Gamma 15 – Sermon on the Mount (Study 11)


The Lords Prayer (II)


John Goh012 207
Dr Lee Fook Sin019 230
Moh Ee Lin019 273
Ng Cho Hoo012 878
Susanah Ng012

Kindly contact any of these Gamma Facilitators. They will be hosting Zoom meetings for Discussions every Wednesday starting from April 1, 2020.


Please look at the questions and discuss the answers. The case histories are designed to let you apply what theoretical knowledge you have gleaned from the study. There are intentionally many more questions and case histories than you can manage in one session but this is designed to
cover the many and varied needs of the individuals in the church hence please pick and choose which ones to discuss as long as it gets people sharing and applying the Word to real life situations. Never feel obligated to finish all the questions. The answers will be posted on the web the next day

The kingdom of God is the rule of God in the hearts of men. God is sovereign in the sense that there is nothing that occurs in the universe that is beyond His control. This will include the presence of evil in the world which is not beyond His sovereign will but not in line with His moral will. He does not desire that men murder and maim each other in the world but allows that to happen instigated by Satan but even this evil will in the end serve to achieve the final outcome which will be the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. That He allows evil to persist in on earth is due to His long suffering and patience in not instituting divine retribution and judgement at this time but has reserved it for the final day of judgement. We live in the world in a period where the kingdom of God has been inaugurated by the ministry of Christ and there are pockets of the world where the church is where His will is clearly seen and lived out in conformity to His moral will. Yet there is a tension where the world is not completely living according to God’s moral will as it is in heaven simply because of God’s patience and plan. He is still sovereign in that He permits the evil and uses the evil to achieve His ultimate purposes. This is best illustrated by the life of Joseph who summed up the evil events in his life where his brothers had sold him into slavery but the events transpired to propel him to the highest office in the land to fulfill God’s purposes. The brothers meant their actions to be evil and were accountable to God for them but God used their evil actions and the consequences to propel Joseph through a series of “coincidental “ events to the highest office in the land. Hence you can ask “Was God sovereign in the presence of evil?” Yes He was in the sense that He allowed the brothers to brutally throw Joseph into the pit. This brutal act was not in line with His moral will as He desires no evil to happen to anyone. So in a sense from the outside it would seem that God was powerless to help Joseph in his hour of need nor to prevent the committing of the evil of sin on him. However coincidentally God brought slave traders right at that moment for Joseph to be sold them. This act of selling him to slave traders is also an evil committed by the brothers for the motive of greed and hatred but permitted by God who used this event to bring Joseph to Egypt so he would be in the position for his eventual rise to power. One day there will no longer be any evil and both His sovereign will and moral will , will both be one and the same.

We learn to pray in the order of importance and when we pray and bring our needs first what we are saying is that the world revolves around us and our needs. When we pray for His kingdom we are praying in line with the massive reality that this is God’s world and if we truly love Him then His will and His desires and His kingdom comes first and for most in our minds and hearts and desires. Doing this allows us to see the world in its total reality not in a false reality of our own self centered life distorted by sin.

This is an example in the OT of His truly faithful believers who demonstrate their faith by feeling and living according to His will and desires. They desire what God desires and feels as He feels and hence when there is much evil in the city which goes against God’s nature and will the natural reaction is to recoil against this and mourn and lament. God put the mark on them as a sign of security He knows those who are truly His not just those who say they are the chosen race physically but spiritually they do not share the spiritual DNA nor aspirations of their King.

The beatitudes highlight blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness as this is in the Center of their born again hearts. They no longer think and feel like the rest of the world but like their Saviour.

This teaches us not to be blind to the sin and suffering of our city, not to be swept up in the mad rush of materialism and godless culture and hard heartedness towards the poor. It warns us because if we do not feel and mourn in this similar way we might not be indeed be the people with the sign on our foreheads, the faithful of God, the blessed in the beatitudes.

Jesus had already explicitly said to the authorities in his interrogation that His kingdom was not of this world in the sense that it is not a political entity as man cannot be truly changed from the outside from the rules and regulations of the state even a Christian state but only the being born again.

The focus of the Lord’s Prayer is on the Lord and not on us and how we can get Him to answer our prayers. Sin is a self centered grab for power and control in our lives. Adam and Eve were not contented to live under God’s control, they wanted the right to determine for themselves what was good and evil. Repentance is moving from in dependence to God dependence there is nothing better than the request for daily sustenance to deal with our sense of independence. Hence the miracle of the manna was structured in such a way that the manna could only last one single day hence the concept of daily dependence was reinforced there. Hence Jesus is not against EPF savings but desires us to develop the habit for daily dependence. Even our EPF savings or bank accounts are not fool proof protection against the uncertainties of life which we must realise and not withstanding our savings we must have to the attitude of daily dependence on Him.

No, we learn from James 1 that God does not tempt anyone to sin . The three possible meanings of periasmos are temptations , trials and temptations that can potentially lead to a fall away from Him. Satan is the one that tempts us, God on the other hand uses the same ordeal to strengthen us and the same event but for the purpose of growing us. When we pray that He not lead us into temptation we are asking for His mercy to spare us from the temptations that can lead us to fall like Peter and the disciples. In Ephesians 6 we read that our struggle is not against physical enemies but against powerful spiritual forces hence only way we can endure is to utilise spiritual forces that are commensurate with the threat hence the need for prayer.

Forgiveness is in the attitude and spiritual DNA of believers as they are all forgiven of sins and crimes much larger and more serious than what grievances or injustices others have committed against them hence if God can forgive them the king in the parable of the ungrateful sinner so they too must be so transformed to forgive others. There is no quid pro quo here where we forgive others in order to earn forgiveness for ourselves. In the parable , the king had already forgiven the enormous debt the servant long before the servant was confronted with the loan default of 100 talents by the other servant. Forgiveness or rather true experience of repentance and forgiveness must be accompanied by a transformation of character.

Swee Leong was a regular at the prayer meeting and was very enthusiastic in his sharing of how God worked in his life. He prayed for a good job and the Lord lead his boss to promote him twice. Whenever he had to go shopping at the `Sunway Pyramid no matter how crowded the place was with a simple prayer he always got a parking spot. He was praying hard to enter a bowling competition as it was his life long dream to excel in bowling but he was not doing well at the start of the competition but after a quick prayer he had 4 strikes in a row and won the gold medal in the State competition. He prayed for a beautiful girlfriend and God led him to his old class mate whom he recently met again and she was stunning and they are now dating. Swee Leong always makes it to the Sunday Service, always gives his tithes. He always steps forward to prayed over by the elders for blessings.

A. What is your initial impression of Swee Leong’s prayer life? Is it powerful and dynamic given this description?
B. Are there any dangers to his current attitudes towards God and prayer?
C. How can he deepen his prayer life?

Francis wanted to spend more time preaching Gods word to his community. He wanted to be financially independent to enable him to do this. So he sold off his car and put the money in the stock market and challenged God in pray that God will bless him with financial rewards so that he would be able to do the Lords work. The market was booming and he was making a lot of money and he was so encouraged that God answered his prayer and he became bolder and asked that he be blessed even more so he could start a fund to start an NGO to help the poor in his community.

Soon others heard about his faith and also wanted to be blessed in this manner and approached him to ask how they too could have the faith to pray like this and be blessed.
A. What do you think about Francis way of going about funding himself?
B. Do you think that the prayer for daily bread will legitimately include making a killing on the stock market?
C. What do you think of the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chron 4: 10 “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request” Doesn’t this verse legitimise our requests for good returns from the stock market?

Answers are available.