Thy Kingdom come

Thy Kingdom come brings to mind truths that help us rest and relax from anxiety. We recall the Beatitudes and Christ's promises, and think about the world to come where there are no more tears... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:4)

God has so arranged our experience of life that we can enjoy a foretaste of his kingdom now. We read of that pleasure in the parable of the Pearl of Great Price. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Mat 13:45-46) This, figuratively, is what each of Christ’s disciples had done, and must do.

Yet at times we, as they, might wonder if we chose wisely. Even Christ’s forerunner, John the Baptist, asked through his own disciples: Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Mat 11:3-5)

We do not always see the mighty works of God in our walk with the LORD, but we can know we do live in his kingdom now: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… and Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:3, 10)

Which art in heaven

Fourth in The Lord's Prayer Series, "The best prayer to pray in times of stress"

The contemporary versions of the Bible do not include the words, "which art" or "who is" in the first line of The Lord's Prayer, in either Matthew or Luke. They simply say, "Our Father in heaven." Shortening the phrase makes it more elegant from a modern literary standpoint, but perhaps the ancient phrase that prefaces "in heaven" by "which art" is helpful in directing our gaze.

God is in heaven, that place of perfect rest and harmony.

When the U.S. put a man on the moon, some were offended that the heavens had been pierced and troubled by scientific exploits. Today, clouds are seeded by technologists to achieve various goals. Such news may make us feel that heaven has become mundane.

Has God been displaced? Is heaven above or within? Christ taught that it is both. In fact, to arrive there after we die, we must enter it while we are alive. We find peace by acknowledging that Jesus opened heaven for us by his death on the cross, taking our sins on himself. That is how we enter God's kingdom.

Heaven cannot be seen by our eyes, but has been seen in visions and dreams. Moreover, there are heavens above heavens, and we learn from the Lord’s Prayer that God’s base of operations is there.

When we pray, we should look to the One who is above all, who is in control and has the power to do all things.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, "Where, now, is their God?"
But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.(Ps 115:1-3)

Envisioning the heavens, all anxiety slips away.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)

Our Father

Third in The Lord's Prayer Series, "The best prayer to pray in times of stress"

Father. The word may comfort or it may offend. If a person had none, then relating to God as one is hard, and yet very special since he is the only Father they will ever know.

God states he is the Father of the fatherless. (Ps 68:5) He who made the heart understands its deep need of a father, and promises to be our Father: When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. (Ps 27:10)

For those who call him Father, he will not tolerate greater loyalty to another: "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household." (Mat 10:35-36)

Nonetheless, he commands respect for the father: Honor your father and your mother; Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Eph 6:1)

But how can a son respect an alcoholic father? How can a daughter honor a mother who deserted her? God understands. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. (Isa 49:15)

Parents disappoint but God, never. We can ask Him how to honor our parents; He will provide answers to deep mysteries that set us in a maze of doubts, and shepherd us to the end.

A more difficult challenge: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." (Mat 10:37-38) We must have much, much greater love, respect, adoration and obedience for our heavenly Father than for any earthly one. If we know Christ, it wil not be hard.

Christ said to Thomas: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him" — Philip then said to him, "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." Jesus replied, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father? Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." (John 14:6-10)

The disciples had times of great stress, and stress causes us to forget what we know to be true. We lose our bearings. North? Where is it? East? Which way? Christ? Where is he? Who is he? Know this: Christ was and is "the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (Isa 9:6b)

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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