“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.” Matthew’s gospel recognizes that the world is the scene of contending forces that hold people captive. People do not live in neutral space. The powers of evil are manifest in diseases of mind and body, the falsehoods that people claim are true, and the sins that destroy individuals and communities. To pray that God’s kingdom will come is to ask that God’s power to create will prevail over forces that destroy, and that his power to redeem will bring release from bondage.
God’s kingdom comes through his Messiah, who was enthroned through crucifixion, revealing a kingdom characterized by sacrifice and resurrection. In heaven, God’s will is unopposed, for there sin and death have no place. As long as sin and death are active, people are moved to pray that God’s life-giving purposes may be carried out on earth as they are in heaven.
Paul challenged Titus with these words in Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. ANTICIPATION FUELS MOTIVATION!!! You might be thinking, “Pastor, I am hopeless!” ARE YOU WITHOUT CHRIST? AS A BELIEVER, ARE YOU PRAYERLESS? Our HOPE as Christians, is renewed through PRAYER. PRAYER is a purposeful, mindful and heartfelt pursuit of God and His Kingdom. PRAYER is evidence, that our faith is alive and bent upon seeing Jesus face to face! LOOKING FORWARD BY FAITH PRODUCES HOPE!
Friday, February 27, 2015 ~ Let the SON shine! We don’t have to live in cloudy, dark days. We have Jesus! John knew this truth, he said in John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Darkness tends to creep up on us, that’s why it is so important for us as followers of Christ to keep our eyes and hearts focused on HIM! Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. YES! Let your light so shine… LET OTHERS SEE JESUS IN YOU!
Jesus said some radical things to His disciples! For example, He told them in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Think about that… Jesus said the defining mark… the distinctive mark of His disciples would be “ye have love one to another.” Look around you, there are broken and hurting people everywhere. They work with us, they are in our families, they are our best friends! What do they need? They need to know that Jesus loves them and that we love them! Keep in mind that Jesus was about to experience hatred on steroids! Yet, on the cross, Jesus prayed for them! That’s love!!! Understanding His love will no doubt help us to love others as Jesus loved us!
John Chrysostom on the petition “Thy Kingdom Come,” And this again is the language of a right-minded child, not to be riveted to things that are seen, neither to account things present some great matter; but to hasten unto our Father, and to long for the things to come. And this springs out of a good conscience, and a soul set free from things that are on earth. This, for instance, Paul himself was longing after every day: wherefore he also said, that “even we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan, waiting for an adoption, the redemption of our body.”
Think with me for a moment about what it means to “follow after” our Lord Jesus! Jesus made it clear that His desire was “to do the will of Him that sent Me.” I have been asking myself these questions for days now. Am I “following after” Christ as Paul said in Philippians 3:12… am I “following after” Christ as Jesus did His Father’s will? No doubt these are challenging questions! Laying down anything and everything that would keep us from Christ is essential to our daily walk as Christians. Paul reminds us in Philippians 3 that we are to actively and aggressively pursue Christ. Paul defines this pursuit in Philippians 2:12 with this phrase, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” You might remember this statement from last Sunday’s message, “You don’t get 17 inch biceps by drinking coffee and eating donuts at Dunkin Donuts!!! Working out and following after produces blood, sweat, and tears! Brothers and sisters, “Follow after” Christ… “Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling/upward call of God in Christ Jesus!
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 ~ Nostalgic moment… just thinking about when Cheryl and I were raising our two sons! Last Sunday brought back some tremendous memories. I have often thought, “I would go back to those days anytime.” And I would!!! Sure we had struggles, just like you have struggles. But it was worth it all! Raising children to honor the Lord and to serve Him is certainly a worthwhile challenge! All of this and more came rushing back into my heart and mind as we prayed over these precious families and these beautiful babies! I want to encourage you in your role as parents. You will never regret living to honor Jesus and encouraging your children to do the same! Cheryl and I are committed to assisting you in any way we can.
Tomorrow night is our POTLUCK DINNER! Every month or so we do this to give our cooks a brief rest. Plus, we get to share with others and fellowship together as we eat! That is always a good time! There is something special about eating together. Jesus and His disciples often ate together. What did they talk about, what were the topics of conversation, that would be interesting to know? I hope you can make it… come on over, you will enjoy yourself and who knows, you might even make a new friend or two!
I appreciate your prayers as we look forward to this Sunday’s message from Matthew 6:9. This passage is definitely challenging in many ways, but also a great blessing as well. Sunday morning we will be looking at the phrase, “Hallowed be Thy Name.” Think about it and see how the Lord speaks to your heart! Invite someone to join you this Sunday! Sunday we had a great crowd and many of you brought friends and co-workers… God bless you! I look forward to seeing you tomorrow night and if not, I’ll see you Sunday!