Series: This Thing Called Church
Sermon: From Church to Kingdom
Scripture Reading: Luke 11:1-13, Revelation 1:1-6
Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” (Luke 11:2-4)
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6)
Monday June 4 — 2 Samuel 7:8-17
When the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will be the mother of the Messiah, he says that, “God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David…and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). This means that Jesus’ birth fulfills the promise made to David through Samuel. Because God kept this promise, we can have confidence that God will keep other promises – and that God’s Kingdom will endure forever. In the midst of our fears and doubts, we can trust God’s promises. Which promises of God are you trusting this week?
- Prayer: Eternal God, thank you for your faithfulness and for keeping your promises. Help me to trust you more fully and believe in your Kingdom promises.
Tuesday June 5 — Luke 4:42-44
The primary subject of Jesus’ preaching ministry was the Kingdom of God. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus says: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:15). In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells the crowds that he was sent (from heaven) to “proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God” (Luke 4:43). Through Jesus, God is doing something new and offering new life in a Kingdom that is unlike any Kingdom the world has ever known. What does Jesus’ good news mean for you? Do you believe that God is doing something new in your life and in the world?
- Prayer: God of Amazing Grace, thank you for the gift of new life through Jesus. Give me courage to believe the good news and live as a citizen of your eternal Kingdom.
Wednesday June 6 — Luke 9:1-6
Not only did Jesus proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, he also commissioned and sent his disciples to expand the reach of his ministry. Like Jesus, they were to “proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:2). As the Body of Christ, the Church continues Jesus’ ministry of proclaiming God’s Kingdom in both word and deed. In what ways does your life reflect the good news of the Kingdom? How might you share the good news of God’s Kingdom with someone this week? In prayer, ask God to give you the courage you need.
- Prayer: Merciful God, forgive my reluctance to share the good news of your Kingdom with others. Fill me with your Spirit so that my life will reflect my faith in you.
Thursday June 7 — Luke 11:1-13
We know that, during his earthy ministry, Jesus spent much time in prayer, often separating himself from others to be alone with God (see Luke 5:16). One time his disciples asked him to teach them to pray. His response forms the outline of what we call The Lord’s Prayer. (An extended version of the same prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13.) We should note that Jesus does not teach us to pray for the Church or the Church’s mission, but simply to pray that God’s Kingdom will come (on earth, as it is in heaven). The eternal Kingdom (promised in 2 Samuel) is God’s ultimate goal and is the subject of faithful prayer. Use The Lord’s Prayer to guide your own prayer today.
- Prayer: Heavenly Father, let your name be holy. Let your Kingdom come, and your will be done in my life, and in the world. Let me experience your grace and power today.
Friday June 8 — Revelation 1:1-6
The entire New Testament describes the cosmic conflict of kingdoms: the kingdoms of the world versus the Kingdom of God. The Revelation to John uses rich and expressive imagery to illustrate this conflict at the end of the first century. The purpose of the Revelation is to remind God’s Church that God is faithful, and that God will ultimately be victorious. The Revelation calls the Church to worship God, no matter what is happening around them. What helps you worship God, even on the most difficult days of your life?
- Prayer: Almighty God, sometimes in the darkest hours I experience fear and doubt. I am grateful for the witness of Scripture that teaches me to trust you and worship you.
Saturday June 9 — Revelation 21:22-27
In the end, God wins. That’s the good news that helps us live and work and pray and worship with confidence and faith. Centuries of believers have found hope in the final chapters of the Revelation, which describe the new heaven and new earth, the holy city, and the river of life. What we discover, when we read these chapters is that there will be no temple (church) in the holy city. The church will have served its purpose and will no longer be needed. It is a vivid reminder that God’s Church is temporary. How will you help God’s Church point to God’s eternal Kingdom?
- Prayer: Holy God, you alone are worthy of my praise and worship. I confess my need for your grace. Write my name in the Lamb’s book of life today. Amen.