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Renewing Your Mind


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Your kingdom come ...

Matthew 6:8-15
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. 9 Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors. 13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

Your kingdom come

God is a God in heaven, as this prayer tells us, but God is also a God with a Kingdom, both in heaven and here on earth. God is King of all the earth.
Psalm 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. NKJV

At the same time, God's kingdom is NOT of this world.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." NKJV

How does one resolve this difference? The concept of Kingdom's kingdom, present and future, is the basis for our entire relationship with God and the basis for our ability to prayer to Him while looking toward Him as the hope of our future.

We live in the kingdom of darkness, not the kingdom of God.
Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. NKJV
Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love NKJV

This sets for the basic focus of all prayer - God in first position in our lives and His Will being the guiding focus of all we do. We were sinners until we became part of the family of God by accepting Christ into our lives. It is God's grace that has provided us with the keys to the kingdom of God. Grace opens the door to God's glory, and it is God&s glory that shows us the kingdom. God's glory is shown to us in its finest earthly form in Christ.

The first part - God first - is the most difficult task Christians face in their daily walk. How easy it is to become distracted and turn our attention away from God to ourselves and others - or to other things. When it comes to the royal law of love, God is very demanding. As Jesus tells the rich, young lawyer:
Matthew 22:37-38 37 Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. NKJV.

Loving God with all of your heart means placing Him first in all that you do. This means to the exclusion of yourself, your spouse, your kids, your parents, your best friend, your boss, your neighbor. God should have first priority in all that we say and do and think.

Amazingly enough, when we place God first, He helps us to see and understand the needs of everyone else on our list. We are able to complete the second great commandment, to love others. Making God our top priority takes care of everything else.

For the love we show to God will translate into action toward others.
Matthew 6:33-34 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. NKJV
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself' NKJV

These verses become the guiding principle of our lives and we are able to carry out this great commission toward others. In the process God cares for us and supplies our needs. This is all possible because the kingdom is already present. Today the kingdom is in our midst.

Jesus brought the kingdom with Him. Christ is not yet ruling as King on an earthly throne, but the Kingdom of God was reintroduced on earth with the advent of Jesus. God's glory filled the Tabernacle in the wilderness.
Exodus 40:34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. NKJV
God&s glory filled the Temple as Solomon dedicated it
1 Kings 8:10-11 10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. NKJV
God shows Ezekiel a likeness of His glory,
Ezekiel 1:28 . . . Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. NKJV
God's glory departed Jerusalem in a vision given to Ezekiel
Ezekiel 10:3-4, 18-19, 22-23 3 Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord&##8;s glory. . . . 18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord&s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. . . . 22 So the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city. NKJV

But with Jesus, GodƎs kingdom returned to earth, albeit in a different form. Now, God's glory resides in every believer in the form of the Holy Spirit. God is present with each of us.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? NKJV
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. NKJV
Luke 17:21 nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you. NKJV

But, there is a future aspect to this kingdom. Jesus will return as conquering King. The visions of Daniel will be completed and fulfilled. The oracles of the other prophets remain true. The book of Revelation paints for us the picture of the returning King, the Second Advent of Jesus. This will herald in the time of peace and prosperity and introduce the final chapter in the time/space/matter saga. Then will come Eternity.
Revelation 19:11-16 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. NKJV




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