So, I've been preaching a sermon series entitled "as it is in heaven" from a phrase Jesus used in his sermon on the Mount. I am still amazed and saddened that so many ministries, pastors, Bible teachers, denominations... refuse to make the Kingdom of God their theological &/or philisophical foundation. From what I can tell it is one of the very few things that is consistent from Genesis to Revelation not to mention the fact that it's pretty clear that it was the center of both Jesus' & Paul's ministry.
One major misunderstanding about the Kingdom in the Scriptures is that Matthew uses the phrase Kingdom of heaven whereas Luke uses the phrase Kingdom of God. Some have mistaken that to mean sometimes Jesus is referring to an earthly kingdom whereas other times he's referring to heaven itself. The only thing that's going on here is that Matthew was addressing a Jewish audience that valued the use of synonyms for the name of God so as to not use HIs name casually. Luke was addressing a Gentile audience where using such a synonym would only cause confusion.
In using the phrase "as it is in heaven", Jesus is in a sense saying: "whatever differences there are between what's going on in heaven and what is taking place down here on earth, may those differences be minimized and may my rule and reign be maximized."
I intend on sharing in my next few blogs some specific ways where we as the church can be more proactive in establishing some heavenly principles down here in this broken place that we live. In the meantime, I am interested to know a few things that relate to each of you personally.
- What do you see or what do you hear the Holy Spirit saying when you close your eyes and pray "may your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven"?
- What big things could we be believing God to do in our city that would establish His name & authority
- What simple acts of love & generosity could any of us do on a day to day basis that might do the same?
I'd love to use the comments here to create dialog with each of you and connect it directly with the sermon this week.