"Thy Kingdom Come"

Whenever I do a memorial service, I start by having the people pray together the Lordís Prayer. I do this because it is the most recognizable prayer in the world. Folks who rarely if ever attend church know it, or at least parts of it. One of the parts they know is the phrase, "Thy Kingdom come . . .."

Admittedly, for many, it is rote recitation that has little meaning. Yet still we remember to say it. I believe the reason we remember it is that it is at the core of our relationship with God and is the very essence of prayer. We pray for the Lordís Kingdom to come because that is His will, and somewhere deep inside us all, we know it is important for that to happen.

Jesus told Simon, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." In the same passage Jesus says, "I give you the keys to the kingdom."

The Kingdom of God is a place. Heaven is real, not some imaginary fairyland. But the Kingdom of God also means any place or circumstance in which the authority and the sovereignty of the King is exercised. I wrestle all the time with this dilemma. Should we be activists in a political sense in order to bring about change? Or is our influence to be spiritual? If it is spiritual in nature, how is this influence brought to bear in the affairs of men?

The disciples Jesus addressed when teaching them to pray faced this same dilemma. They were under Roman occupation. There were grave injustices being inflicted on the people of God. Pilate was at a disadvantage also to explain the phenomenon of Jesusí power. "Are you a King?" Jesus replied, "What you say is true, but my Kingdom is not of this world, or else my servants would fight. As it is my Kingdom is of another place." (My paraphrase.)

Being an election year, this is a hot button issue among the politicians and the pundits. Is there such a thing as, "The Evangelical vote" (i.e. the Christian vote)? Clearly, the talking heads on TV have deduced that the influence of folks who identify themselves as born again Christians is enormous.

So this morning I want us to look at the subject, "The kingdom of God in the affairs of men." Jesus was teaching us that we are the agents through which Godís Kingdom purposes are to be enforced on this planet. That is kind of sobering to think about, isnít it?

Letís get into the Word of God this morning and find out how it is that you and I can cooperate with The King to establish His kingdom in our lives, and in the world. As we ponder the grave responsibility of voting in a free republic, let us approach the task in prayer. As we vote, let us pray, "Thy Kingdom Come . . .."

Pastor Jim
February 22, 2008

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