COME, KINGDOM OF GOD

Matthew 6:10 – Your kingdom come.

Jesus is calling the disciples into His ministry of declaring the kingdom of God. The first advent of the kingdom after our Lord was crucified, He descended into hell, and on the third day rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost. The Spirit is the one who brought the kingdom to earth. He is the one that causes the will of God to be accomplished. Many believe the kingdom is a future event, but Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:21). The KJV translates it this way, “the kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom was present because the king was present. Jesus is ruling from heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell each believer.  The kingdom of God is present in the believer here and now.

Paul wrote, “The kingdom is in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). The kingdom of God came to earth when the Holy Spirit arrived. The will of God is being worked out through the Spirit even unto this day. We are to continue to pray for the kingdom to come, but with an emphasis of increase in the earth. From the days of the apostles to the present, one purpose of the Spirit has been to increase the kingdom of God in the earth until the whole earth is full of the glory of the Lord  (see Habakkuk 2:14). 

It is important to evaluate the increase of the kingdom of God in our own lives. Many receive Christ as their Savior, but neglect to receive Him as Lord in the present. We first ask for God’s kingdom to come into us. We ask the Holy Spirit to take control in every area of our life. We then begin to share the kingdom of God with others, giving them an opportunity to receive God’s grace. If they respond to the invitation, they too may have the kingdom of God reigning in their life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Each person who repents of their sins and invites the Holy Spirit to fill them receives the promise of the Father. When someone does this, they are receiving God’s kingdom. What a wonderful gift the Father has given us through His Son!

As you pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done,” pray for the Holy Spirit to enlarge the kingdom of God in your life. Pray for the power to live a life fully committed to our great king and His kingdom purpose in the earth. Thank Him, for calling you into the kingdom of God and a relationship of service.

YOUR NAME IS HOLY

Matthew 6:9 – Hallowed be Your name.

“Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior, because it is written, you shall be holy, for I am holy.”

God’s holiness is a difficult attribute for humans to understand. I am sure that if you asked ten people to describe God’s holiness, you would receive ten different answers. Each answer would be limited by an individual’s fallen human understanding. Jesus’ life is the only real valid representation of the holiness of God that we have in human form. We know God the Father by the life our Lord Jesus Christ lived here on earth. His holy life became our pattern for how we should live as children of God.

Jesus gives believers His Holy Spirit as promised by our heavenly Father. One of His divine purposes for giving the Holy Spirit to a believer is to supply power to overcome sin and live a holy life. Paul’s statement to the believers in Corinth says it all. “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin (2 Corinthians 11:2-3). Our heavenly Husband is holy. As His bride, we are to be holy as well.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The meaning of the word sanctification is “to be set apart.” We have been set apart unto God by His Word and by the work of the Holy Spirit. We belong to God in every respect: spirit, soul and body. Paul dealt with the church at Corinth over sexual immorality. In Thessalonians, Paul specifically addressed the issue of idolatry and immorality. Both these evils cause culture to fall from a foundation which was to be established in God’s moral law. The result has been for many of God’s people to be drawn away from seeking after God and His holiness and drawn into idolatry and immorality. 

Today, make the choice to be holy and ask the Holy Spirit for His help in your sanctification. He knows the weakness of our flesh and will help all who call upon Him. God the Father desires a pure bride for His Son. Today, and every day, ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to be able to present your body to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to your heavenly Father.

OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN

Matthew 6:9 – Pray then, in this way, Our Father who is in heaven.

In the beginning, God intended that earthly fathers would reflect the nature of His Father’s heart. Unfortunately, disobedience got in the way and man was separated from the heavenly Father through sin. Adam lost the ability to convey God’s true nature to his wife and his children. Jesus came with the purpose of revealing the Father to humanity. He promised His disciples that “He would not leave them as orphans” (John 14:18). The fourteenth chapter of the book of John is about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Again, Jesus said to His disciples, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, all that I said to you” (John 14:26).  

A major portion of our salvation is rooted in getting to know our Father in Heaven. What a blessing we have in our developing relationship with the Holy Spirit as He helps us to know the Father. We will soon be ushered into our Father’s Holy Presence to stand before His throne in heaven. In the present moment, we are invited to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Prayer is a work of the Holy Spirit as He guides us to know how to pray. “We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit helps our weaknesses” (Romans 8:26).

An old hymn says, “I am weak, but Thou art strong.” I come to the Lord in my natural weakness, but my heavenly Father meets with me and gives me strength as I grow in my relationship with Him. Let the Holy Spirit lead you into increasing knowledge and fellowship with your heavenly Father. He loves you so much! He proved it by sending Jesus and then sending the Holy Spirit to indwell your life.

Ask the Holy Spirit to increase your revelation of the Father. Ask Him to show you how much He loves you. Ask for more of the Father’s nature to be manifested in your life. Finally, ask to be one who reveals the Father to others.

OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN

Matthew 6:9 – Pray then, in this way.

As Jesus continued His teachings on the mountain, He began to instruct about prayer. Jesus gave us a pattern of prayer and the Holy Spirit uses this pattern to guide us as we pray. Many know this prayer as The Lord’s Prayer. It was not meant to be recited, but to be a pattern of critical areas for which we are to seek God.

The first area the Spirit of God wants to help us with is the fact that God is our Father. The Jews knew of God as a Father, but Jesus revealed Him as Our Father. What a revelation the Spirit of God has given! He is not a father who is distant, but the Father who is personal and close! Spirit-led prayer is meant to develop intimacy with our heavenly Father. Many believers confess a relationship with Christ, but still do not know a relationship with their heavenly Father. In many cases, it is because they have not known a true relationship with their earthly father.

In the upper room at the Last Supper, Phillip asked Jesus “to show them the Father” (John 14:8). Jesus was disappointed in the request because the purpose of His time with the disciples was to reveal His Father. They had missed one of the most important reasons of His mission. We too, can be blessed by Jesus’ presence in the gifts and His nature, but miss what the Holy Spirit wants us to know. The Father! Jesus said to His disciples, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’ (John 14:9)? Could it be that the Holy Spirit might say the same thing to us?

To know the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of the Father and the spirit of the Son, is to know the Father. Every day, speak to God as Your Father and make it even more personal by relating to Him as your Father. I want to know Him more and more as my Father who is my all in all. If that is your desire, begin to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the Father to you. He desires to be known as Daddy, in the original language, “Abba.” By His power, He has made you His child. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

PRAYER IS THE KEY TO ALL WE HAVE FROM GOD

Matthew 6:8 – Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

Spirit-led prayer is not informational. Our Father in heaven already knows our needs. Prayer is not about words as much as it is about a relationship with our creator, redeemer, and the lover of our souls. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day uttered many words in prayer. They truly were not praying to God. They prayed to impress those watching them go through their religious act. Some take prayer to the extreme of only meditating. It is good to meditate! The Holy Spirit will lead us at times to what the Psalmist taught: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Waiting and listening is a very essential part of prayer. Some have gotten so mystical they separate themselves from family and culture. They isolate themselves to meditate, trying to touch God. The Holy Spirit will lead, from time to time, to get alone with our heavenly Father. Jesus regularly spent private time with His Father. He brought back to His disciples what He had received.

As we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the Word of God, He will instruct us how to be an instrument in God’s hands by coming to know God’s will. Christian prayer is meant to be relational. It is spending time in our Father’s presence. Prayer is using the views of Scripture in our communication with the Lord. Prayer is sharing your heart’s burden. Prayer is making our requests known to God. Spirit-filled and Spirit-led prayer comes out of righteousness and relationship with the heavenly Father. “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).

Many more things could be said about prayer, but nothing takes the place of simply praying. Start today with these few thoughts I have shared. Regularly have your Bible with you in your dedicated prayer time. Let the Scriptures guide you in knowing God’s will. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to portions of God’s Word which He would have you consider.

EXERCISE THE GIFTS GOD HAS GIVEN YOU

Romans 12:6 – Each of us is to exercise our gifts.

In our devotion yesterday, I spoke of exercising the gifts. Paul makes the point that we are to exercise or use the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God gives us gifts, but we must receive them and put them to use. Many believers have received gifts from God, but do not use them regularly, if at all. I know of those who were prayed for to receive the gift of prophecy and then prophesied, but did not continue to exercise the gift and it fell dormant. What is the purpose of receiving a gift if the one receiving the gift never uses it?

The gifts of God are meant to be used. In most cases, they are used to benefit others by revealing God’s love for them. Not exercising the gifts which the Holy Spirit chooses to give, denies others an experience of God’s grace through our life. It is important that we seek God for how He wants to use our lives. It is equally important to develop a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, the helper, so we learn to be sensitive to His leading and gifting through us. As we increase our devotion to God, we will become increasingly sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and to His empowerment.

Father, I make myself available to Your Holy Spirit. Lord, show me the gifts You desire to give and release through my life. I ask to be used effectively in ministering Your love to others. I desperately need Your presence and Your gifts to be operating in my life.