God’s Word for You
Luke 11:2c The Second Petition
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, June 29, 2018
Your kingdom come.
What is the kingdom of God? It isn’t a location, nor is it a single church or a single denomination. It isn’t found within a certain race or language. Jesus teaches us that the kingdom of God is the way in which God gathers his church. This was hinted at by Daniel, who said: “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people” (Daniel 2:44). The kingdom of God is like a farmer sowing seeds (Mark 4:26ff.), or a mustard seed that starts small and grows very large (Mark 4:30-32). It is also like yeast working through a whole batch of dough (Luke 13:21). It is not something for people to agonize about, wondering when it will come. It came when Christ came preaching and teaching. Those who reject Christ, looking elsewhere for the kingdom “will not see it” (Luke 17:22). The kingdom of God is everything we learn about Jesus Christ in the Creeds. It is God’s plan of salvation for mankind, fulfilled by Jesus in his life, his work, his suffering, and his death.
We entered into the kingdom of God when we were baptized. It comes through the working of the gospel, in word and sacrament, and although we were brought into God’s kingdom once in our lives, and once is sufficient, it pleases God and reinforces our faith to reaffirm our place in his kingdom again and again as we hear his word and receive his forgiveness in the Lord’s Supper.
Martin Luther used a little parable about a foolish beggar given a chance to ask for anything from the richest and most mighty emperor who was willing and prepared to give whatever great gifts he asked: “and the fool would beg only for a dish of gruel. He would be rightly considered a rogue and a scoundrel who treated the command of his imperial majesty as a jest and sport and was not worthy of coming into his presence. So also it is a great reproach and dishonor to God if we, to whom he offers and pledges so many unspeakable treasures, despise them, or have not the confidence to receive them, but scarcely venture to pray for a piece of bread.” (Large Catechism)
Pray boldly! Pray big! Pray that God would bring everyone you know and love into his lavish kingdom of grace. Pray that God would use you to be part of that wonderful event; that he would work through you so that some of the people you love best and dearest would listen at least to you if not to their pastor. Perhaps God will use my own words to strengthen the faith of generations yet to come. If so, all glory to God! If not, he has strengthened my own faith, and perhaps that of a few other people today. For that: all glory to God!
Luther said: “God’s kingdom certainly comes by itself even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.” When Luther considered the way this is done, he said:
God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father
gives his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe
his holy Word and lead a godly life now on earth
and forever in heaven. (Small Catechism)
Pastor Timothy Smith
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