Sunday, February 7, 2016
Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” What is God’s kingdom like? Assuming the eternal aspects of heaven (where Jesus locates the Kingdom in this prayer) we see a few key things. Heaven has no more pain, sorrow or death. Heaven has no more sin, evil or demonic presence. Heaven is where together people of every nation, language and tribe worship the God who is in their midst. So, praying for the kingdom is praying for health and wholeness, purity and goodness, justice and harmony. Thy wholeness, thy goodness and thy justice come to earth as it is in heaven.
Knowing this makes clear why Jesus gave as evidence of his Lordship three primary signs (Luke 7:18-23). He healed the sick (wholeness), cast out demons and forgave sins (goodness) and preached the gospel to the poor (justice). Jesus, when commissioning his disciples, gave them these three commands – drive out demons, cure diseases and preach the gospel [to the poor] (Luke 9:1,2). This is our commission today.
Here are a few samples from your recent NCC church monthly reports. Woman healed of cancer in Beloit WI. Demon cast from woman in Wataga IL. 80,000 destitute people fed last year in Evanston, IL. Man raised from death on a hospital bed in LaFarge WI. Addict set free in Alexandria MN. 1000s of homeless housed in Chicago IL. Blind woman’s sight restored in Mason City IA. Man healed of scoliosis in Waterloo IA. THIS LIST CAN GO ON AND ON AND ON!!! We saw hundreds and close to 1000s of first time decisions to follow Jesus this year, hundreds who have prayed for (and we trust received) fullness of the Holy Spirit and a myriad of “serendipitous coincidences” that lead to hope, healing and happiness upon people praising, repenting, asking and yielding to God.
Keep praying – thy kingdom come to earth as in heaven! Keep seeking to be used of God to bring about healing, goodness and justice. Jesus has commissioned you to do this very thing! And you are doing it!