On Sunday we continued our teaching series on the Lord’s prayer with “Your Kingdom Come” and we were treated to prize winning lemon drizzle cake courtesy of Robert Young. He had entered the Charing Heath Fete cake competition the day before and won 2nd prize, well done Robert!
“Your Kingdom Come”. Here, in so short a phrase, is the whole purpose of life!
When we pray this, we are affirming that God is King, as it says in Psalms 47 “For the Lord most high is awesome, the great King over all the earth”. We who have put our trust in Jesus Christ are not only citizens of God’s Kingdom, but we are also children of the King. In Matthew 5 it says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven….. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God. When we pray “Thy Kingdom come” it is not in vain for God’s Kingdom is going to come, of that we can be sure. God is not going to just give us a weekly pass or allow us to visit, he is actually giving us the Kingdom.
When Jesus was arrested just before his crucifixion, he tried to explain the Kingdom to Pilate. “My Kingdom is not of this world, if it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest, but now my Kingdom is from another place (John 18). Pilate was a Roman and when he heard the word Kingdom, he thought in terms of authority, force, armies and battles. But God’s Kingdom isn’t like that. In fact quite the reverse. Jesus told his disciples. “whoever among you wants to be great, must be the servant and whoever wants to be first, must be last. For even the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Time and again, Jesus served others, thought of others long before himself. He washed his disciples’ feet, he healed the sick who were brought to him even though he was tired and hungry.
There are instances through history where men of great faith have given their lives for others, story of a Jewish priest in the concentration camps who offered his life in place of anther. On the Titanic 2 priests gave up their life jackets to others and then sat arm in arm, praying, accepting their fate. The ultimate sacrifice. How many of us here would be willing to do that? It makes us a bit uncomfortable.
One day Christ will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords as it says in Revelations, he will usher in a new heaven and a new earth. In the meantime though, we should not sit back and wait. We are called to shine as lights, to advertise by our words and deeds the glory of Jesus Christ. We also need to be very aware that we don’t know when the Kingdom is coming, so we don’t want to be caught short. If Jesus walked in here now, would we all feel comfortable with our lives, would we be happy to share everything we do, would He be pleased with all aspects of our lives? Maybe today is the day to review your life, all aspects of it and see if we could be doing more to serve others.
Praying “Your Kingdom Come” involves more than simply uttering 3 simple words. It demands the devotion and dedication of our entire being to Jesus as we eagerly anticipate seeing Him. Heaven is not simply a destination, it should be our motivation.
Finally we need to ask ‘What would our Father have us to do for His Kingdom? What part can we play? What gifts, what windows of opportunity, has our Heavenly Father given us to help build, strengthen or establish His Kingdom locally, nationally, internationally?’ Here, in so short a phrase, is the whole purpose of life! ‘Your kingdom come.’