Thursday, February 25, 2016

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father.....Matthew 6:19

.....Observe the great condescension of Christ, that poor creatures are allowed to claim an interest in God.  If Christ had not put these words in our mouths, we never had had boldness to have gone to God, and said, 'Doubtless thou art our Father.'  But he which was in the bosom of God, and knew his secrets, hath told us it is very pleasing to God we should use this compellation to him.  This is a privilege which cannot be sufficiently valued; if we consider:—

     1.  The unworthiness of the persons which enjoy it:  poor dust and ashes, sinful creatures, that were children of the devil, that we should lay claim and title to God for our Father.  And,

     2.  If we consider the greatness of the privilege itself:  'Oh, behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called his children!' 1 John 3:1.  We think it much when we can say, This field, this house is mine; but surely this is more, to say, This God is mine.

     Again, observe here that interest is a ground of audience.  So Christ would have us begin our prayers, 'Our Father.'  God's interest in us, and our interest in God.  God's interest in us:  when Christ mediates for his disciples, he saith, John 17:6, 'Thine they were, and thou gavest them me.'  And David:  Ps. 119:94, 'I am thine, save me.'  That is his argument:  the reason is, because God, by taking them for his own, binds himself to pre-serve and keep them.  Everybody is bound to look to his own:  'He that provides not for his own is worse than an infidel.'  Now what a sweet thing is it when we can go to God and say, We are thine!  So it is the same, as to our interest in God.  It is an excellent encouragement:  Ps. 42:11, 'Hope thou in God,' saith David to his soul.  Why?  For he is my God.  And elsewhere, reasoning with himself:  Ps. 23:1, 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.'  First, his covenant-interest is built, and then conclusions of hope.  So 2 Sam. 30:6, 'David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.'  It is sweet when we can go to God as our God..... Why is interest such a sweet thing?  Because by this relation to God we have a claim to God, and to all that he can and will do.  God hath made over himself, quantus quantus est, as great as great he is, for his use and comfort.  Therefore the psalmist saith, Ps. 16:5, 'The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup.'  A believer hath as sure a right and title to God, as a man hath to his patrimony to which he is born, or as any Israelite had to that share which came to him by lot; so he may lay claim to God, and live upon his power and goodness, as a man doth upon his estate.
                                                                                                                                         Thomas Manton

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