God’s Kingdom

Matthew 6:7-15 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread,12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Today we are going to talk again about prayer. Jesus is interested in our prayer life, gives us instruction on prayer, shows us how to pray and expects us to pray. He says, “pray then like this…” So it is not if you pray but when you pray, pray like this. This is, of course, relevant to all believers. So, how is your prayer life? Have you been praying more since we began looking at this passage together? Have your prayers changed in any way? Are you more concerned for God’s name as we talked about last week? Are you concerned about your own obedience, and the glory and lifting up of God’s name through, not just words, but through obedience? These are questions we should all consider! Today we will look at verse 10:

10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

The order of this prayer is interesting and important. It is after we acknowledge, not just in our heads but in our hearts and souls that God’s name is to be hallowed, meaning we see Him as who He is: as holy, as righteous, as sovereign and just and also loving and caring and good. As we see Him for who He truly is and as we live to obey Him, wanting what He wants, believing Him to be good and caring, if we go there, if we really believe these things then it follows that we will want His kingdom to come and to reign and we will want His will to be done…right? This prayer is orderly and it is significant in it’s progression. Let me say it simply. If God is worthy of our praise, if we really believe that His ways are best for Him, for us, and for the world, superior to any of our independent thoughts, then we will want His will, the fullness of His will to be accomplished.

And so I can ask, “Do you want God’s will to be done in your life?” If you aren’t sure then you can work backwards through this prayer. If you don’t want God’s will do to be done or you aren’t sure you want His will to be done in your life, maybe that scares you, then work back and ask…do I really know God and who He is? I am convinced if we really know Him and are clear as to who He is, the best that our minds can comprehend Him, then we will say, please God make Your kingdom come, let Your will be done...not just in a big and general sense, but in my life.

Again, we can say that, if we believe Him to be holy…hallowed be Your name. Because to be holy is to be perfect. It is to do what is perfect and that includes doing what is perfect for you and for me. I say to do what is perfect...what does that mean? Does that mean to make our lives easy? No. Does it mean to make our lives carefree? No. Doing what is holy in us and perfect in us is for Him to make us more like Christ. That is doing good in our lives. And so for us to want God’s will done in our lives is for Him to make us more like Christ. That is the message of Romans 8:28-29, right?

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

But to really want His kingdom to come and His will to be done requires that we let go of some things that perhaps we may treasure more than what God wants for us. For instance…what do you want most? A loving spouse, a long life, a carefree existence, a car that runs, a house that does not need repairs, no more laundry, a baby that isn’t fussy, a friend who cares, more money...what do you want most? Whatever those things are may be in conflict with what God wants more for us; that is to make us more like Christ and so do we want God’s will more or our will more? Do we want to be more like Christ or do we want other things more? Now I want you to consider this too: what does it mean to be more like Christ? Well, think about Jesus and how He lived. Yes, He had some difficult times: no real home during ministry, friends who betrayed Him, physical torture, mental anguish, and even sadness over the looseness of his people. He had some hard times for sure but what else did He have? Perfect peace, joy, stability in His mind. Total trust in God to take care of Him, satisfaction in His work, a clear conscience. These things are things we want right? These things are what Christ had and these are things God wants for us.

I think we sometimes may think that to be like Christ is to have a really hard life and it may be on some level but it is more about the peace and joy that comes with walking with God. Let me illustrate this. A man that I admire, Martyn Lloyd Jones, was a great preacher of the Gospel and a lover of Jesus Christ. He spent his life preaching the gospel and had a great following as he did. Jones was diagnosed with colon cancer and this was back in 1980, back in a day when there weren’t as effective treatments as we have today. Jones was also a physician and being a doctor he knew that his final days would be really tough. People who know him came to him to visit and see how he was doing in his last days. They would worry over him and ask, what are you going to do, you can’t preach any longer. Jones would just smile and tell them that his life wasn’t about preaching as much as it was about worshiping the Lord and he would say cancer can’t take that away. He was as joyful and at peace in his pain and non-curable disease as he was at the pulpit preaching the Gospel. Do you want to be more like Christ? How about this kind of peace and joy and faith even in pain?

Ok, that is all introduction to get you thinking, let’s go to the text.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

First let’s talk about the kingdom of God. Now you probably remember that when John the Baptist was preaching he said, “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” And Jesus Himself would say as well, “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” And so the kingdom is very important. The Kingdom of God really means the reign of God, it means the law and the rule of God. And so when we see it this way we realize that there are three ways to look at it. There is a sense in which the kingdom of God has already come. It came when Jesus came.

In Matthew 12:28 Jesus said, 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

He was saying the Kingdom of God is here. Jesus was exercising such power. And then also the Kingdom of God is here now. It is here in the hearts and minds of those who believe in Him. The kingdom of God is present in His people, the Church. And then there is also a future kingdom, a day that has not yet come. The whole Bible looks to this day when Christ will come down and establish His earthly kingdom here. So it is like the Kingdom of God came with the first advent of Christ, it is here now in the hearts of His people, and it is still coming at the end of the time as we know it. And so, I think we can look at it like this. We should long for God to rule in our hearts and in the hearts of others right now, and we should long for the day when Christ finally returns to rule on this earth, a kingdom that will never end.

We are, to according to 2 Peter 3:8-13, 8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

This will be the ultimate fulfillment of the manifestation of the Kingdom of God, when it is literally and fully implemented on this earth. We are to pray for that day, that day is coming. It will be a glorious day. I remember being a kid and hearing preachers say things like this and I remember thinking I’m sure it will be great but I have a lot of things I still want to do before that day. I look back on that and laugh at those foolish thoughts. Somehow I thought that if Christ came at that moment that there would be too many good things I would miss out on. Somehow I thought there were better, more exciting things to experience in this life than in the life to come! I’ve heard other people say things like this. Like, I do want Christ to come but not until I get married, or have children, or start my new business, or take this trip or that trip or buy this thing or experience…whatever. If any of us think this way it is in our ignorance that we do. There is zero chance that as a believer we get to heaven and lament over missing out on something that would have been better than heaven…zero chance. We should pray, Lord come.

Revelation 22:20 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

To know the Lord is to want His kingdom to come quickly, to want Christ to come quickly. Finally, for today Jesus prayed: “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” These are words of both adoration and submission to the Lord. Not much explanation is needed here. In heaven the will of God is always done perfectly. We are to look forward and anxiously wait for God’s perfect revealed will to be done here on earth, that His glory be known to all, that all is transformed to His perfect thoughts and ways. We are to long for His will over our will, His will over all other people’s wills. This is an acknowledgement again that His ways are superior and best. When we pray, we should long for His will even if we don’t understand it. There is a great measure of trusting Him in this. One day heaven and earth will become as one, the world will be changed, evil will be gone and the glory of God will shine brightly. What greater thing is there to long for than this?

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.10 Your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.”

As we take of the Lord’s table today we can do so with an attitude of great anticipation of this coming day that we have been talking about this morning! God has given us the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper as a gracious act in which we can commune with Him and be reminded of our great redemption, be reminded of our initial salvation as well as anticipate our final redemption when we shall worship Him in glory for all eternity. As Christians, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is our desire to commune with Him. To commune with Christ, the very One who purchased us with His own blood and brought us from death to life, into His glorious kingdom. The One who enables us to obey. What an honor it is that we can come to His table and observe the Lord’s Supper as Christ Himself has instituted. We take of His table in remembrance of Him. The scripture tells us for as often as we eat of the bread and drink of the cup, we are proclaiming His death until He comes. And it truly is an expression of love. We take of the cup and the bread as an expression of this love for Christ and in hope of His glorious return. As we commune with Him through this ordinance that He has given the church we must do so with a pure heart. Anytime we come before God, whether it be corporately as a church or privately, it must always be in the same manner: with a pure heart, without hidden sin, without an attitude of hypocrisy.

In the church at Corinth, there had been many abuses of the Lord’s table so Paul gave specific instructions to them, which also apply to us today, as to how to prepare for the taking of the Lord’s Supper. We are to do so with a sober mind, considering our hearts, judging ourselves rightly before God. 1 Corinthians 11 says, “let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgement to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly.” We do not want to come before Him clinging to sin in our lives which would dishonor His body and blood. So we must examine ourselves and lay before God any sin that may be in our lives. Confess and repent. And only when this is done should we partake of this ordinance of communion with Him. To do so in an unworthy manner would be to treat with indifference the sacrifice of our Lord.

So let's bow our heads and take a few moments of silence, and you pray and lay your heart open before God and confess any sin that may be present in your life. Ask the Lord to show you any lingering sin so that you can confess it before Him and repent. And then, with great joy, we can come before Him in this time of communion.

Here at Grace Bible Fellowship Church, we encourage all of you who profess the name of Christ and are followers of Him, all who are Christians to participate with us in the Lord’s Supper. And if you are not a Christian, then we ask you not to participate but instead to take this time to consider your relationship to Christ. And to consider the message in this ordinance, that is, the work of Christ on the cross for salvation of all who will come to Him by faith!

Read Matthew 26:26-30 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. 30 And after they sang a hymn, they went out.”