Hallowed Be Your Name

Home Church Devotional 11/28/2020

These devotionals were written during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when area churches were not allowed to meet for fear of spreading the coronavirus. They were used in place of a full sermon as my family and I gathered for worship and communion.

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is 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 do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]” Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)

We started our series on the Lord’s Prayer a couple of weeks ago focusing on Christian prayer. Christian prayer is unique because it is genuine. We hide away in our “secret room” away from the prying eyes of people so we can pray “in secret” to the Father who sees “in secret.” The essence of our prayer time is to seek the Father acknowledging Him as Creator, Lord, Judge, and Heavenly Father. We learn that Christian prayer is meaningful because our prayers are thoughtful and engaging because our hearts and minds are involved in what we are saying. In Christian prayer we are not heard because of the amount of words we say or how many times we repeat them.

Today we are focused on verse 9, “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” When we pray as Christians we are communicating with our Father in Heaven. By calling God our Father we acknowledge the relational aspect of praying and the power and authority of the One who has called us into fellowship with His Son. We set apart the name of God as our Father in heaven, sovereign in and above all things.

Before praying spend time remembering who God is – then set His name apart as holy among all things.

1). Our relationship with the Father is shared with other believers around the world.

What does it mean to call God, “our Father?” The Greek word for father is pater, signifying one who is a nourisher, protector and upholder. But the Aramaic word used by Jesus is abba, and no it has nothing to do with the 70’s rock group!! The word abba was used by children to denote warmth and intimacy in the security of a loving father’s care. As we know the father/child relationship is important throughout the Scriptures.

It is through God the Father that we have our very life, created in His image, adopted as sons and daughters of the King, heirs to the throne and kingdom of heaven. Every good gift we have has come down from the Father of lights. But it isn’t just gift’s that God gives, He provides structure and discipline, as any loving father does for his children. His structure and discipline are meant for our benefit and His glory. They are meant to keep us close to the Father and walking in His will.

God is as personal as we are, when we enter into His presence we are entering into an intimate relationship with God; God is loving, He is not an abusive or flawed Father – He is the ideal father in His loving care for His children; God is powerful, the words “who is in heaven” do not describe the place of God the Father, but rather, they describe His power and authority.

The heart of a child of God is to be a heart filled with brotherly love for all Christians. When we pray “our Father” we are asking in the spirit of unity, fellowship and Christian charity – we desire for our brothers and sisters what we desire for ourselves.

The church is to be on earth, all that the Father is in heaven, while remaining dependent upon the Father for all things. The church must provide structure and discipline for its members, meant to keep all believers close to the Father and within His will. The church is to be a place that is filled with the love of the Father, love that is built on personal relationships. The church is a place where God’s authority is seen and experienced but not abused or used for personal gain. 

Before praying spend time remembering who God is – then set His name apart as holy among all things.

2). As we pray, we set apart the name of God in reverence and honor to glorify and exalt Him.

What does it mean to “hallow” God’s name? In the Hebrew language it means to “let Your name be holy,” that is, the name of God is set apart as holy among all people and in all actions, His name is to be treated with the highest honor. This means we hold God’s name in reverence, not fear but great respect and awe – to honor, glorify and exalt Him above all things. Israel was to hallow God’s name by wiping out the names of pagan gods and to worship Him in the place where He chose to place His name – the sanctuary.

As Christians, when we enter into God’s presence, we are to hallow His name – set it apart as holy, that is we are to long for His name to be at the place of honor in people’s hearts and in our world. We honor God’s name in our prayers when we separate ourselves from the world and worship God in the sanctuary of our hearts. We are not worshiping self or idols but lifting the name of God above all others, seeking His glory above all things. Our needs may be many, but our greatest need is the presence of God and his mercy, grace and love.

We are to hallow God’s name with our lips. We do this by keeping our speech pure and free from foul or coarse language, inappropriate jokes and gossip. We seek to speak in love, in boldness and always in truth. Praise and thanksgiving should always be on the lips of those who have taken the time to remember who God is!

We are to hallow God’s name in our thoughts. We suppress evil and impure thoughts, taking them captive in obedience to Christ. Our tempers are controlled by grace through the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not think of others in contempt, covetousness or in any impure way. We meditate on His word and keep it in our hearts as the armor against the attacks on our thought life.

We hallow God’s name in our lives. We do everything as if the Lord God were standing next to us; from raising our children in the Christian faith to love and fear God, to our every day work life before our supervisors and fellow employees, doing the right thing even though it may be uncomfortable, to our witness to the unsaved love ones in our life, expressing our love for them unconditionally seeking to show them the love of God found in Christ Jesus, we do all things as if God were standing before or beside us.

In the church we hallow God’s name by acknowledging the word of God as our final and full authority. We place His name at the point of highest honor. We set apart the name of God in all we do, whether it be board meetings, Bible studies or small group settings. The church is to set the standard of hallowing God’s name in its worship service, designed to honor, glorify and exalt the name of God above all others. The church is to be to those in this world all that God is to the church in heaven. His power and authority are supreme, and we are to seek His glory by pointing the way to Him in all things the church does – food pantries, Christmas boxes, blankets, shoes, coats, hats and gloves – we do all things as if God were before us and beside us.

Before praying spend time remembering who God is – then set His name apart as holy among all things.

We have focused on verse 9 today acknowledging God as our Father, the nourisher, protector, upholder in which we are in a warm and intimate relationship. We have also seen that by using the word “our” we acknowledge the relationship we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. We express the unity and fellowship that is shared and the power and authority of the One whose name is set apart as holy, above all people and actions. God the Father is our final and full authority.

Our praying begins with God the Father and quickly encompasses those who are brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. We learn to set apart the name of God as holy, placed at the highest point of honor as we seek God in prayer that is thoughtful and engaging, involving our hearts and minds. Christian prayer truly sets the standard for praying as we acknowledge God as Creator, Lord, Judge and Heavenly Father.

Today we enter into the season of Advent, meaning coming or arrival. The focus on this first week is hope. What is the Christians hope? Do we have some pie in the sky dreams we are wasting our time on? Or is there something deeper happening with the Christian faith? Hope, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is to cherish a desire with anticipation; to want something to be true or happen; to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment; to expect with confidence.

As we look at verse 9 of the Lord’s Prayer there are three things in which we are placing our hope; first, the hope of a new relationship – this begins with God the Father but quickly we find new relationships with those who call Jesus, Lord. They become our brothers and sisters in the family of God. Second, there is hope in a new life, eternal life – we are created in the very image of God and though our fallen humanity has dimmed that light, through the Son, Jesus, we find the power and authority to live a life as it is meant to be lived, eternally with Father and Son. Finally, there is the hope of a new home – heaven, to be recreated as the new earth and new Jerusalem when Jesus returns to establish His eternal kingdom.

Our hope is far more than simply pie in the sky dreams. Our hope is based in the completed works of Jesus Christ and the resurrection power that raised Him from the grave. Yes, there is work for us to do, work to be completed before the return of Jesus, but this is what we have been called to – to share this hope with those who have no hope. This is not a waste of time but the building of a new relationship, a new life and a new home.

Place your hope in Jesus Christ, time is short, but it is never too late with the Lord Jesus.

Amen and Amen.

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