Living for the Kingdom (Matthew 25:31-46)
Our message series in January is entitled “Praying with Jesus.” In this series, we’re looking at the phrases in the Lord’s prayer through the lens of other Bible passages. The Lord’s prayer is a model or example prayer. Jesus intended for us to learn how to pray for this prayer, not to pray it repeatedly word for word.
Why spend time studying prayer? Because prayer is one of the most important things you can do in life. Prayer connects you with God, for whom nothing is impossible. Today, my message is called “Living for the Kingdom.” We’re going to be looking at the phrase found in
Matthew 6:10 (NIV) your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This request is asking for the kingdom of God to come to earth. It is asking for God’s will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven. The kingdom of God exists in full expression in heaven. In heaven, God’s will is being done perfectly. God’s will is not being done perfectly on earth. There is much sin and evil happening that is not God’s will. So, we are to pray for God’s kingdom and His will to come in greater degree to this earth. God’s kingdom will only come in fullness when Jesus returns. However, this prayer request is about the kingdom increasing in impact and influence until it comes in fullness.
What is God’s kingdom? God’s kingdom is the sphere in which God’s rule is recognized and obeyed. So, God’s kingdom reigns in the lives of believers. The influence of God’s kingdom can be seen when the principles of the kingdom are followed in business, government and relationships between people. God’s kingdom can positively influence society and even those who are not yet believers. God’s kingdom influences society through the lives of believers. So, today, we’re going to be talking about living for the kingdom in light of the future coming of the kingdom in fullness. Living for the kingdom begins in our own lives, how we conduct ourselves and live in our families. Living for the kingdom extends to our churches, our jobs and the rest of our lives. Living for the kingdom should be our top priority in life.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
In the Lord’s prayer, the request for God’s kingdom comes before the request for our own needs. When we put God’s kingdom first in our lives, our needs in this life will be met by our heavenly Father. And even more importantly, how we live in this life impacts our eternity. Today, we’re going to look at a teaching about the kingdom by Jesus called “The sheep and the goats.”