PART 13 – THE KINGDOM IS COMING (11/3/20)
“Your Kingdom come…”
In Genesis, we read of how sin, satan and corruption came to dominate the world as Man rebelled against God's kingship. We read,
“You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 3:17)
The act of eating was a rejection of God as their King and led to God’s judgment, termed ‘death’. However, God promised, in the beginning, that Jesus would come and end Satan’s dominion. We read,
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15).
The Kingdom has come but it will only be fully here when Jesus comes again and ‘crushes Satan’s head’. This side of that hope, we only see it in part.
I believe that this future coming of the Kingdom is the primary emphasis of this verse - it express our desire for Jesus to come and restore all things. Too often the emphasis of this prayer is put on our doing good works; I believe this can be because we have lost sight of our great hope, lost hope in the power of the gospel (so we focus on doing!) and want the ‘praise of man’ which a biblical emphasis on ‘preaching the Kingdom’ doesn’t garner. Like Paul, we need to learn to say again,
‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.’ (Romans 8:18)
The bible is full of this great hope, for example,
“‘See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
“‘Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
This eternal vision sets the context of our lives and decision making (as we will talk about next week).
When the King comes again, and only then, will this prayer “Your Kingdom come” be fully realised. In fact, asking for Jesus to come again is the main emphasis of this prayer. We are to pray like we read in Revelation, right at the end of the Bible.
‘The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!”… “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”(Revelation 22:17,20)
During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – RECEIVE THE KING TO ENTER THE KINGDOM
What do you enjoy most about living in the United Kingdom and what one thing would you change?
Introduction - please read in your group
Today, and through our devotionals this week, we are thinking about The Kingdom of God. We live in a Kingdom under a monarch, and as Christians we have been transferred from the 'dominion of darkness' and into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus first sermon was, “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). We can enter the Kingdom by turning to Jesus and receiving Him as Lord and Saviour.
The Kingdom of God is His authority to rule, and we enter the Kingdom by receiving Him as Lord.
1. The Kingdom is coming: The Bible teaches that the Kingdom has come, but will only be fully realised when Jesus comes again. This phrase 'Your Kingdom come' has a particular emphasis on looking forward and praying for the King to come.
How much do you think and pray about the coming Kingdom?
How does having that eternal vision change our lives?
2. The kingdom is here: The bible also teaches that the Kingdom has come right now; Jesus' kingship is affecting more and more people every day. We can play our part through these four factors that featured in the life of Jesus:
i) Praying (Extending the kingdom is principal a spiritual battle so prayer is vital)
ii) Words (Words of love, challenge and the gospel)
iii) Works (Loving service)
iv) Wonders (Praying for people and situations for God to heal, provide, break a habit...)
How does each aspect help people to receive Jesus and so enter the Kingdom?
Which aspect would you most like to improve and what do you plan to do about this?
Pray - In groups of 3-4
In groups of 3-4 (Try to get into the same groups each week if possible)
Is there anything that you want prayer for out of this week’s study?
Is there anything that you want prayer for more generally?
How connected to God do you feel at the moment and how could you go deeper this week? (let's follow up on this when we next meet together).