"And it came to pass…that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God."
Luke 8: 1
"Thy Kingdom Come"
Matthew 6: 10
"God is over all things, under all things; outside all, within but not enclosed; without but not excluded; alone but not raised up; below but not depressed; wholly above, presiding; wholly beneath, sustaining; wholly without, embracing; wholly within, filling."
Hildebart of Lavadin
"God's Kingdom" - God's eternal, spiritual sovereignty and the realm over which His rule extends.
What does it mean to me to have God's sovereign rule over my life?
"To want all that God wants, always to want it, for all occasions and without reservations, that is the Kingdom of God which is all within."
When I was in high school and had a world history class that focused on the study of countries around the globe, it didn't take long to recognize that there were, throughout history, major empires whose rulership dominated not only massive geographic areas but also a vast population of humans.
In ancient times we find the Babylonian, Persian, Ottoman, Greek and Roman Empires. Beginning in the 16th century, the Spanish Empire spread its reign around the globe - even boasting that it was an empire on which the sun never set. In the 19th century, during the Victorian era, the British Empire claimed it was now the empire on which the sun never set.
These empires on planet earth, the little round ball you and I inhabit, practically speaking, were defined by two specific characteristics. First, empires have most importantly been identified with the person who led or ruled the Empire. And second, the geography - other countries - under the dominion of the Empire, also helped define it. For example, Nebuchadnezzar is associated with Babylon. Queen Victoria with Britain.
I give this little lesson on Empires because the Lord's Prayer is a study on kingdom or empire development and rule. Not for global or political or strategic reasons -but for the heart-by-heart rulershp of our Heavenly Father in each of His children.
On day one of our in-depth look at the perfect prayer - the Lord's Prayer - we recognized the relationship we have with God. He is our Father. And we came to understand that while we are reminded in this prayer that God, our Father, is in heaven - this fact is not to discourage us because we find Him to be distant - instead, we are encouraged because we find Him so capable. He runs the universe. That gives me courage to understand He can run my life, too. But even more, the Lord's Prayer helps us focus on the fact that God is the Someone I look up to in my life. And the respect I develop and place on my Heavenly Father is translated directly into self-respect, believing I am valuable, worthwhile and treasured.
Today we add another building block to the step-by-step process of comprehending more about our Father as we communicate verbally in prayer.
Our phrase today is Matthew 6: 10, "Thy kingdom come." I want to look at this phrase as it was written originally in Greek. "Thy" means God, our Father. "Kingdom" means reign or royal rulership. "Come" means appears, enters, is set. So now let's write this phrase as defined:
"God's reign enters."
"God's royal rulership is set."
"God's Empire is sovereign in the universe."
Don't you just love that? Every time you and I pray the words of the Lord's Prayer, we are telling our dear Father, that we want His reign to be set. Sealed. Finalized! And I will add this, when I speak the words, "Thy kingdom come." The word "come" is used as a present tense verb which says you and I want God's rulership to begin now. This means I want God to be the royal ruler of my life now. We don't have to wait for some future event or great day for God's empire to be sovereign. We can have God's kingdom in our hearts, right now.
Often, I know in my own life, I look forward with anticipation to a holiday or vacation or celebration. In the Lord's Prayer, we are invited to celebrate now. Celebrate the Kingdom of God's arrival in our hearts - not in some future time - but every minute of every day. As evangelist Billy Graham so correctly points out, there's one thing needed for God's rulership: "The kingdom of God needs you." For God to establish His everlasting empire and dominion in my life, all He needs is for me to say, "I'm yours. I want your royal reign to be supreme in my life, today."
"The Kingdom of God is simply God's power enthroned in our hearts. Faith in the Kingdom of God is what makes us light of heart and what Christian joy is all about."
"After this manner therefore pray ye:
‘Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy 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 lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from evil: For
Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the
Glory, for ever. AMEN.'"
Matthew 6: 9-13
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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