*Thy Kingdom Come* I would like you to think about, the following question – Why did Jesus come and are you fulfilling that reason?
The reason that Jesus came to earth was so simplistic that many people of that day and today fail to see or understand it. And the reason that Jesus came was to establish His kingdom, a kingdom that we all can be a part of. And this Kingdom is to be the first object of human pursuit. Matthew 6:25-34(NKJV) /“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. /
This is a part of the Sermon on the Mount, and in this sermon Jesus defines what God’s kingdom is. Furthermore, He illustrates to us that this Kingdom of God should be our main pursuit in life, our first and foremost pursuit… “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.”
Note that in a previous portion of this sermon, Jesus instructed us how to pray: “Your kingdom come”. An address to God that His kingdom will be foremost in our lives. Alan Redpath made an accurate statement concerning this: “Before we can pray, Lord Thy Kingdom come,’ we must be willing to pray, “My kingdom go. “”
This is to be our pursuit. And we were shown in chapter 10 that God’s kingdom is at hand. It is available to us today – right now.
What is God’s Kingdom?
Throughout time people have tried to figure out God. There was a great tower built that would reach the heavens and exalt man. Emperors of great countries were exalted as gods. Others have tried to figure out God’s every movement and thought (This was a popular pastime of religious leaders of yesterday and even today.) But one of the most consuming pastimes was trying to calculate the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of God’s kingdom. This was something that had been long awaited. It had been spoken of many times in the Old Testament Scriptures:2 Samuel 7:11-16(NKJV) /since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”’”/
This was the greatest promise ever given to man. It was the way unto eternal salvation so people longed for this to come to pass. Now Christ was telling us to seek first the kingdom of God for it was at hand. Yet even the disciples failed to understand what the kingdom of God was. Even at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion those around Christ did not understand.
It is a strange contradiction: Pilate decided to crucify Jesus because he was afraid of the threat of an earthly kingdom that might be set up in opposition to Rome. At the same time, the Jews were calling for the crucifixion because Jesus had refused to set up the very kingdom Pilate feared. These people held a wrong conception/idea of what God’s kingdom was to be. Today there is even some wrong thoughts concerning God’s Kingdom. And as we pray for God’s kingdom to come, we need to be sure we know what that Kingdom is.
Let’s look at what God’s Kingdom is NOT. We’ve already seen that it was not a kingdom as an earthly nation. It was not a kingdom like David had ruled over, which is what the Jewish people had dreamed of. And today it is not as some people think: God’s kingdom is not the church. This is how Jesus could say to the scribes and Pharisees that tax collectors and harlots would go into the Kingdom ahead of them.
The Kingdom Of God reigns in the lives of persons who have accepted the will of God as the dominating presence in their lives. The Kingdom of God is in you and among you when the will of God rules your life. This is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”” The kingdom of God is Christ, His presence in our lives brings us under the leadership of His Spirit. Obedience is the hallmark of the people of His Kingdom. And this is the Kingdom that we are instructed to seek first in our lives. Obedience to every aspect of Christ in our lives. This brings righteousness. Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
In order to do this we must remember something important. We were made for God. We were made to: love Him, serve Him, praise Him, to live in fellowship with Him, and to bear His holy will. This means that the true order of our human pursuits should be: God, others, then self. Or to put it another way: righteousness then duty, then pleasure. We, however, tend to get these three things out of their proper order. This is extremely evident in our society where it is backwards. Pleasure or entertainment has become people’s first passion. Helping or serving others ONLY if it brings us satisfaction. And we are told that there is no God who will tell us what to do. And when we don’t find a bed of roses as Christians we tend to complain. We forget what Jesus taught us. John 16:33(NKJV) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. Psalms 91:1(NKJV) /He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…. No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling./
The place where you are dwelling/at one with God. If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jesus says not to be surprised When they come and there is nothing to fear. However, the same people who refuse to talk about their adversities before they were saved… Often complain and worry after being born again… because they have the wrong idea of what it means to live the life of a saint. God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. The strain of life is what builds our strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength.
Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy. He cannot unless you will accept the strain. And once you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the first step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. (Revelation 2:7). If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common sense standpoint. But the saint/Christian can “be of good cheer” even when he is crushed with difficulties, because the thing is so absurdly impossible to anyone but God.
Jesus instructed us to pray for God’s Kingdom but there is more. We are to seek God’s Kingdom, and we are ALSO to ENTER the kingdom of God. A kingdom that reigns in the hearts of the believers, those who do the will of God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:20(NKJV) /For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven./
In conclusion I again would like to remind you of the question asked at the beginning of this message: Why did Jesus come, and are you fulfilling that reason?
We have seen that Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God, a kingdom which reigns in the hearts of those who are wholly dedicated to Jesus Christ. Those who are totally accepting and doing the will of God in their lives. It is these people who are the kingdom of God. It is not a church. It is the people who have Christ in their hearts. These people then can make up the church.
Where are you today? Are you a part of the Kingdom of God? Have you accepted Jesus Christ? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
Rev. James Craig