Week beginning: 1st June, 2014
By John Scriven | Bath
"From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
"Hallowed be thy name. Your kingdom come, your wiil be done, on earth as it is in heaven."Matthew 3:17b (NKJV) Matthew 6:10 (NKJV)
We know that the kingdom of God was not, and is not, a political kingdom. But nor it is just a state of affairs or a result in human terms. Jesus could have healed more people than he did, but chose not to. He wanted the rule of God in people's hearts and minds - he said "repent". The physical manifestations of the Kingdom, whether natural or supernatural, are simply that, not the thing itself.
The temptation for some of us might be to focus too much on an intermediate goal, albeit worthy. It might be the outcome of a Christian project or the well being of a Christian organisation. We might, for instance, be tempted to downplay the Christian motivation in what we do or even compromise our faith because (understandably) we want to achieve the results we are planning.
But our chief end is to glorify God (to hallow His name) and to enjoy him forever, as the Westminster catechism puts it. We are called to do right and to leave the outcome to the sovereignty of God.
At times this may not be easy, and we need courage, wisdom and mercy from God. And we can pray (in the words of George Herbert, The Temple 1633): "Teach me my God and King, In all things thee to see, And what I do in anything, To do it as for thee."
1) Pray for the Holy Spirit's help and guidance to enable you to glorify God in all that you do this week.
2) Give thanks for our brothers and sisters in Europe who are seeking to proclaim the Good News of Jesus despite often hostile circumstances. Pray especially for peace in Ukrain.