“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in Heaven, your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come.” (Matthew 6:9-10)
What is the kingdom of God? I am sorry to say this, but the kingdom seems to have passed everyone’s notice these days. We are too busy building our own domains. Even local churches feel like their own little kingdoms. We tend to say that we are members of thus and such a church, rather than say we are members of The Church. How often do we speak of the kingdom of God? Not much. But the kingdom is the central concept of all Jesus’ teaching! The first message he ever preached was, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (see Matthew 3:2). Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus spoke of the kingdom, such as in the Sermon on the Mount, where he began by saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (See Matthew 5:3). Even after his resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days teaching his disciples about the kingdom of God (see Acts 1:3). I would suggest taking up your Bible and looking up these passages to see them for yourself with your own eyes.
Something remarkable and wonderful is unfolding among the human race! And Jesus wants each of us to pray that God’s kingdom would come, that it would be realized among us. At first, we may not understand the nature and character of the kingdom, nor perceive the full scope of its beauty. But we can know one great kingdom truth: Jesus Christ is King! That is sufficient to get us started living as a citizen of this new kingdom. This phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come,” is designed to keep us focused on the kingdom of God as the core reality of what God is doing on a global scale.
Lord Jesus Christ, at your ascension into heaven, you declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me!” You are the King, and I desire to be your servant. Because you have surrendered your life for me, I freely and joyfully surrender my life to you and to joyful service in your kingdom.
Think about the core allegiance of your life. To whom or what are you loyal? Some people give their loyalty to a political party, others to a club or a hobby. Some people give their loyalty to a movie star or rock band, others to their career. It would appear that we are wired to give our loyalty to someone or something. I believe that God has given us this inner inclination so that we might give our devotion to his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said that God’s desire is “that all would honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (John 5:23).
Typically, our first step into the kingdom is by recognizing our need for salvation, so we accept Jesus Christ as Savior. This is a good beginning, but there is more! There is a life for us to live, and God wants us to learn to live as citizens of the kingdom of God. This citizenship begins when we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our King, and surrender all other worldly allegiances. There is great freedom in serving Jesus Christ. He is a good and gracious king. He knows each of his citizens and provides for all their needs. He is holy and righteous in everything he does, and he is very kind. We can depend on him. So if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, the next step is to give your full allegiance to his kingdom and to welcome him as the Lord of your life. Go to Jesus in prayer and tell him of your desire. He will welcome you as his trusted servant and train you to live as a citizen of his kingdom.