Thy Kingdom Come …

Last week, the longest reigning monarch in British history finally yielded her throne. Many of us joined hands and hearts with the citizens of the United Kingdom and the world at large. We shared their grief in losing their beloved Queen Elizabeth II and felt their expectant hope as Britain’s Prince of Wales became King Charles III. For most of us, this demonstration of royal splendor and pageantry is new territory and hard to relate to. After all, any sense of personal connection or involvement with royalty, or those who represent some facet of it, is a pretty uncommon thing on this side of the Atlantic.

Choosing a Response ~
So, what do we do? We could treat it as just another episode in the ongoing saga of the British royal family. With the royal family’s penchant for underlying drama, we could think of it as a new reality TV show. We could see it as a Duck Dynasty re-do, only with classier wardrobes and stars that have cool-Kingdom.1sounding British accents. Then again, what if God wants to use it as one of those teachable moments that He unexpectedly brings into our lives? Could it be that all this focus on kings and queens is interwoven with lessons that we ought not to miss? I think I’ll go with the latter option. 

Since most of us here in America probably don’t often think about kings, kingdoms, or our relationship to them, this exposure to royal affairs might seem unfamiliar and foreign. But that reaction itself could be considered odd for those of us who consider ourselves to be Christians. When we look at the Bible in general, and Jesus’ ministry in particular, we run into the idea of kings and kingdoms everywhere. For instance, in offering a synopsis of Jesus’ early activities, Matthew included it as one of the central themes of Jesus’ ministry:

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23 NKJV)

Then there’s that model prayer that Jesus offered to guide His disciples in their own prayers. He began with this: 

In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come(Matthew 6:9–10a NKJV)

I must confess that over the years, I’ve probably prayed that prayer hundreds of times without giving much, if any, conscious consideration to what that kingdom request might mean to me personally. While the other things I was asking felt understandable, relevant, and comforting, the part about the kingdom didn’t resonate with the same clarity. But there was no question about its importance when Jesus went full circle and wrapped up the prayer with this: 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13 NKJV)

An Unappealing Picture ~
Our knowledge of history coupled with the culture that has surrounded most of us all our lives has left us with a pretty negative view of monarchies. It’s hard for us to imagine living under a system totally Kingdom.2ruled by one person and where the subjects are allowed no say at all about the rules and restrictions imposed on us. We got a taste of that during the COVID era when mandates were being thrown about right and left. Many of us found that practice both frightening and repulsive. We know, of course, that all monarchies aren’t like that. 

The U.K., for instance, has had kings and queens since their beginning, but they also have a Parliament. They have a national Constitution, and like us, they consider themselves to be a self-governing representative republic. There is a body of  people making the rules, but they’re not put in office simply based on their genealogy. Citizens get to vote them in or out, and there are checks and balances in place to deter tyranny. Other kings and queens throughout history have not had to deal with such inconveniences.

A Royal Tendency Unveiled ~
In the years following the period of the Judges, God’s people approached Samuel and demanded that they be given a king (I Samuel 8:4-5). Their misguided view was that a king would defend them, provide for them, lead their troops into battle, and ensure security and justice for them. Since they wereKingdom.3 basically rejecting God as their sovereign authority, He decided to let them have what they wanted. God instructed Samuel to tell them what their king would actually do. One characteristic of the king they were demanding stands out. If you take a moment to read I Samuel 8:10-18, you’ll see these words again and again: He will take He will take… He will take. . . 

Throughout history, that has been the legacy of kings and autocratic tyrants, and it continues today. No wonder we shy away from the notion of yielding our autonomy, relinquishing our rights, and surrendering ourselves to serve a king. Yet here we are, confronted with all those references that Jesus made to a kingdom. 

Whether our cultural comfort zone accommodates it or not, one thing is undeniable. The “good news” that Jesus proclaimed was about a Kingdom, not a representative republic. He invited society’s worst sinners and its hopeless outcasts into a Kingdom, not a democracy where the majority rules. Kingdoms are measured and defined by the character and power of the kings that rule over them. Jesus came to establish a Kingdom unlike any that the world has seen before or since. 

A Different Kind of King ~
This Kingdom has a King willing to go where other kings would never go . . . He walked among the downtrodden, encouraged the lowly, and embraced the poor. He sat at tables spurned by other nobles and shared meals with those the world’s kings despised. He invaded territories reserved for royals and social elites and exposed their arrogant hypocrisy. This King touched the unclean, embraced the unholy, loved the unlovable, and healed the incurable. He ushered sunlight into the dark hovels of depression and despair. This King fed hungry bodies and quenched the thirst of famished souls. He confronted the unspeakable grief when life is lost and love is gone. This King shared those tears, felt that grief, and then stood up and sent death and the grave back to hell where they belong. This King didn’t come to take. He came to give, and He came to give more than the temporal trinkets offered by other potentates. This King came to do something that the entire collection of earth’s royals would find not only unthinkable. It would be impossible. The royal proclamations that Jesus delivered to us are beyond profound. Here are a couple of examples:

For even the Son of Man [one of our King’s titles] did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45 NKJV)

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32 NKJV)

One thing is abundantly clear. Even those who wear jeweled crowns will one day be forced to relinquish everything. Death will take our titles, crowns and any authority we claim, and only two options remain. One leads to judgment and banishment to a dark and painful realm with no love, no comfort, no hope, and no end. The other leads to the presence of a beloved King who accepted the judgment we deserve and who invites us into a Kingdom where peace, joy, love, and harmony are guaranteed forever. The choice must be made before we exit this life. Now would be a good time to join me in that prayer Jesus offered… Thy Kingdom come!


“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to tweet and share from the pull quotes below.  Each one links directly back to this article through Twitter . . .

    • “Jesus invited society’s worst sinners and its hopeless outcasts into a Kingdom — not a democracy where the majority rules. He came to establish a Kingdom unlike any the world has seen before or since.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 
    • “Jesus touched the unclean, embraced the unholy, loved the unlovable, and healed the incurable. He ushered sunlight into the dark hovels of depression and despair. This King fed hungry bodies and quenched the thirst of famished souls.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 
    • “Jesus confronted the unspeakable grief when life is lost & love is gone. Our King shared those tears, felt that grief & then stood up & sent death & the grave back to hell where they belong. This King didn’t come to take. He came to give.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 
    • “Even those who wear jeweled crowns will one day be forced to relinquish everything. Death will take our titles, crowns and any authority we claim.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
    • “A beloved King accepted the judgment we deserve & invites us into a Kingdom where peace, joy, love & harmony are guaranteed forever. The choice must be made before we exit this life. Join me in that prayer Jesus offered… Thy Kingdom come!” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 

Check out Ron’s book“Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth” 

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© 2022 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S.  All rights reserved.

About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
This entry was posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Thy Kingdom Come …

  1. Darlene Hopkins says:

    As always, I looked forward to your weekly post and was not (and have never been) disappointed! You have such a glorious way with words (a definite gift from God) and it always leaves me in a prayerful focus on Jesus, my Lord. So thankful for you, Ron. Dave and I miss you and Diane!

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    • It is such a blessing to hear from you, Darlene! I’m sorry to be slow responding–lots of running around these days and I keeping my routines anywhere close to normal has been challenging. We think about you guys often, and are sad that getting to see each other is so much more challenging than it used to be. We hope that both of you and the family are reasonably healthy and doing well. I’m not sure when we’ll get back to VA at this point–weren’t able to attend the Family Foundation Gala this year because of several other constraints getting in the way. Hopefully, we’ll make it back up there in the next few months and if we do, we’ll give you a call and see if we can work out a meal or at least a cup of coffee. May God make your stand for Him contagious and the fruit of your lives be replicated exponentially in these dark and troublesome days.

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  2. Belief in Jesus and faith in His will for us are all it takes to enter the eternal kingdom, whether we are prosperous or pauper. Jesus welcomes each and every one of us with open arms and unsurpassable love and forgiveness. We could spend every day of our lives here on earth in thanks and praise, and it could never measure up to His wonderous comfort and promise of a life forever with Him.
    The Queen will be missed greatly, but I strongly believe it was her faith in Jesus and the eternal kingdom that made her such a stately, dignified and dearly loved monarch who put service to her people ahead of everything else. She took to heart Jesus’ words that He came to serve, not be served.
    Blessings, Ron!

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    • I couldn’t possibly agree more re. the Queen, Martha. We loved the way she wore the crown for all those years, but royals are sinners, too, and like each of us, her personal faith in Jesus is the one thing that could accomplish forgiveness and redemption for her. She couldn’t take the crown the she wore on earth with her when she left us, nor could the heritage she developed during her life here make her more worthy of that eternal Kingdom than anyone else in her realm. But she had a crown waiting for her that was bought and paid for by the one King that will rule forever. This queen that we respect and admire will join all the rest of us in casting every crown bestowed on any of us at the feet of Jesus–the only King worthy of them. God bless you for the encouraging affirmations and insights you share, and for the inspiration you faithfully send out to others.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. JD Wininger says:

    As usual, your post brought forward many thoughts this day sir. First, I thought of our democracy here in America, which I prefer to call correctly “Constitutional Republic.” I think of how I fought to defend it, but now think it more likely that I will be fighting to defend against it if the Lord tarries. I also thought about what it will be like during Christ’s coming millennial reign. What will it be like to be completely under the control and guidance of our King, Jesus Christ. If I’m honest, I think “Heaven on Earth.” If I’m pragmatic, I think I should be living this way today. Fully sold out, fully surrendered to His rule, His way, His life through me. I’m not there yet, and if I was, perhaps I’d be experiencing more of that “Heaven on Earth” peace in my soul than I do when interacting with this world. Therein, I think, lies the difference. In the coming kingdom, I won’t have my flawed, sinful, lustful, prideful human spirit to battle with the Holy Spirit that will continue to indwell me. Our coming glorification will remove that internal struggle that we battle as human Christians. To this, I say, “I Surrender All”, “Maranatha!”, “Come Lord Jesus”; I’m tired of the battle that rages within me. While tired, I recognize that I do not have the power to stop it. Control it, through the fruits of the Spirit’s activity in my life (especially self-control, which is one I’m forever working in)? Absolutely, but as long as I remain alive in this human condition, the battle will continue. I’ve found peace with this “war-like” state within me, but His grace, mercy, and love, gives me the strength I need each day to endure to the end. As Paul puts it, to “run the race.” I pray everyone who reads your post looks to that same source of strength and welcomes the coming kingdom, like no other. Loved your post my friend. God’s blessings to you and your lovely Ms. Diane.

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    • Sometimes when I read your stuff, J.D., I think about coffee. I’m not a connoisseur, but it occurs to me that the best coffees I run across are blends of different kinds of beans. Apparently, though all of them might be good on their own, none of them are quite as good by themselves as they are together. None of them would be considered bad, or sub-par on their own. It’s just that each has some kind unique quality that enhances the characteristics of the others. Your writing is a bit like that. Whether it’s a blog post, or an article, or a comment like the one you just shared, there seems to be a process at work that creates a unique blend. For instance there are ingredients like a genuine passion for God’s truth, a love for this country that isn’t just a political talking point, commitment evidenced by self-sacrifice, not just rhetoric, a sense of indignation about the way this culture mocks God’s definition of righteousness and justice, humility evidenced by courageous transparency, and compassion that isn’t just “virtue signaling.”The end result is a fascinating brew that we fans of yours get to sample on a regular basis. God seems to use you to connect us with the ingredient we need most at the time, whether it ends up as compassionate tears, shared outrage, spiritual nourishment, or thigh-slapping laughter. For all of it, I just want to say, thanks again, my friend, for daring to let God use all of who you really are to encourage, inform, and inspire us. Our prayers continue for God’s clear direction and sovereign authority over all that awaits you and Mrs. Diane as the road ahead unfolds.

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      • JD Wininger says:

        Funny my friend; I asked God after I had pressed Post on my reply to your amazing article as to when He was going to allow you and me to author a book together, so that we could blend your writing talent with my long-windedness, as I think we could certainly shake up the world for His kingdom with humor and insight sir.

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      • Now that’s about the most intriguing idea I’ve heard lately–don’t know about the talent on my end but it would definitely be a fun project to contemplate. The woke crowd would no doubt have a hard time trying to figure out just how to get us cancelled. Guardian angels might be reaching for the Rolaids again. 🙂

        Like

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