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)

Hallowed be thy Name

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

At the start, we prayed "Our Father," but God's name is not father any more than your dad's name is dad.

To Moses God revealed his name as Jehovah, or "I am that I am" or "I will be that I will be." (Ex. 3:14-15; 6:2, 3)

We first encounter this name in Genesis 2:4, These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. In the Old Testament Jehovah is used 6,823 times, translated "LORD" (in capital letters) in the KJV. (W. A. Pratney, The Nature and Character of God, Bethany House Publishers, 1988, p. 437)

All the names of God which occur in Scripture are derived from His works except one, and that is Jehovah … It teaches plainly and unequivocally of the substance of God … God is the self-existent one, the one who in himself possesses essential life, permanent existence. (Nathan Stone, The Name of God, Chicago: Moody Press, 1944)

In The Nature and Character of God the titles of Jehovah are set forth: (Pratney, op. cit. pp. 433-440; explanatory notes added by blogger)

  1. Jehovah-Jireh — "Jehovah will see or provide" (Gen 22:14) Spoken by Abraham when a ram was provided by the LORD to sacrifice in place of Isaac.
  2. Jehovah-Rophe — "Jehovah that healeth thee" (Ex 15:26) After coming to a place of bitter waters, the Israelites murmured against Moses. He cried out to the LORD who provided a tree that made the waters sweet. God promised health for his own who would follow his commandments.
  3. Jehovah-Nissi — "Jehovah my banner" (Ex 17:15) The battle against the Amalekites was won because Moses' hands, holding the LORD's rod, were held up. The rod was the sign of God's abiding presence and power to prevail.
  4. Jehovah-Mekaddishkem — "Jehovah that sanctifies you" (Ex 31:13; others) "No other name more truly expresses the character of Jehovah and the requirements of His people." (Stone, op cit, p 78)
  5. Jehovah-Shalom — "Jehovah send peace" (Judg 6:24) When Gideon saw the angel of God he felt he would die, but instead God said, "Peace be unto thee …"
  6. Jehovah-Zebaoth — "Jehovah of hosts" (1 Sam 1:3, others) The LORD is surrounded by a heavenly host of angels. We sometimes envision God as the leader of his army.
  7. Jehovah-Tsidkenu — "Jehovah our righteousness" (Jer 23:6) The prophet Jeremiah foresaw the coming of the LORD Jesus who would be our Savior.
  8. Jehovah-Shammah — "Jehovah is there" (Ez 48:35) The prophet Ezekiel foresaw the city of God, resplendent with Christ's presence and all of his people.
  9. Jehovah-Elyon — "Jehovah most high" (Ps 7:17; 47:2; 97:9) Our God is the one true God who reigns over and above all.
  10. Jehovah-Rohi — "Jehovah my shepherd" (Ps 23:1) Our LORD guides and keeps us by his rod and staff.

As we reflect on these titles of God we feel encouraged to hallow his Name. How amazing is his continual watch over his people. However, stress can cause us to wonder why the LORD does not provide immediate deliverance from our trials. Is he with us? Even John the Baptist asked, when in prison, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" (Mat 11:3) He was soon to enjoy a perfect deliverance.

As we study God's titles and hallow his name we are encouraged to have patience: Without a doubt he will help even us.

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)

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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