Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
King James Version
“The Power and Glory”
“Wherever the bounds of beauty, truth, and goodness are advanced, God’s kingdom comes.”
How does God’s reign, power and glory affect my life?
“Christ has turned all our sunsets into dawn.”
Clement of Alexandria
For the past two weeks we have studied what many call the perfect prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, as recorded in Matthew 6.
The end of the prayer closes with what some call a benediction – a last few lines that say: “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” Matthew 6:13, Amplified Bible.
While many thoughtful Biblical scholars consider this portion of the Lord’s Prayer to be an addition to the original, I believe it makes a wonderful closing to the Lord’s Prayer for we acknowledge that God reigns supreme. His rulership on this earth and more personally, in my life, is sovereign. As Jonathon Edwards so eloquently wrote: “Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. God’s sovereignty has ever appeared to me, a great part of His glory. It has often been my delight to approach God, and adore Him as a sovereign God.”
But there’s more when we pray these words. We also acknowledge God is all-powerful. My strength comes from Him. “All the resources of God are at our disposal!” writes Jonathon Goforth. This isn’t all – even though it seems like so much! We also acknowledge that all the glory belongs to God. He is to be praised for all He has done for me. These words express the result of God’s glory in my life and yours: “The glory of God is woman and man fully alive; and the life of every woman and man consists in beholding God” (Irenacus).
The Lord’s Prayer ends with the word “forever.” Recently I read a quote by Richard Baxter, an English evangelist in the 1600’s. I pray you will find these words as comforting as I did, because for me, they shed new light on how blessed you and I are to have God’s reign, power and glory in our lives FOREVER!
“Is it a small thing in your eyes to be loved by God – to be the son, the spouse, the love, the delight of the King of glory. Christian, believe this, and think about it: you will be eternally embraced in the arms of the love which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting – of the love which brought the Son of God’s love from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory – that love which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spat upon, crucified, pierced – which fasted, prayed, taught, healed, wept, sweated, bled, died. That love will eternally embrace you.”
The Lord’s Prayer
“Our Father in Heaven: Abba, Father, we come as your children. Your majesty and love have been shown to us through Jesus Christ. We praise and adore you that millions of people in all walks of life, in every corner of the earth, can call you Father. You are the great creator, and yet you are the caring, watchful Father found close to all humanity, God, when we call you Father, remind us that at the same time we are calling one another brother and sister.
Hallowed be your name: Father, make your name holy in our minds and hearts. Teach us that special reverence and love which only you deserve.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth and in heaven: God, when we pray “your kingdom come,” we are cooperating with you in your desire to rule in the hearts of all people. To find and do your will may bring opposition. Lord, we feel the need to stop and sense the security of your eternal kingdom, whose values never change. Make us open to your will that your kingdom may come on earth.
Give us this day our daily bread: All good gifts of the earth come from your generous hands. Yet this abundance is not equally shared among us. While some are satisfied, others are starving. We know that, one day, we who have plenty will be called to give account of how we have cared for those in need. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us: Lord, we have done wrong. Through your mercy, we are invited to receive your forgiveness, and to overcome the hardness of our hearts. In that spirit we are able then to forgive the injustices and hurts we receive from others. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: We know the pressure of personal temptation, the pressure to take the easy way, to take the dishonest shortcut, to follow the crowd. Lord, we need deliverance from evil in our own situations.
“God of life, power and love, strengthen us in resolve to do your will and to abide in goodness, whatever the cost.”
Women of Burma
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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