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On Earth as it is in Heaven

On Earth as it is in Heaven
On Earth as it is in Heaven
The Rev. Kathy Brumbaugh
By the Rev. Kathy Brumbaugh, Special Writer

Background text: Luke 17:20-21

Devotional text: Matthew 6:10

Last week, we looked at the many ways we are blessed by God. Starting with creation and continuing through Old Testament scriptures, we found many of the blessings received from God.

Then, we moved on to the New Testament and read how God continues to bless us today through Jesus Christ.

As we look at God’s blessings this week, we are going to concentrate on the blessings we receive that lead us to life in the kingdom of God.

Let’s look at these two scriptures first: from Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you as well;” and from Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.”

These scriptures come from the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus spoke to the crowds of people who had been following him. He spoke about the kingdom of God, about what should be important in our lives, about placing God first above all else.

In the first scripture from Matthew 6:33, we learn that by seeking after God and his righteousness, we learn to live a better life. By adhering to the words of Christ’s teachings, we become better people, a people of peace, goodness, kindness and compassion.

Jesus was advising the many, many people who were now seated and listening to him that, when they place God and his ways first in their lives, then they will be blessed by God with all their needs.

When we read Matthew 6:10, we should recognize these words as part of The Lord’s Prayer. It is the same prayer that has become a main prayer in the Christian life. But what are these words saying to us as we read them? Are we supposed to act as if we are in God’s kingdom already?

The definitive answer is actually, “Yes.” First of all, Jesus was not speaking of the authoritative rule of God coming to Earth to wipe out all the enemies of Israel. He was speaking of the spiritual realm of God. He was telling us that right now God’s Kingdom is in our hearts.

When we pray “thy will be done,” we are saying that we want to follow God’s perfect will here on Earth, just as it is in heaven. God’s kingdom comes into being in our lives when we seek to follow the ways of God, allowing him to guide us and lead us along the right paths.

Jesus brought the kingdom life with him when he came to Earth, to show all who would believe in him the way that God has already prepared for us. This way includes using the various gifts and talents that God has blessed us with in a manner that will speak to others about the kingdom of God.

We receive God’s blessings as we follow God and live as we are members of his kingdom on Earth. He blesses us as we follow God’s true paths for our lives. God will not make us into someone we are not. He has given each a path to follow even before we were born. As we grow up and learn who we are as a person, we receive God’s blessings along the way.

When Jesus went to Capernaum, as stated in chapter 4 of Luke, he healed many from illnesses as well as from demon possession. The people were amazed and did not want Jesus to leave them. But Jesus verified his need to continue on in Luke 4:43 when he stated, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

Going back to Matthew 6:10, when Jesus helped the crowd to understand that God’s kingdom was in their hearts, he wasn’t indicating that all was well with the world. He was showing them as they began to lead the lifestyle of the kingdom, their lives would be seated in the peace of God.

Throughout the New Testament, we learn about how we can live as people of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is mentioned more than 70 times throughout the New Testament, and 30 of those times are found in the gospel of Matthew.

When the Apostle Paul spoke of the kingdom of God in Romans 14:17, he made it clear that the kingdom of God on Earth is not made up of our daily sustenance when he said, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Furthermore, when Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus, he referred to those who believe and follow the teachings of Christ as God’s “whole family in heaven and on earth” (Ephesians 3:14).

Writing to the believers in Philippi, from Philippians 3:20, Paul tells us, “But our citizenship is in heaven.”

Perfection on Earth will not happen until (Revelation 21:1-5) when God destroys all evil and will establish a new heaven and a new earth. Until then, we carry God’s kingdom within us everywhere we go.