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Sunday, 2 February 2014


Rev. Brian Wilkie
By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community
Rockland, Ontario

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, January 26th, 2014:


Broadcast Notes:
‘Thy Kingdom Come

Welcome to Good News In The Morning, a program of words and music bringing a Christian message of hope and encouragement to those who are looking for intelligent meaningful and spirited approach to faith and to life.

This program is sponsored by Good News Christian Ministries PO Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0. I'm your host today, Brian Wilkie of St. Andrew's Christian church in Rockland. As always I want to start by thanking you our listeners. We are so grateful for your encouragement and support. Please remember that you can always visit our website for materials to encourage and support you in your Christian walk.

If you miss an episode of the show you can go to our website and download the podcast or the MP3 of our broadcast.

Now I want to continue what I started and in my last broadcast and look at the Lord's Prayer. The disciples asked Jesus how they should pray and in teaching on that subject he introduced what we today call the Lord's Prayer. I would like to speak about one aspect of that prayer which is the second petition of that prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

I wanted take a look at something about God's kingdom. In the Old Testament there was a time when the people of Israel considered that God was their king, but there came a time when they want to be like the other nations. They wanted to have a real human king standing before them, who would fight their battles for them, and take care of everything for them. This is how God and the prophet Samuel discussed the idea of kingship in Israel.  In first Samuel chapter 8 verse 6-9 it reads,

But when they said, ‘give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel so he prayed to the Lord and the Lord told him, ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you. It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king, as they have done from the day I brought them out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing now. Now listen to them and warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.

The Scripture raises the question for us, ‘Who do we want to be king of our lives? Who do we want to reign over us?’ Do we want it to be the Lord or do want it to be some human person or some philosophy? Do we want to be ruled by God or by our culture? We will get into a look at what it means for us to pray, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,’ in a few moments, but first I'd like you to hear a musical version of the Lord's prayer. If you have been listening to my broadcasts over the last couple of years, you will know that I am a big fan of a cappella music. I come by this quite honestly because a number of my family members are involved in different a cappella musical choruses.

This version of the Lord's Prayer is from Toronto's North Metro Chorus, of the Sweet Adelines’ organization.  My mom used to sing with this chorus, so this version of the Lord's Prayer is very special to me. Would you listen to it with me

God’s Kingdom is a focus of Jesus ministry. Jesus talks about what the kingdom of God is like in so many of his parables. He talks about God's role in forgiving and blessing, and helping. He also talks about our response in being servants of the kingdom, stewards of God's resources. The idea of the kingdom of God is central to the teaching of Jesus, and when people ask him what's happening, what his presence means, he says, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand.’ When he sends the disciples to go out into the villages of Israel he says, go and heal the sick and preach the good news, declare the kingdom of God is near.’

God desires to have his will - his graceful love, his righteousness and his goodness - fill the entire earth. He wants to rule because only under his rule humanity can live in love and grace and peace. So often we think to find freedom through rebellion. But Jesus shows us that by coming to him and being filled with his love, being empowered by his spirit, there we have true freedom. Being set free from the domination of our impulses, of the domination of the culture around us; being freed from fear of the authorities and powers that so often oppress people. Jesus says that in him is perfect freedom, coming to him is to have the burdens lifted.

The kingdom of God is a great thing to look forward to. When we pray in the Lord's Prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ we are asking God to rule. Remember the pictures of the kingdom of God as described in Scripture when it speaks about the last days, the days of God establishing his kingdom on the earth? Whether it's in Isaiah when he speaks of the peaceable kingdom and the lion laying down with the Lamb, and there being no harm anywhere on God's mountain. Or when we see in the New Testament that the new Jerusalem comes upon the earth, with such a light coming from God himself that we don't even need a sun or moon; where everything is perfect and beautiful where there is nothing to harm anyone; where there are trees bearing leaves that are the healing of the nations. It is a rich, abundant life in everything. We delight in those images of God's kingdom. We ought to pray that his kingdom come always. We ought to, like the early church. cry out, ‘Come Lord Jesus, come,” because God has a great purpose and plan for us and for all humanity. The kingdom of God is about you and me being part of his kingdom. It is accepting that he is our Lord and living as he would have us live. God teaches us to pray, ‘thy will be done’ because we recognize that of all the things that we can ask for on earth the one thing that makes the best difference, that makes a greatest good happen, is when God does what God needs to do, what God wants to do. God saves people from oppression. When Jesus came and announced his mission, he said, ‘the spirit of the Lord has anointed me to heal the sick, to bring good news to the poor, to set the prisoners free, to liberate the captives.” Jesus came to do his father's will and his father's will is perfectly good. Thy will be done God. Let your will be done in this world, where so many are in need, let your will be done. Where there is so much violence in the world. Let your will be done when there's so much bitterness and animosity between different groups of people. Let your will be done, when people are captive not only to political forces but also to chemistry: captive to drugs and addictions, captive to psychological compulsions, people who are captive to their own habits and are wasting away in their need for salvation. Let thy kingdom come, Lord let your will be done.
As Christians when we pray your will be done we’re praying for ourselves. We are asking for help in submitting to God, recognizing that our role is to say about our lives that our decisions should be that God's will be done.

Have you thought about how much trivia is prayed for? People pray for riches, for wealth; things that have so little to do with God's kingdom. We pray for things that we  might indulge our own appetites, instead of praying that God's will be done. Why do we pray for such little and trivial things, things that don't glorify God and don't really bring us happiness or peace? God has a better plan for us to bring us to a better life, not just to indulge the sinful nature in our own life.

Sometimes it can seem like the work of even having God change ourselves can be like bringing something from death to life. But that's precisely what God's will is: to bring dead sinners to new life. In fact this rather humorous song is a song about that very theme. It is again sung by the King’s Heralds an a cappella quartet, and this is a song called Dry Bones,  around the vision of Ezekiel, in which God brings dry bones to life.

As we consider what we already pray for as a matter of course, very often we are praying for God's kingdom in the little things. Before the song, I spoke about those requests that are trivial and frivolous but, you know, to pray for healing is in fact to pray for God's kingdom. When Jesus came he healed the sick. Sometimes it didn't help his mission to heal the sick - people pay so much attention to the miracles they weren’t paying attention to his word - but nevertheless he kept on healing because he had come to help and pour out God's love on people. The signs of the kingdom and the signs of the Messiah were not just about speaking wisdom, weren’t just about training people in moral good. It was about setting prisoners, free delivering people from evil, raising the dead, healing the sick. When we are praying for blessing in other people's lives we are, at the root, praying for God's kingdom. We understand that blessing will take the form of a closer walk with God - that's certainly part of God's kingdom - but then we understand that God's perfect will is also to lift people up out of oppression. It’s not his desire to that people be crushed and in misery, but should be set free. We are praying for the kingdom of God. Praying for comfort for the group for the those who are grieving, praying even for the physical needs of a person to be met, for a person who is poor, those are things that pertain to God's will and God's kingdom. We can kind of put them under the umbrella of God's kingdom.

Sometimes we aren't sure what to pray for because we don't know what will do the most good in a person's life. But when we pray and apply what wisdom God has given us, when we listen to God and ask how he can intervene and intercede in a person's life, then we are praying for God's kingdom.

It is good to continue to pray for the little things. Jesus didn't tell us to ignore the ordinary needs of life. When the kingdom comes it comes in fullness. It comes as an end times event. It comes and meets every need.  Jesus describes the kingdom of God sometimes as a feast. Praise God for that! Our physical self is something that God does love. He made us the way we are. That doesn't mean that every prayer for healing or every prayer to meet a physical need is going to be met, but it is important understand that there is a place for the ordinary requests, or meeting need in praying for God's will to be done.

For you and me there is a difficult part about ‘thy will be done’ and I'm certain that one of the great weaknesses in the church in our culture today in this generation is that we don't understand the fullness of this prayer, ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I think we see the fullness of this prayer in Gethsemane when Jesus is praying to the Father and he prays the very words that he told us to pray when we go to the Father. For there he is looking forward to the cross and he knows that he's going to be suffering and he says, ‘Lord, if it be possible let this cup pass from me. Yet not my will be done but thine.’ That ‘not my will’ is one place where we are weak as Christians. Sometimes we want God's will life plus our own pleasures. Sometimes we want God's will plus our own desires and indulgences. Jesus tells us to focus on his will, to be sold out for the kingdom of God, to be of one mind, not divided, but to seek his will alone.

That's a tremendous discipline for all of us and one that will need every bit of help from God. It is so important that we continue to pray this petition, ‘Lord let your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.’ And ‘here on earth’ means to have it done in our lives too, now, not just waiting for some day when he'll change us and make us holy but deeply desiring that we would be holy today.

Would you join me in prayer to that end?

Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Lord how we desire that your will would be done in our lives that we would make the right choices day by day, that we would be your blessing to the world, that we would endure whatever it takes to be your servants ambassadors in this life. Lord, let your kingdom come and this world be filled with your goodness. Let every heart turn to you and know how wonderful you are. Work in us so your kingdom would be in us; that your will would be done in us. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Once again I want to thank you listeners for your encouragement and support. We do thank you because you keep us on the air week by week. We want to encourage you to support our ministry financially. Did you know the Good News Ministries has only one major cost? The four hosts Brent Russett, George Sinclair, Juliet Schimpf and myself are volunteers. So are the people who manage our website, organize our events and operate our board. Your gift can help us to continue to meet that one vital expense, the cost of broadcasting, which enables us to reach you and over 7000 listeners in the Ottawa River Valley. If you can please make a cheque payable to Good News Christian Ministries and send it to P.O. Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0 we will be happy to send you a receipt at income tax time. I also want to encourage you to tell others about this program.  

Be sure to worship in a church where the gospel is soundly proclaimed and lived out with compassion, integrity and resolve.

Now to conclude our program I would like to have you listen to a song from Delirious. This modern worship is called the King of Love.

I do pray that the Lord will hold your heart and you would know Jesus personally and profoundly. May the Holy Spirit reside deep within your heart, may the heavenly Father surround you with his constant and abiding and accompanying love.

Good News In The Morning is produced in the Studios of News Talk Radio 580 CFRA.

- Rev. Brian Wilkie
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful presentation of The Lord's Prayer by Andrea Bocelli - (via @youtube):
    (Copy URL, below, & paste into your browser address line):