We acknowledge in this petition our daily need for repentance and forgiveness, and our desire for God to help us to forgive as he has forgiven us for Christ's sake(Ephesians 4:31, 32). Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"(Matthew 5:48)

And Lead Us Not Into Temptation, but deliver us from evil > Jesus said, "Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation, the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak"(Matthew 26:41). This petition could be rendered, "Let us not be overcome by temptation, but deliver us from the evil one". We learn in James 1:13,14 "Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed". And we learn more from St Paul, "There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it"(1 Corinthians 10:13). We are praying then, for the Father to deliver us; from any test, trial, or temptation we may find ourselves experiencing in this corrupt and demon-filled world.