Daily Devotions
 

Hello Good Shepherd!

During these summer months our Daily Devotions will continue with Good Shepherd’s Pastors along with Jen Jarman and Matthew Petersen each taking turns writing them week by week.  The topics and themes will be as varied as the Staff members themselves!  We hope you will check us out each day as you continue your daily Vine Time with God.  Open yourself to what God is saying to you through this writing, and pray that the Spirit will bring forth fruit from your life for the sake of the world. 

Also, as a way to encourage each other, use the comment box at the end of each day’s devotion to leave a thought, a prayer or a reflection of your own.  

Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion
Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven….

It may seem strange for us in the United States to talk about Kingdoms and Kings, after all, resisting such images is deep in our formational bones.  But Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven very frequently.  He announced the Kingdom coming near, he told stories about what the Kingdom was like, he physically revealed what the Kingdom is like through his ministry.  The Kingdom that Jesus talked about wasn’t necessarily a physical place as much as the reality of God’s Reign in heaven and on earth.  

When Jesus revealed the Kingdom of God it involved things like, healing the sick, casting out demons, hungry people being fed, vulnerable people receiving mercy and justice, sins forgiven and the dead being raised.  In the Kingdom Jesus also says “the last will be first and the first will be last”.   When we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we pray that these things will be true, right here, right now.  We aren’t just biding our time here and now, waiting for God’s Reign to rule over us someday in heaven.  We are praying that God’s Kingdom would be revealed among us, and that we would be a part of advancing God’s Kingdom, that is already in our midst.

In much the same way we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we also pray that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Sometimes we have misconceptions about God’s will.  Maybe you’ve heard them.  “God needed another angel in heaven, that’s why your loved one died,” or “it was God’s will that this or that tragedy happened.” Hmmmm, really?  Are death, tragedy and disaster, God’s will?  I think not (see discussion on God’s Kingdom coming). 

Martin Luther reminds us in the Small Catechism that God’s will is good and gracious. Now it is true that God is at work in all things, so we may witness God working for good even in the midst of troubling times.  But God willing bad and awful things goes against what Jesus taught us about God.

Luther said that God’s will is to “hinder and defeat every evil scheme and purpose of the devil, the world and our sinful self”.  In other words, God’s greatest hope is that all powers that come between us and God, all temptations that lead us away from God, all brokenness that cause us to turn from God would be defeated.  The positive piece is that God strengthens our faith and keeps us firm in his Word.  Another way to think about it is that God’s will comes when powers that draw us away from God are weakened, while our relationship with God is strengthened.  That we would know the God who loves us, that is God’s good and gracious will.

Reflection: Have you seen any signs of God’s kingdom coming near to you this week?  How has God’s will been fulfilled in your life?
 

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