Sunday, March 22, 2015

Teach us to Pray, part 28: Your Kingdom Come

And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 'Give us each day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" (Luke 11:2-4 NASB)

We turn now to the phrase "Thy Kingdom come". There are so many aspects to this phrase that it will take a few days to get through them all, but, for today, we are looking at the longing we should have for the kingdom of God to come. This was not the first, nor the only, time that that Jesus mentioned God's Kingdom coming. In Matthew (Sermon on the Mount), Jesus taught that our top priority should be seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. 

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 NASB)

"Seek first" indicates top priority to my seeking. This seeking is not only to be for His kingdom but also for His righteousness. I should not be looking simply for my idea of heaven on earth. I should be actively, and eagerly, with first priority, seeking righteousness. 

The word translated as "righteousness" is dikaiosynÄ“ and is one of the attributes of God, indicating His faithfulness and truthfulness. It speaks of God's absolute abhorrence of sin and the commitment to dealing with sin that lead Him to sacrifice Himself on the cross for us. 

For me to seek righteousness, then, requires that I see Sin in the same way God does. It requires that I acknowledge the price of my Sin and the death that it required. If I am seeking righteousness, I will be moving toward the point of abhorring my own sin and desiring to be done with it. 

Seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is not compatible with the casual attitude toward Sin that is so prevalent today. I cannot claim Grace as an excuse for my sin. Yes, there is Grace to cover our failures, but I must not be needlessly extravagant with that which was bought at such a horrific price. The Grace that God so generously supplies (giving me what I do not deserve) is to be treasured and handled with the care it deserves. 

Seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness requires that I seek the integrity, purity, and virtue of God and allow that integrity to direct both my actions and my thoughts. In asking God that His Kingdom come, I am asking that it come first in me. 

For today, join me in seeking His Kingdom, asking God that His Kingdom, His righteousness, His integrity comes first in us, cleansing us from all our unrighteousness and fitting us for His Kingdom.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, but cleanse us, Your people, before You do.