First Presbyterian Church of Blackwood
21 E. Church Street
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Sermon Notes (Sunday, May 29, 2022)
Rev. Dr. Mouris A. Yousef, Pastor
“Thy Kingdom Come!”
A few weeks ago, we set out on a journey to explore the meaning of God’s Kingdom in Scriptures and its implications on our lives today. To sum up what I have already shared with you over the last few Sundays, let me say that God’s Kingdom was so central to the ministry and mission of Jesus. As I pointed out last week, Jesus’ first sermon in Galilee was on God’s Kingdom as well as His last sermon in Jerusalem before His ascension. In fact, all His life revolved around the coming of God’s Kingdom. The miracles that Jesus performed, the acts of love He demonstrated, the grace of God Jesus showed, all this meant to bring the true meaning of God’s Kingdom closer to the daily lives of the people.
Seeking God’s Kingdom, therefore, should be a top priority for every follower of Jesus. No wonder that in teaching His disciples to pray, Jesus said in Luke 11:2, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.” Like almost everyone else on the face of this earth, we, followers of Christ, got our own burdens. We get sick; we get depressed; we experience all the ups and downs of life, yet, we are creatures with a purpose. We are to seek God’s Kingdom. We are to always pray, “Your kingdom come.”
It’s as humbling as it is fascinating to know that God advances His kingdom through the prayers of His people. If this is the case, praying for the advancement of God’s Kingdom should be the undying burden of God’s people. The question that I would like to ask this morning is: What does it mean to pray for God’s Kingdom to come? Let me offer two ways as we consider this petition for the kingdom to come.
First: It’s a Shout of Loyalty
This line of the Lord’s prayer is basically a shout of loyalty. When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we declare to the whole world that the work of God’s Kingdom matters to us. It’s dear and near to our hearts. We are part of it and it’s part of us. Yes, it’s true that often times we don’t show much loyalty to the work of the Kingdom and that’s why we pray the Lord’s Prayer over and over again.
The Kingdom of God is still a work in process. It’s present and it’s also future. It’s the already and not yet. In one sense, Jesus is already King. In another sense, His reign and Kingship is neither acknowledged by everyone not by us all the time. When we pray, “your kingdom come,” we pray for a more loyal and faithful life. We pray for a closer walk with Jesus. We pray for a life that reflects the Kingship of Christ.
As we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we also examine ourselves to see if we are doing anything to advance the work of the God’s kingdom. Through our prayers, the Holy Spirit lifts our chins above our earthly horizon to see if we are promoting our own Kingdom or the Kingdom of Christ. We examine ourselves to see if we are saluting the flag of self or the flag of Christ. Your Kingdom come is a shout of loyalty. Our nation remembers tomorrow those service men and women who have sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the many freedoms we all have today. They were fully committed and loyal to this cause. As we remember their example, may we too be loyal and faithful to the cause of God’s Kingdom.
Second: It’s a Shout of Victory
This petition is also a shout of victory stems from a deep trust in God’s power. That shout of victory is not built on our own faithfulness, but on the power of God to build up His Church. It’s an assurance that looks beyond our current circumstances to a God who has proven Himself to be active in history. In Caesarea Philippi, Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” Matthew 16:18.
God has a way of fulfilling His purposes in us and in the world. His Kingdom is alive and it’s growing. The challenge for us is not to sit back and enjoy the ride, but to get our feet wet. In Caesarea Philippi, Jesus promised to build His Church on the confession of Peter’s faith, on the petra “the rock.” Our confession before the world matters.
Friends, we have a job to do. We have a job to do and we can’t do it apart from Christ. There is a human part and a divine part in building God’s Kingdom, so we pray “your kingdom come.” When we submit our petition to God for His Kingdom to come, we acknowledge our responsibility toward the Kingdom as well as our dependence on God’s Spirit to stir hearts and transform lives. It’s a shout of loyalty and it’s a shout of victory. May we pray “your kingdom come” with hearts that truly mean it and mouths willing to declare it and feet ready to take God’s kingdom wherever He might lead. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.