April 19, 2024

Matthew 6:13 “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” 

Hey Advent Family, 

Some might notice that this final statement may not be included in some of the versions of the bible that you are reading from. Some scholars say that it wasn’t included in the original manuscripts.  Others say that there is reference to it in early church father’s writings so it should be included. We pray it every Sunday with it included, so it’s safe to say I’m in good company here : ) 

As Jesus wraps up his prayer, He is teaching the disciples, He gives us a sandwiched ending that is reminiscent of its beginning. Three things he emphasizes, the kingdom, the power, and the glory, all of these belonging to God. Just like the beginning of this prayer, He refocuses our attention and thoughts to our heavenly Father.  In an unequivocal statement declares that God is king, omnipotent, and worthy of all glory, always and forever.  What a way to end it! 

This ending reminds me of another ending. When king David in the bible came to the end of his reign and was told by the prophet Nathan that he couldn’t build the temple, he did the next best thing, he prepared all the plans and resources to build the temple for his son Solomon. Talk about a man after God’s own Heart! Rather than getting bitter and rebellious because God forbade him to do so, he chose to set his son up for success.   As all these resources are gathered and stored, plans already laid out for his son to finish the work, he bursts into an amazing prayer, read along, and see how similar it is and shares the same sentiments of our great God.

1 Chronicles 29:10-13 10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

As we come to a close of our series through the Lord’s prayer, what better way than to acknowledge and declare that the Kingdom, power and Glory all belong to Him. Remember just like David no matter what the circumstances, whether we get our way or not, that the kingdom, power and glory all belong to God. It’s all about God. It was a great time going through this prayer together! My hope and prayer is that over the last eight days you have gained new insight and grown closer to God.  And as you say this prayer moving forward that you would not let it become a routine, or a habit, or an afterthought of just going through the motions, but that you would reflect on each statement with understanding and great awe and reverence for the prayer that Jesus taught us about our heavenly Father, 

And remember 

Jesus loves you, and so do I!

Pastor Will 


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April 18, 2024

Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

“Following the leader”

“Following the leader, the leader, the leader. Following the leader wherever he may go!” My daughter Gloria comes home singing this song from Advent ECS, saying “daddy you must follow the leader, follow me daddy!” Jesus teaches the disciples to pray to the Father that he would not lead us to temptation but deliver them from the evil one. This indirectly instructs us many things but mainly two that stand out to me today.  

First, our heavenly Father is the leader.  He is the one who is leading us. If we are faithful to him, we are following. Some might think that praying this way insinuates that if we don’t pray this way that the He will lead us to temptation, but James 1:13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” So, we know he will not do that. It’s more like a father leading a child down a winding hill with dangerous curves and steep run offs. That father will lead their child away from danger to stay in safety, to get down the hill.  When we pray for the father to lead us, we acknowledge he is the leader and we are following, that as he leads, he will guide us away from temptations that we are prone to fall into. We are prone to wander on our own aren’t we, in our thoughts, our habits, our conversations, we need the Father to lead us into safety in these areas every day,  

The second thing is that there is evil out there, an evil one who wants to cause us harm. We need the Father to protect us from our wandering and to protect us for the one who wants to harm us. The enemy, Satan, is on a constant attack against the children of God, whether we realize it or not. I think both of these asks in the Lord’s prayer are a request and a reminder that we need the Father’s constant leading and protection.  It’s like we are in a War that has already been won, but there are still pockets of resistance out there that are trying to cause us damage in our journey of faith.  We don’t have to be afraid or fear because we have the victory, but the battle is still very real. Take Paul’s encouragement in
1 Corinthinas 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.


James 4:17 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

So, as you pray the Lord’s prayer today, pause and remember this when asking for the Fathers leading and deliverance, He is faithful to do it. “Following the leader, the leader, the leader…”

And Remember 

Jesus Loves you, and so do I!

Pastor Will 

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April 17, 2024

Hey Advent Family,

Debts, Trespasses, And Sins, Oh My!

Matthew 6:12 “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

I have a friend who when his children were small, 6 and 8 years of age, would put them inside of a too small t-shirt, and force them to stay that way until they would learn to get along and not fight.  You can imagine the faces on those kids when it would happen, eventually they would forgive one another and go back to playing.  Can you imagine if God did that to us, forced us to be in proximity with those who have trespassed against us, sinned against us, were indebted to us because of an offense, hurt or slight. Makes you pause for a second, right.  You may say to yourself, I don’t want to be around that person, no way!  But Jesus shows us the importance of forgiveness here and how paramount it is in our relationship with the Father and with each other. 

Jesus  would never ask of us, or expect of us, that which He himself wasn’t willing to do.  His incarnation was exactly like those kids in that shirt.  How? Well, God the Son put on flesh to enter into our reality, to be close, proximal to those who hated him.  The bible puts it like this in 

Romans 5:10 “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

We were his enemies, we hated him, and He came to us. God wasn’t at fault in this divine equation, humanity was. But God sent his Son to rescue us, to forgive us. Jesus gives us access to that forgiveness, but there is a catch.  If we have been forgiven of much,  then we have a mandate to forgive much.  This is the only statement from His prayer that He reiterates and wants his disciples to get and understand.  He reinforces it with a condition, to make sure that they understood how important it is to forgive. If you have been forgiven of much you must forgive.  Listen to how he says it,

Matt 6:14-15 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Forgiving can be hard in some instances, but God knows exactly what we need and why we need it. So much so, he makes our forgiveness conditional.  If we don’t forgive, we will not be forgiven. Jesus wasn’t mincing words here, its direct and to the point.  As strong as this statement is, I think it has the heart of the Father behind it. God wants what is best for us, and being forgiven is what is best for us, it opens the cage and cycle of unforgiveness we have been trapped in. In turn forgiving others helps us walk out of that cage and experience freedom from the cage of unforgiveness that has been opened. It has been said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It ultimately damages us. 

Will you stop letting it damage you? Will you release others as God has released you? If you are ready, take this moment right now as we pray the Lord’s prayer together.  As you ask your heavenly Father to forgive your debts, trespasses, sins, pause then take a moment to think about the person who you have been holding a grudge with and forgive them as well. Be set free and walk that freedom out through forgiveness.

And remember, 

Jesus loves you and so do I!

Pastor Will 

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April 16, 2024

Hey Advent Family, 

Matthew 6:11 “give us this day our daily bread”

As Jesus shows us how to pray, He starts off with the first four requests in the prayer having nothing to do with our own personal needs or wants.  He sets the tone for us in prayer that we must recognize who God is, Our father.  How great God is, he must be Hallowed. Who the kingdom belongs to, Him. Whose will is best for us and the world, His!  And now He goes into our practical and I would even say our spiritual needs.  Today’s daily bread. 

This reminds me of when I first moved here from New York, I had a roommate. All in all, it was a good experience, we ended up being close friends. One early morning, when we first moved in together, I woke up one morning, famished.  As I dragged myself into the kitchen to make my coffee, and I had some leftovers in the fridge that I was going to warm up, that I was looking forward to. But when I opened the door to the fridge it was nowhere to be found.  Looked in the trash and saw the to go carton in there and I knew exactly who the culprit was. Today I laugh looking back to that morning, but I was not too happy when it happened. Looking back I was able to stop at Starbucks on the way to work and get something to eat. But for the disciples and even Jesus as they were on mission they may not have known where their next meal was coming from.  

Many of us have refrigerators full of food, where we may not even worry or have to think about where our next meal is coming from. This is a blessing that I know I have taken for granted, and maybe you too.  There are many who live among us who experience food scarcity, who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  We serve many of these at our food programs in Lake Worth at Proclaim on Fridays and Saturdays. Many of you are a vital part of this ministry. Does this mean that we still shouldn’t pray for our daily bread? Absolutely not, I think in the practical, we pray for it, and at the same time we thank God for his faithful provision in our lives, and pray for those who don’t have at this time.  To take it even further, I think praying for this provision also highlights and should connect us to how our Heavenly father wants to use us to be that provision for someone else who is in need.  

From the spiritual point of view, we should be reminded “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God” Matt 4:4.  The word of God, The bible  is our spiritual bread that we need for our spiritual sustenance.  And ultimately Jesus is the bread of Life and we should pray and remember to get our portion of Him daily. 

John 6:32-35 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 

So as you pray the Lord’s prayer today, reflect on these truths as you ask for the father to provide today’s daily bread. 

And remember Jesus Loves you, and so do I!

Pastor Will 

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April 15, 2024

Hello Advent Family, 

Matt 6:10 “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus then taught his disciples to pray for the Father’s kingdom to come and for His will to be done, bringing heaven down to earth.  I don’t know about how you feel about it, but we could sure use a lot of heaven down on earth lately. Things in the world seem to be upside down. From the political divide (can it be December already), to cancel culture, war in Ukraine and what seems to be one starting in the Middle East, global warming (if you believe in it).  Humanity, as a whole, seems to be in trouble. It seems the problem that started in the Garden of Eden is still plaguing us today.  What problem? Well Adam and Eve chose “their kingdom” and “their will’s” over God’s. Through them, sin entered the world, and just like them we all have chosen our kingdoms and our will’s over the Father’s, and we have been dealing with this problem ever since. 

Jesus came to rectify this, to reconcile us back to the Father, by showing us that the Father loves us and was willing to give us the ultimate gift, God the Son, to show us the better way, to a better outcome, a better future, one where He is king, and where ultimately His will is best.  Doing for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves, forgiving our sins and giving us eternal life. I know, I know, I’m preaching to the choir here on this one, but this is why Jesus is showing us and teaching us to pray for this to continue. Just because we have a handle of this truth, it doesn’t mean there aren’t those who still need the Father’s kingdom to come and will to be done in their lives. Don’t we need to be reminded of this daily.  Aren’t “we”, humanity as a whole, or “we”, individually, tired of trying to do it our own way yet?  

Romans 12:1-2 Says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

As we pray the Lord’s prayer today, as you ask for the Father’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth and it is in heaven. Pause and think about how we should not conform ourselves to the pattern of this world which is following the pattern of the first Adam and seeking our kingdom and will for our lives. We should transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and follow the pattern of the second Adam, Jesus, who came to show us the Fathers heart, His kingdom, and that His will is best for us, and the world. 

Always remember, Jesus loves you and so do I!

Pastor Will 

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April 12, 2024

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – this is Juliet, in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet , trying to convince herself that Romeo, though he is from her family’s sworn enemy the Montagues, he could be a possible love interest.  Why it’s only a “name”, not he himself.  What is in a name? As we know from how the story turns out, a lot. As Jesus taught his disciples to pray to God as Father, Abba, a more intimate and relational name, he also asked the father to Hallow his name. I don’t know about you, but I don’t speak “King James”.  What was Jesus showing the disciples and us, in asking the Father to hallow his own name?

In asking the Father to hallow his name, Jesus was asking the Father to make his own name holy and sanctified.  In essence, Jesus wants God the Father to reveal himself in such a way that the Fathers glory would be unmistakable, that his holiness would be revered and demonstrated to us and to the world.  That in the saying of His name it would spark awe and reverence.  He is revealing to us that the father is approachable and at the same time awe inspiring and magnificent.

Interestingly, It’s the first thing that Jesus asks for, nothing for himself, nothing for anyone else, but that the father would hallow his name.  Your name is part of your identity who you are. In the bible names are significant, they revealed the character of the individual, their actions who they were 

Psalm 22:1 “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”

It reminds me of a few weeks ago, I was invited to share at Advent schools spirit week to some of our elementary school students.  While sharing I mentioned a name and they went bonkers, okay mostly the girls, but some of the boys too, and no that name wasn’t Jesus, it was Taylor Swift. At just the mentioning of T-Swifts name it sparked an emotion, a feeling, and caused a reaction. Some of you are right now probably humming a song, or rolling your eyes, hahaha.  Think about these, The King of Pop, The Sultan of Swat, the Gipper, did you immediately know who these were referencing.  By their reputations you knew, Michael Jackson, Babe Ruth, Ronald Reagan. Don’t worry, by the end of my talk with the students they were cheering the name of Jesus!  But this is what Jesus is praying for and teaching us to pray for, that the Father’s name would evoke an awe inspiring response and acknowledgement. 

He taught us to pray first, that the father would Glorify his own name, make himself famous in the world based on his character. God is Love, good, truth, gracious, kind, faithful, longsuffering, just, righteous, and merciful, and these are just a few of the characteristics of our Heavenly Father.  Jesus shows us to pray that God would make his name known, showing his glory and his good works throughout the world.  He is a loving Father who loves us and welcomes us into his presence, this should be our priority, not our comfort, not our needs, but that God would make himself famous.  Through this His will will be accomplished in the world, and in and through each of us.  This leads us to tomorrow’s segment as Jesus teaches us to pray for the will of God to be done. 

So as we pray the Lord’s prayer today, reflect on this line, in praying hallowed be thy name, that we truly would look and desire for God to glorify himself in the world and through our lives, that he would make himself famous, so that when his name is mentioned people would burst out in glorious praise and cheer to the only one who is deserving of all the praise, glory, and honor today and forevermore! 

And remember,

Jesus Loves you, and so do I!

Pastor Will 

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April 11, 2024

Matthew 6:9. “…Our Father which art in Heaven,”

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he began and told them to pray in this way, “Our Father which art in heaven,”.  To call the God of the universe Father was not something that was commonplace in Jewish culture. It is alluded to in metaphor and in an allegorical sense in the Old Testament, but the main titles for God were, Yahweh, Elohim, Adonai. So, what was Jesus trying to show his disciples and us, by instructing us to address God as our Father?  

I think Jesus was trying to show them and us that God is accessible, like our earthly fathers are, or should have been (more on this later).  In the Greek the word translates as “pater” meaning father. In the Aramaic which is the language Jesus would have primarily spoken, the word is “Abba” which means father with a deeper sense. Abba also connotes a more intimacy, not just a title, not a pet name like papa, daddy, or poppy, but a name that we can call our God, our Father, our Abba who is in heaven.  

Calling him Abba, also shows respect, in Jewish culture when one would call someone Abba it meant intimacy but also obedience.  Abba is mentioned three times in the New Testament Mark 14:35-36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6.  Specifically, in Romans 8:12-13 and Mark 14:35-36, the use of the term is in the context of submission in suffering.  Paul in Romans, encourages us to put an end to sin in the flesh, dying to oneself. In Mark 14, Jesus praying at the garden of Gethsemane, in his most crucial hour prays to his Abba asking for this cup to pass, but not his will but Abbas be done.  In Galatians 4:4-7, in context we see that by Jesus’ submission to the will of the father, we now are Co-heirs with Christ, sons and daughters born of the Spirit, now inside us that now calls out in obedience like the first Son, Abba! The context of these three uses in the New Testament show intimacy and reflect an obedience to the Fathers will. 

Jesus is showing us that we can have an intimate relationship with the creator and humbly submit to our Abba because he loves us and is trustworthy.  We don’t have to be afraid we can come to him in our most crucial moments individually and collectively as a church and ask for his leading and guiding in our most challenging times.  We have a heavenly Father/Abba who is involved and cares, who fills in the gaps of our earthly fathers, who may not have been perfect, or even been there, or who from their own hands some of us may have suffered by.  Jesus shows us in this one act of calling him Father, that God will redeem all these things. Healing all the Hurts, and restoring all that which was broken, showing us a better way.  Remember what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, which one of us wouldn’t be there for our own children, and God is way better than us!

Matthew 7:7-11

7  “Ask,  and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;  knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

So, as we take a moment to pray the Lord’s prayer today, pause and reflect as you call God your Father in Heaven, take a deep breath and receive the comfort and peace that this simple truth brings.

And always remember,

Jesus loves you, and so do I!

Pastor Will 


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April 10, 2024

Hello Advent family,

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, they had walked with him for some time already. They would have known the standard Jewish prayers, like the Shema -“Hear, O Israel: The LORD  is our God, the LORD is one”, or Psalm 23 “Adonai is our Shepherd…”. Perhaps you have seen this depicted in “The Chosen”, as they have prayed “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe…”.  There is a rich history of prayers from the Jewish heritage and the Old Testament, that they would have been well acquainted with. What sparked this curiosity?

What intrigued them to ask Jesus to show them to pray, what did they observe in His prayers that was different than theirs?  What did they witness in his prayer life that would create a desire to want to be shown how to have this “intimate moment with their God” like their messiah? Jesus answers them with a short but powerful and rich prayer that we all have learned and say on a weekly basis, and for many of us a daily practice. Have you ever considered what does this prayer mean in the life of a follower of Christ? This will be what we as a family will consider over the next few days.  My hope is that as we revisit this beautiful prayer and the depth of its meaning, that it would help us grow closer, deeper, and more intimate in our relationship with our heavenly father. As Jesus prayed at the last supper for his disciples and for us in John 17:21 –

 “21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Emphasis mine) 

That we would be one with Him and the Father, implicates intimacy, vulnerability, and transparency, as we come to the one who loves us so dearly, who would give up that which was most precious, His only son, to rescue and redeem us. To start us off on this short walk through on the prayer that Jesus taught us, take a moment together with me, put the phone down, and let us pray together.  

Matt 6:9-13

9…Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done in earth,

as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, 

and the power, and the glory, forever.



Always remember, 

Jesus loves you, and so do I!

Pastor Will 

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April 5, 2024

Hello Advent Family,

In the Corinthian church there was a problem.  People were following the leader they identified with instead of Jesus who they were called to follow.  Paul reminds them of the truth that it is Jesus who has done the work in their lives not Paul or Apollos or anyone else.  He tries to point them toward a more mature view of their faith and help them to be rooted in the right place. Let’s look at his words together from I Corinthians 3 together today.

For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

I remember when I was first getting involved in ministry as an intern.  I followed my mentor around constantly and wanted to learn and be like him.  He recognized this and quickly straightened me out.  He told me that my attention needed to be more rightly focused on following Jesus and not him.  It was a good and valuable lesson and one that I have held on to, to this day.  We all will have mentors in life but our true role model, our true person to follow is Jesus.  I pray that we might all follow Jesus in the way that He lived, loved, and walked through this life.  

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave

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April 4, 2024

Hello Advent Family,

I can remember the very first sermon that I preached; it feels like it was so long ago that Steve Laine was just a kid.  (By the way, happy 95th birthday buddy!!!) I was quite nervous and worried about what I was going to say and how it would be perceived.  I remember a friend sharing with me the following passage from I Corinthians 2 that made me feel a lot better.  Let’s look at it together today.  

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The message I received that day was the importance of simply pointing people to Jesus.  It is His wisdom that we all need, not human wisdom.  Jesus crucified, risen and coming again is what our faith is truly about.  While we are here on earth seeking to live a life of love like He modeled for us and taught us.  Then when we get the chance to point others to Jesus and His better way of life.  I hope that we all strive to do that well.  We don’t need wise and persuasive words, we simply need Jesus.  

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave

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