“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” — Matthew 6:33
The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel” — Mark 1:15
With these words, Jesus not only began His ministry, but He introduced His favorite subject: the Kingdom of God. The term Kingdom of God and its Jewish equivalent Kingdom of Heaven occur some sixty times in the first three Gospels.
In the teachings of our society, the same cannot be said. We don’t like to talk about kings and kingdoms. We find the notion of absolute rule repulsive and medieval. Yet, this is the consistent teaching of Scripture. God is King. Did we not see the royalty of God in the Old Testament? Story after story of God creating the earth, flooding the earth, exiling His people, rescuing His people. The entire creation, both humans and nature, answers to Him.
And this truth is the greatest of the kingdom secrets: the King is our Father. Remember how Jesus taught us to pray?
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come” — Matthew 6:9–10
If our Father is the King, everything changes. He listens when we call. He cares when we fall. He includes us at His table. Our King loves us, but His Kingdom is not about us. It’s about God.
God is creating an everlasting commonwealth, and He invites us to be a part of it. There is only one condition: the Kingdom has one King. You and I are welcome to enter the throne room, but we have to surrender our crowns at the door.
Promises from God
Yours, O lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in Heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the Kingdom, O lord, and You are exalted as head over all. —1 Chronicles 29:11
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” — Matthew 13:44–46
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.” — Luke 17:20–21
And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. — Revelation 19:16
Praying God’s Promises
My Father in Heaven, Your name truly is holy. Your works are mighty. You sit on your throne. You know all and see all. Yours is the greatness and the power and the glory. Yet your Kingdom is less about boundaries and castles and more about changing hearts and minds. God, I confess that at times I want my will to be done more than I want Your will to be done. I want to rule my own kingdom more than I want to be ruled by You. I want to be in charge. I want the glory. Father, forgive me. I know the Kingdom belongs to You and You alone. You are the one seated on the throne with Jesus beside You, not me. Help me remember that You are worthy of all authority. Teach me how to be a servant in Your Kingdom rather than someone who wants to run the kingdom. Thank You for being a good King. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Praying the Promises by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.
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It’s easy to forget that we serve a very real King sometimes. A King who is actually worthy of our worship. Think about that – no person and no thing that we’ve ever encountered is worthy of worship. How do you anticipate this thought to change the position of your heart during prayer?
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