Monday, December 22, 2014
THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." - Matthew 6:9-10
Imagine that you have never driven a car. You are not aware of all the features of a car. Up to this point, you have had to walk everywhere you go. All you are told is that you are about to receive something that will get you anywhere you need to go. The day arrives and you are given a brand new car. You get in and drive the car. However, the emergency brake is on, preventing you from going faster than 20 miles per hour. No one tells you that you should unlock the brake. Regardless, you are excited because you no longer have to walk to your destination. You are not told that the car has lights, which would allow you to drive at night. Neither are you told about the many other wonderful features of the car. You just know you have a new car that will get you anywhere you want to go at 20 miles per hour. For the rest of your life, you drive this incredible car during the daytime only at 20 miles per hour.
Why would Jesus pray that things in earth would be like they are in Heaven if it were not possible? When Jesus came to earth, He came in order to penetrate the very kingdom of darkness with light. He came to bring healing to sickness, replace sadness with joy, and fill meaninglessness with purpose. He came to change things for the better for a world that had no hope outside of God.
Using the illustration above, Jesus did not come to merely give us a ticket to Heaven (a car that you drive only in the daytime at 20 miles per hour). He came to bring us much more-the Kingdom of God on earth. Nowhere in the Bible will you find the term, gospel of salvation. The Church does not exist for Heaven, but for earth. If it existed only for Heaven, then each of us would immediately be taken to Heaven. There would be no reason for us to remain on earth. So why has God allowed us to receive this new birth and remain on earth? It is so that we might bring the Kingdom of God into our world-our families, our workplace, and our communities.
God wants you to bring the Kingdom of God into the territory He has given you so that His will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Your domain is your workplace, family, and community. Ask God to show you how He wants to penetrate the darkness of your domain with His light. Then you will see and experience all the features of this gift that has been given to you.