The Care and Feeding of the Heart: “Thy Kingdom Come”
Welcome to the Training Table where you can depend on some spiritually-nourishing sustenance, carefully prepared, to help you run the Godly and good race! For what good is a good race, unless it’s a Godly race?
As faithful disciples of Jesus Christ as we begin each day to accumulate however long our Father God has portioned for our life, it’s a very worthy goal to seek after what the apostles Timothy and James wrote in portions of the books that bears each of their name:
Be Shaped by God’s Bible: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:1-17).
Serve in Word and Deed: “Whoever speaks, speak as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, serve as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever” (1 Peter 4;11).
Persevere in the Battle and Marathon: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Heavenly Rewards Await Us: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Today’s menu at the Training Table takes into account a subject matter that might fall under the category of, “How do I move from roteness to righteousness?” As I was recently scrolling through some past content I had written over the years, I came across a considerable volume of what other I and many other people had written on “The Lord’s Prayer”: The highest, most instructive, and valuable example of how to pray… and yet words that, for far to many of us, were transformed into a rote regurgitation that flows from our lips without ever deeply thinking about what’s being said.
I was ushered back to a time along my spiritual journey of doing laps around the rosary as a child… While doing so, I could hardly stop my fingers and lips from moving along each bead so as to get through my penance; rarely [giving myself far too much credit] having given a deeper thought to what I was actually saying.
Today’s feast of the heart at The Training Table takes into account one brief yet very meaty portion of The Lord’s Prayer, lightly yet edifyingly unpacked by John MacArthur: Thy Kingdom Come.
How God’s Kingdom Comes, by John MacArthur
Your kingdom come. – Matthew 6:10
It is obvious that Christ is not physically ruling on earth today, but one day He will. Therefore we should pray that God would hasten that time when His Son returns to establish His earthly kingdom, defeat sin, and ensure obedience to God’s will. After a thousand years, this kingdom will merge into the eternal kingdom, and His earthly and heavenly rule will be the same (see Rev. 20–21).
There are two major ways in which God’s kingdom comes, and they ought to inform our prayers as we ask Him to complete His purpose. First, His kingdom comes by means of conversions. Thus we should pray for sinners to repent (Mark 1:14–15) and to embrace the gospel (Luke 9:61–62). Our prayers must be simply that the Spirit will add new citizens to God’s kingdom.
Second, the kingdom comes through believers’ commitment. If we pray as Jesus commands, we will constantly ask that our lives and those of other Christians might obediently honor and glorify God in heaven.
The kingdom that we hope and pray for is of infinite value. Jesus elsewhere teaches that it “is like a treasure hidden in the field” or like “one pearl of great value” (Matt. 13:44–46). When the kingdom fully comes at His return, God will have completely answered our prayers. As the hymn says, “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does its successive journeys run. His kingdom spread from shore to shore, ’til moon shall wax and wane no more.”
Conversions and Commitment: How focused are you on these twin elements of kingdom advance?
Conversions and Commitment: How do these priorities show themselves in your daily words, choices and activities?
Conversions and Commitment: If you were to ask 15 people who know you and interact with you on a regular basis, what would they say about how these priorities are revealed in your life?
Conversions and Commitment: If they are commonly missing from your field of reference, ask yourself why this is the case.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, www.moodypublishers.com.