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Friday, May 22, 2015

Thy Kingdom Come ?

Have you ever really thought about what you're praying when you say the Lord's Prayer?

We say ...

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."
  .... but what does that really mean?

Are we really asking for God to bring a kingdom, His kingdom down onto the earth?  That seems so abstract as to not really have a meaning that we can pin down.  We know it's a good thing to pray but do we really understand what we're asking for?

Today I've been studying the word "kingdom."  I think we're trying to understand a Biblical word from 2,000 years ago with a modern definition.  As such we really don't get it.  

In the Old and New Testaments, the word kingdom, when it relates to the kingdom of God, is not talking about a place or a realm.  It's talking about the rule and authority of God.  So basically we're asking God to rule and reign in His authority on earth as he does in heaven.  Now think about it, doesn't that make more sense???

Now take that same understanding to some other scriptures.   In Mark chapter 10 verse 14, we see the disciples trying to stop the parents from bringing their children to Jesus for him to touch them. Jesus rebukes his disciples and tells them to "suffer the little children" to come to him.  

This literally means to "send" the little children to Him!  

At this point Jesus not only touches and blesses the children but picks them up and holds them close.  He then tells his disciples that "of such" is the "kingdom of God."  Jesus shows them that this is what the kingdom of God looks like.  So exactly what was Jesus saying?  

Well, in the next verse, Mark chapter 10 verse 15, Jesus says ...

"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein..." 

Well that definitely doesn't fit the idea of a place or realm as the definition of kingdom does it?  How could we, as little children, receive a place or realm which is the kingdom of God???  
We can't!

The 1965 Bible in Basic English says it this way...
  "Truly I say to you, Whoever does not put himself under the kingdom of God like a little child, will not come into it at all."
The Contemporary English Version says...
"I promise you that you cannot get into God's kingdom, unless you accept it the way a child does."
And the Easy-To-Read Version says...
"The truth is, you must accept God's kingdom like a little child accepts things, or you will never enter it."
Consider how a little child readily accepts the rule and authority of those over it.  A little child doesn't buck authority but submits to authority.  And this is what Jesus says that we must do if we are to be a part of the kingdom of God.    

"Thy kingdom come" is a declaration to God that you want Him to come and rule and reign in his authority on this earth.  You are specifically asking God to display his rule and power over YOU!  That's why you follow that phrase with "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  

The kingdom of God, his rule, reign and authority, is what I want in my life.  How about you?  

Let's pray the Lord's prayer with a new found sense of the personal request we make for God to display his rule and authority in our lives as we strive to submit to his authority as a little child.

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