His Holy Kingdom
HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAYS 48
What does the second request mean?
Your kingdom come means,
Rule us by your Word and Spirit in such a way that more and more we submit to you. Keep your church strong, and add to it. Destroy the devil’s work; destroy every force which revolts against you and every conspiracy against your Word. Do this until your kingdom is so complete and perfect that in it you are all in all.
DEVOTIONAL: NOVEMBER 5-11
His Holy Kingdom
God the Father is the Ruler of the heavens and earth (Psalm 2, Psalm 24). He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to sit on David’s throne as the true and eternal King of the universe (2 Samuel 7:16 fulfilled in Matthew 1:1, Luke 1:32-33, Colossians 1:15-20). The Holy Spirit, through the Word, shines the spotlight on Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 1:1-20, 17:14, 19:16). Christ is the King, the Ruler of all things.
We must, however, speak of the “already” and “not yet.” The Kingdom has already come. Christ rules and has defeated Satan through His life, death and resurrection (Matthew 4:1-11, 12:22-37, Hebrews 2:14-15). The Kingdom is also yet to come. We will fully experience the full pleasure His Kingdom victory only when He returns at the end of time (Revelation 21:1-4). Therefore, we are taught to pray: “Your kingdom come.”
The Catechism’s teaching can be captured in four words: learn, love, live and long.
First, Christians are to LEARN. They are to pray that they will more and more submit to Christ according to the teachings of the Word. The Bible is God’s Word. It is the same Word that spoke the universe into existence, that formed humans out of the dust of the earth, that calmed storms, and that raised Jesus from the dead. It is the Written Word that points to the Living Word who alone can reverse the decay, death and destruction of sin and evil, and reap a harvest of joyful holiness (Psalm 119:105, Ephesians 6:17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12-13). To be in the Kingdom one must learn from and submit to the Word.
Second, Christians are to LOVE. We are to love God by loving His people, the Church (John 13:34-35, Romans 12:10, 13:8). In fact, our task is to equip and encourage one another in Christ-centered faith and obedience (Ephesians 2:11-22, 4:1-16). That’s why we should cringe when we hear someone say, “I love Jesus, but I have no room or need for His Church.” The gospel never separates the body from the Head or the Bride from the Groom. To separate ourselves from the Church is to undermine Biblical teaching and to sever ourselves from His means of grace.
Third, Christian are to LIVE. The Church is called to equip members for holy obedience to Christ according to the teaching of His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are to courageously live the vision and values of the gospel. Spiritual warfare is the phrase we use to describe how challenging that task is. While Satan is defeated, he has not quit the fight (Ephesians 6:10-20, 1 Peter 5:8-9). Even though we are God’s children, our own sinful nature conspires against God’s Word (Romans 7:7-25). Still, there is good news. Though sin is present and its influence still great in this life, it does not rule those who are in Christ (Col. 1:13-14). To live in the Kingdom means to pray that all evil conspiracies against God and His purposes will be defeated and destroyed.
Finally, Christians are to LONG for the return of the King. The deepest longing of the soul is for Jesus Christ, and our great gospel hope is for the day when the Bride and the Groom will meet face-to-face. Can you imagine that day when God will live with us, and “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:3-4)? We should, therefore, ceaselessly pray: “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.”
This “already” and “not yet” kingdom prayer is rooted in God’s covenant promises. He is God. We are His people. So, we pray with this complete assurance: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, …nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Let’s together seek first His Kingdom and righteousness!
Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn
Sunday, November 5
Prayerfully read Matthew 6:25-34. We are taught to pray: “Your kingdom come.” Why do you seek His kingdom and what impact does it have on the emotional, social, relational, moral and spiritual aspects of your life?
Monday, November 6
Prayerfully read Psalm 119:105 and Hebrews 4:12-13. We are taught to pray: “Rule us by your Word and Spirit in such a way that more and more we submit to you.” How often do you study or sit under the preaching of God’s Word? What is its impact on your life? Describe how the light of truth is defeating the darkness of sin in your life.
Tuesday, November 7
Prayerfully read Ephesians 2:11-22 and 4:1-16. We are taught to pray: “Keep your church strong.” How does Christ keep His Church strong? Strong Churches require members who exhibit a spirit of both submission and service to Christ and His people – the Church is not a mere “container of goods and services.” How do you exercise responsible membership in your local Church?
Wednesday, November 8
Prayerfully read Acts 2:42-47. We are taught to pray: “Keep your church strong, and add to it.” How are you involved in active mission and evangelism in both word and deed?
Thursday, November 9
Prayerfully read Matthew 4:1-11 and Hebrews 2:14-16. We are taught to pray: “Destroy the devil’s work; destroy every force which revolts against you and every conspiracy against your Word.” What does it mean that we stand secure in Christ and His Word? How is that demonstrated in your own life?
Friday, November 10
Prayerfully read Revelation 21:1-8. We are taught to pray “until your kingdom is so complete and perfect that in it you are all in all.” Do you long to meet Jesus? Are you ready to give Him an account of your life? How do you know?
Saturday, November 11
Prayerfully read Revelation 22:1-21. We are taught to pray “until your kingdom is so complete and perfect that in it you are all in all.” Do you long to meet Jesus? Will you invite others to meet Him, grow in Him and prepare to meet Him, also?