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Green Pastures and Still Waters

We often call it “The Lord’s Prayer.”  For years I did not take it very seriously.  To me it was the common prayer of another denomination but it wasn’t “Baptist” to pray the “Our Father.”  Thankfully that perspective changed for me many years ago.  John Lewis was teaching a Sunday School Class and I had the privilege of being a student.  It occurred to me for the first time as John taught, that Jesus actually said, “This, then, is how you should pray…”  Jesus said that!  Jesus, the Savior, the Son of God, the Lord of glory taught us to pray in a certain manner.  Without being melodramatic, learning to pray the disciple’s prayer rocked my world.  To this day “the prayer” is my outline for conversation with God.  I can’t believe I missed it for so long.  It is not the only prayer in the Bible and it is not the only thing we should pray but until we learn how to pray as Jesus taught I’m not sure we’ll get much farther in the school of prayer.  Lord willing we’ll be able to gather for worship and study this coming Sunday.  Pastor Bouman was prepared to speak on “the prayer” last week and I have asked him to preach what he prepared this coming week.  The content of this instruction is very important for anyone and everyone who is seeking to follow Jesus Christ and become like Him.  I hope you’ll come with a ready heart and an open mind to receive the instructions of Jesus; you might even want to pray before you come, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Do you like some smells that drive other people crazy?  Isn’t that weird?  I like the smell of gun-powder, some people think it stinks.  I like the smell of the farm, some people think it stinks.  On the other hand, some people wear perfume that smells like Lilacs, I don’t care for that smell.  Some people like strong candles, they usually give me a headache.  Did you know the gospel has a smell?  To some people it is the stench of death to others it is the aroma of life.  The Lord Jesus is diffusing the knowledge of Himself through believers everywhere they go.  Some people like the smell of the gospel and some hate it.  This is so strange.  Why would anyone say that the gospel, the good news, is like the stench of death?  The stench of death is a smell that everybody loathes but the gospel doesn’t smell bad to me.  In fact, the gospel is the life of God through Jesus Christ both now and forever!  We hope to discuss this strange phenomenon this coming Sunday as we study the trip Paul and Barnabas took to Iconium.  Some people loved what they were sharing and some people hated it so much they ran them out of town.  How does the gospel smell to you?