Thy Kingdom…Thy Will be Done…

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

You can’t say this prayer and without surrendering your kingdom. To say this prayer and mean it assumes surrendering our dreams, our loyalties, our preferences, and our kingdom plans.

Did you know that God is not a republican? God is not a democrat. In fact, God is not even American! You see, Jesus tells us that “God so loved the WORLD that he gave his only Son, that whosoever would believe in him will have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done…”

You may not agree with President Trump. You may not even like him. But did you know when God thought about eternity, God could not imagine spending eternity without him in it. So God sent his Son to die for President Trump. That’s how much God loves him.

You may not agree with Joe Biden. You may not even like him. But do you know when God thought about eternity, God could not imagine spending eternity without him in it. So God sent his Son to die for Joe Biden. That’s how much God loves him.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done…”

Christian, you can’t say this prayer without surrendering your kingdom.

Agape People

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

This is one of the most well known passages of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The love in our text in the Greek is agape. To agape means to take pleasure in, and long for. So what is the believer to take pleasure in and long for? We are to take pleasure in the things that Christ takes pleasure in, and long for the things that Christ longs for.

For the believer to agape literally means preferring to live through Christ. To agape means actively doing what the Lord prefers. To agape means that Christ is living his life through the believer.

In a world that has hyper-emphasized personal preference, personal opinions, personal tastes, personal rights, this is a good corrective.

In a world that is as divided as our’s, this is a necessary corrective.

I want you to read the text again. Except this time, wherever the word love appears instead put yourself instead so that it reads:

  • I am patient
  • I am kind
  • I am not envious
  • I am not boastful
  • I am not arrogant
  • etc.

Take a moment to write out this passage in the above way on a piece of paper and make it your prayer for today.

It is my prayer we Christ-followers at the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace are known as agape people.

Sin…What’s the Big Deal?

“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.
O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!”
(Psalm 81:11-13)

What’s wrong with pursuing my career with all my heart, soul, and might instead of pursuing God with all my heart, soul, and might?

What’s so wrong with lust? It doesn’t hurt anyone.

Why does God even care about greed? Who’s it really hurting?

Why does God make such a big deal about sin? What’s the big deal with sin? As long as I am not killing someone or hurting someone, why should God care?

Why should God care? Hmmm.

There are multiple reasons why God cares so much about sin:

  1. Sin destroys. Sin kills. Sin separates us from God’s will.
  2. Because God wants to bless us. But sin makes God’s blessings impossible.
  3. Sin is an abhorrence to God because it goes against everything God stands for.

We are badly mistaken when we think the punishment and the impact of sin begins at the final judgment. The punishment for sin begins the moment we sin. All the consequences of sin – the addictions, broken relationships, all the destruction, broken lives – this is where the punishment begins.

But punishment for sin doesn’t end there. Punishment becomes eternal as sin leads to eternal separation from God and to eternal damnation.

Why should God care about sin? Perhaps the question we ought to be asking is why don’t we take sin more seriously?

Boy, this reflection is a downer!

It can seem that way. But look at God’s heart: “O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!” (Psalms 81:13). God wants to bless us. God wants to shower his love and grace upon us. The pathway to God’s blessing is walking in his ways.

God wants us to live in his shalom, his peace. God absolutely loves us. God wants only what is best for us. God knows what is best for us even better than we do.

Listen to him.

Walk in his ways.