In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.32                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Do you need a way to deepen your own well or equip others in your congregation for stronger ministry -- without sending your best folk off to college? Want to be able to imprint your local church's DNA in the training process? Here at Hope International University we are developing the School of Advanced Leadership Training (SALT ) as a resource to partner with churches in this crucial endeavor. It combines the best of online material with local church mentoring in short, meaty, 5-week courses designed in consultation with the church. If you'd like more information, please contact me at djtimms@hiu.edu .

Current Series

The current series for "In HOPE" is based on the Lord's Prayer. This prayer drives us to consider the most fundamental aspects of Christian spirituality and the Christian life. Today's column is week three in the series.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

"Pray then in this way: 'Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.'" (Matthew 6.9-13)


Your Kingdom Come

The essence of Christian spirituality revolves around participation in our Father's Kingdom, not retreat into our own.

We typically spend our lives seeking to expand our own kingdoms -- increasing our assets, resources, and influence. Our kingdoms include the workplace, the church, and the home, and we grow very protective of anything into which we have invested our time, energy, and money.

When people challenge our kingdom, we react defensively and perhaps even with hostility. This simple observation of human nature makes Jesus' prayer all the more extraordinary.

"Your Kingdom come."

Any invitation for God's Kingdom to come will threaten our own kingdom. Kingdoms are, by definition, mutually exclusive. Any domain with two kings is ripe for conflict.Thus, "Your Kingdom come" might be phrased another way; "My kingdom done!" The Lord's Kingdom displaces our own.

What does this mean for our day-to-day experience? If we pray this phrase sincerely, it demands surrender of our values to embrace His; submission of our will to His; and the ceding of our ambition in favor of His. It means releasing into His hands the reins we hold so tightly.

"Your Kingdom come" does not invite the Father to come and watch us, but to come and rule us. This invitation is not to partner with our lives, but to take charge of them. This three-word phrase, recited by believers for the past 2000 years, beckons an enormous lifestyle upheaval, if we're serious.

One of the many subtle reasons for seeking God is to use Him to expand our own dominion. Everybody wants a generous grandpa! But this simple prayer -- when uttered with integrity -- strips away such selfish intentions. Jesus reminds us that God calls us to live in His Kingdom. The Father does not seek opportunity to live in our kingdoms.

Which kingdom do we seek today? Ours or His? "Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6.33). Perhaps this profound prayerful phrase can become our mantra today -- "Your Kingdom Come."

In HOPE -

David

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For back issues of "In HOPE" (2005, 2006) go to http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.