Focus: Praying, ‘Your Kingdom come’
Matthew 6:9-13 Our Father 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 forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
There is a lot of controversy about the kingdom of God. Ask a dozen people what they believe about the kingdom of God and you may get a dozen answers. There are a few ways we could interpret what Jesus might have meant as He said ‘Your kingdom come’ in the Lord’s prayer. Going back to the moment He spoke the words to His disciples—let’s recall they have just heard Jesus tell them to address Jehovah as ‘Our Father’—His and theirs. As He continues explaining to the disciples how they should pray—now He is saying to ‘Our Father’, ‘Your kingdom come’.
As the disciples hear Jesus say, ‘Your kingdom come’ it could be natural for the disciples to think Jesus is confirming something they may have already been suspecting. The concept of the kingdom of God is a little sketchy to them but they might have believed that a new political state was going to be established with Jesus as the ruler. They could have been thinking they would be leaders, too—or at least assistants to Jesus in this new kingdom. It’s hard to know, for sure.
These chosen twelve were tightly knit to Jesus. They had been hand picked by Him as His inner circle of friends and followers. They had learned so much from Him during their time together—yet on several occasions in the Bible, we observe how things Jesus was trying to teach them went right over their heads.
Jesus used Himself as an example to His disciples. He acted out the power of God for them. Jesus demonstrated the kingdom of God to His disciples through His ability to perform all kinds of miracles. Another way Jesus demonstrated the kingdom of God was by the way He spoke. His words carried divine authority that caused change to take place. Jesus told several stories called ‘parables’ that were almost ‘childlike’ in His efforts to try to help His disciples and others grasp what the kingdom of God was like. The common thread of these parables is seen as Jesus explains in different ways that the kingdom of God is a power that may seem small and almost invisible at first, but later grows to great proportions.
Even though Jesus lived and operated in holy authority—He was also the perfect example of one who was in complete submission. As the Son of God, He was in a position to have avoided the humility and death He suffered—yet He loved obedience and was completely faithful to the plan of God’s kingdom, which included that His life’s purpose on earth was to be offered as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. He was in such absolute agreement with the kingdom of God that He was willing to literally lay down His life. The ultimate demonstration to the disciples of the power of God is revealed as Jesus not only is resurrected from the dead—but ascends into heaven. Once again, Jesus is modeling what will one day happen for His disciples–and all of us who believe in Him.
Jesus wanted His disciples to do all of the things He did—but more than just ‘do things’—He wanted them to be carriers of the kingdom of God in terms of the authority that was His. When Jesus prayed ‘Your kingdom come’, it could be He was saying in a sense, ‘let Your authority flow through all people who are My followers. Let your power give believers the ability to do all of the things I have been showing them how to do. Let their lives spread Your love and righteousness throughout the world as they demonstrate and distribute what they have seen, learned, and received.
When we pray The Lord’s Prayer and say, ‘Your kingdom come’, we should be saying in our heart—“Let all of Your followers be living models to the world of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ—so that Your eternal love and righteousness will reign throughout the world.”
If we choose to live with kingdom vision—we choose also to draw strength from the power of God and find victory over depression and dependency. We commit to make the right choice when temptation comes. If drugs or alcohol are offered to us we say, “No thanks, I’ll take the kingdom of God, instead. I don’t need that—I have something better”. We joyfully accept the responsibility as heirs of Jesus Christ to live a life that honors His example. We gladly seek the kingdom of God more than anything else on earth.
Declaration: I will find new strength by studying the scriptures about the kingdom of God. I will do my best to learn all I can about the life of Jesus—so my life will be a faithful example of His love. I am committed to be a carrier of what I have seen, learned, and received about the kingdom of God. I will live to demonstrate and distribute the truth of His love and righteousness throughout the world.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book at the end of 2012, by the grace of God.
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