Soli Deo Gloria: For the Glory of God Alone
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:00 pm
The Messenger, November 29, 2012
Our God reigns!
By CAMILLE KENDALL
Special to The Messenger
Pray then like this: “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
If asked to define what is meant by “the gospel,” many of us would reply that the gospel is the “good news” that Jesus saves sinners who repent and trust in Him. If asked to explain what is meant by “the kingdom of God,” many of us would reply that the kingdom of God is a future state, following the current battle between good and evil, in which God will truly reign as supreme and all will be set to rights.
With both of these answers, we would be partially correct.
But in so far as we assume that the gospel is only about us — about our personal salvation — and that the kingdom of God is only about some future reality, we would be very, very wrong.
Way back in the Old Testament, we encounter the gospel. In Isaiah 40, when the prophet is told to announce the “good news” (verse 9), he proclaims: “Behold your God!” Isaiah 52:7 reads:“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…” What is this “good news”? Isaiah tells us outright: “Your God reigns.”
While walking this earth, Jesus also preached this “good news” of the kingdom. In Matthew 4:23, we read that Jesus “went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom…” (See also Matthew 9:35 and 24:14.) More explicitly, speaking of Himself, Jesus told the Pharisees, “… the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Luke 17:21).
The bigger picture that we sometimes miss is this: The gospel is about the kingdom of God, and God’s kingdom — indeed, God’s kingship — is a reality now. When we pray “Your kingdom come,” we are asking God to continue to visibly and practically extend and exercise His Kingship in our lives, in the church and in the world around us.
Continuing through the Lord’s Prayer, Question 123 of the Heidelberg Catechism asks: What does the second request mean? Answer: “Your kingdom come” means, rule us by Your Word and Spirit in such a way that more and more we submit to You. Keep Your church strong, and add to it. Destroy the devil’s work; destroy every force which revolts against You and every conspiracy against Your Word. Do this until Your kingdom is so complete and perfect that in it You are all in all.
Today, God is sovereign. This moment, Jesus Christ is King.
Holy Spirit, so work in me today that I live more and more with the consciousness that Jesus is Lord. Transform me into a joyful, obedient, reverent subject of the kingdom of God. Increase Your kingdom, Lord, and destroy Your enemies, until that day when I join with all the saints and the elders before Your throne, crying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign” (Revelation 11:17).
Editor’s note: Camille Kendall, wife, homeschool mom and redeemed sinner, is a member of Grace Presbyterian Church in Troy.