This Superlative Sanctuary Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It’s also a place to read, post and discuss news that’s worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
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In other words . . .
. . . and when it’s time to not be nice, we have a companion site – called The U Tree – where all legal speech is allowed and where you can run wild and free with the Wolfpack.
Please also consider the Important Guidelines, outlined here. Let’s not give the Internet Censors a reason to shut down this precious haven that Wolf has created for us.
My apologies, if due. I’ve reduced the size of the salad because of the size of the entrée. Bon appétit!
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done
If you have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, then I have one question for you my friend: Do you hunger and thirst for more of God’s presence and power to saturate your soul and your sphere of influence? If so, then you would be blessed to continually offer up this simple prayer in faith to the Lord: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”
Jesus presented those two powerful petitions to His disciples when He gave them “The Lord’s Prayer.” (Matt. 6:9-13) And it provides us with a beautiful template for all of our prayers. For example, here are some requests that cover key areas of our daily life and witness: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in my family.” “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in my church.” “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in the lives of those I am seeking to reach for Christ.” “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done as I use the gifts you have given me to serve others.”
The kingdom of Jesus is established in every heart that receives Him as Savior and Lord. Christians are never called to build their own little kingdom, but rather, we are called to be willing vessels and loving agents of God’s grace and mercy in a world where many are deceived by the darkness rather than in love with the light. And since none of us are immune to the spiritual darkness of this world with its agenda and desires, we need the Lord to deliver us whenever darkness seems to be creeping into our own experience.
Man naturally strives to build his own kingdom, and each one of us naturally seeks to have “my will be done.” On the other hand, man by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit longs to see Christ’s kingdom advance and the Lord’s will be done. This is part and parcel of receiving a new nature when you are born again through faith in the Messiah. And if you are born again, then you are also saved, justified, forgiven, and redeemed. As a child of the living God, it was definitely the Lord’s will for you to be saved from your sins. Likewise, “God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
The strong desire to do God’s will is a gift in itself. A.W. Tozer said, “I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.” Chuck Swindoll said, “God doesn’t work on our timetable. He has a plan that He will execute perfectly and for the highest, greatest good of all, and for His ultimate glory.” In order to “keep in step with the Spirit,” (Gal. 5:25) we need to pray often and believe that God hears us and will answer us according to His will. Everyone who trusts Christ as Savior belongs to the family of God, (John 1:12,13) and has the privilege of boldly approaching the throne of God’s grace with confidence and expectancy. (Hebrews 4:16)
Would you say that your life today is under the full control of Christ your King? Or have one or two areas slipped into the realm of darkness and deceit? Now is the time to renew your commitment to the King of Kings. Turn to Christ today as you pray: “Wash away my sin Lord Jesus. Fill me once again with the Holy Spirit. May thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in my life, my heart, my thoughts, my attitudes, my speech, my behavior, and my decisions.”
The more a believer loves the Lord, the more he or she wants God’s will to be done in their life. The Holy Spirit fans into flame not only our faith in Christ, but also our love for Christ and our heartfelt desire to do His will. “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” (1 Thess. 5:19) That is to say, do not say things or do things or dwell on things that grieve and quench the Holy Spirit’s work in your life as a Christian. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” (Eph. 4:30)
Scripture instructs believers: “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9) This is a lofty calling, and can only be carried out when the Holy Spirit guides our thoughts, speech, and behavior. We are called to confess our sins to the Lord, and also to renounce them. (Prov. 28:13) We are to place anything that is dark in our life under the blood of Jesus that was shed for us 2000 years ago. By confessing our sin to the Lord and turning away from it, we experience renewal in our determination to work for God’s kingdom as we seek His will in everything.
How strong is your desire today to walk closely with God and continually converse with Him in prayer? If left to ourselves, we would have no motivation for this noble pursuit. But with Christ in our life through faith and with the Holy Spirit filling us with power, we find ourself being motivated daily to please the Lord in everything we do. God not only forgives our sins when we are born again, but He also gives us a new heart that desires to serve the One who saved us by His blood shed on the cross. What a loving and mighty God we serve!
We are invited by our gracious God to pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” As we pray these words, we trust in our heart that the Lord will indeed answer us according to His will and in His perfect time. As we wait patiently upon God to fulfill His purpose for our life, our hearts are stirred as we meditate on Scripture and serve those God allows us to serve. Holy decisions bring about even more holy desires, whereas dark decisions produce even more darkness in our soul. The Christian life cannot be lived in neutral. If you are not going forward, you will begin to slide backwards. Spiritual darkness promotes disobedience and unrest, while the light of Christ enables us to see clearly and to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)
Christ’s kingdom and God’s will are foundational for living the Christian life. Without the Lord, you and I would be lost in a sea of sinfulness and doomed for destruction. Thankfully, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!” (Romans 5:8,9) At the cross, the kingdom of God ushered in eternal salvation for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.” (Romans 10:13) “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13,14)
And so you see my friend, it is definitely God’s will that you repent of your sin and trust Christ alone for salvation. It is the only way to be forgiven, saved, born again, justified, and redeemed. And once you are in God’s family through faith, you begin to do God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven.” One day, “you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:11) In heaven, you will experience things you didn’t know were possible, and you will be filled with a joy that exceeds your wildest imagination. (Psalm 16:11; 2 Cor. 12:1-4)
This is why it is foolish and reckless for anyone to underestimate or ignore God’s eternal kingdom and God’s perfect will. After all, “The wise in heart are called discerning,” (Prov. 16:21) and, “It is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov. 19:21)