Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12/10- Thy Kingdom Come

(Peacable Kingdom- Edward Hicks)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

2/10- Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt. 6:12)

Calvin Abridged: He is said to reign among us, when we voluntarily devote and submit ourselves to be governed by him, placing ourselves under the yoke, and renouncing our desires. Our nature is corrupt and we oppose the justice of God and consequently obstruct or disturb his reign as soldiers of Satan. By this prayer we ask that he may remove all hindrances, and may bring all peole under his dominion and may lead them to mediate on the heavenly life. This is done partly by the preaching of the Word and partly by the secret work of the Spirit. The voice without the Spirit is ineffectual and does not pierce hearts. The kingdom of God is opposed to all disorder and confusion. Good order is not found in the world except when God regulates human schemes and dispositions. So the beginning of the reign of God in us is the destruction of the old man, and the denial of ourselves, that we may be renewed to another life. Another way He reigns is by compelling rebels to obey his justice (Heb. 10:13). The kingdom of God is continually growing and advancing to the end of the world, so we must pray that it will come. To whatever extent iniquity is in the world, so the kingdom is not yet come.

Thoughts: Calvin believed the kingdom of God was advancing more and more. After World War I and II, many doubted this. Watching America’s lackadaisical spirituality and rise in immorality, it would be easy to think the kingdom is not advancing. Yet it is within our generation that we can say there are professing Christian believers in every country of the world (in fulfillment of Mt. 24:16 and 28:19,20). Yet the kingdom is not come until sin is gone. In America we play a game. We blame the Sandifers and the Tiger Woods without openly blaming the act of adultery, or saying what the basis for blaming it is. We want morality and an ordered society, but we don’t know why (or we won’t explore why) we want it. There is inside of us a longing for the kingdom of God to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. So today we should seek His kingdom in our own lives, and submit to His rule. The reign of Christ comes one heart at a time, but also by a great movement of the Spirit. So we are not only to try for the kingdom, we are also to pray for the kingdom to come. Calvin would also add that we should think on the kingdom that is- in heaven, and model our desires after that kingdom.

Prayer: Today, Lord, use me to further your kingdom. Break into my heart and the lives of those around me with your loving and just reign.

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