LESSON 6 THE OUTCOME OF PRAYER - GOD’S KINGDOM
Prayer is primarily about bringing about God’s rule on earth so that His glory can be put on display. God has personally involved us in this enterprise because He gave man the earth to manage for Him as His vice-regents.
The kingdom of God is His family business. God relates to us as sons and daughters and allows us to share His rule by carrying out His will on earth.
The best way to get an understanding of our role in bringing God’s kingdom to earth is through watching and listening to Jesus who is our perfect pattern.
1. JESUS IDENTIFIED WITH THE HUMAN RACE
Jesus came as a human baby to grow up and be one of us. He had to learn to be human and to experience everything that humans experience.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (NIV).
He also had to learn the meaning of being a son
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered and, once made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation for all wo obey Him...” Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV).
Question: In what ways was Jesus just like us and in what ways was He different from us?
He was made like us in every way:
He was tempted like we are;
He functioned as a human being; He was empowered by the Holy Spirit;
He had to learn.
He was different in that He was both fully God and fully man. He did not function as God in His earthly life. He set aside His deity and lived purely as a human being.
2. JESUS PARTNERED WITH HIS FATHER AS A MATURE SON
He was already aware of His sonship at the age of twelve. His obedience to His heavenly Father took precedence over His earthly parents.
“Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49 (NIV).
He spent hours with the Father, nurturing His relationship with Him, growing in confidence in His Father’s disposition and will, learning how to partner with Him in His ministry and how to establish His kingdom on earth. He spent hours watching the Father and listening to Him.
“Jesus gave them this answer: ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can only do what He sees the Father doing because whatever the Father does, the Son does also. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.’” John 5:19,20 (NIV).
Question: In what ways can we imitate Jesus as a son?
3. JESUS ALWAYS PUT GOD’S GLORY AND GOD'S KINGDOM FIRST IN EVERYTHING HE DID
Jesus always viewed every circumstance from God’s perspective. relating to God’s rule
1. He viewed sickness and death as an opportunity to show people what God could do.
“Walking down the road, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?’
“Jesus said, ‘You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.’” John 9:1-3 (The Message).
Jesus received a message that His friend, Lazarus was sick.
“When Jesus got this message, He said, ‘This sickness is not fatal. It will be an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.’” John 11:4 (The Message).
2. He viewed all circumstances as relating to people’s relationship to God.
“About that time some people came up and told Him about the Galileans Pilate had killed while they were at worship, mixing their blood with the blood of the sacrifices on the altar. Jesus responded, ‘Do you think those murdered Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you will also die.’” Luke 13:1-3 (The Message).
3. He taught and brought the kingdom of God into people’s everyday lives.
“He tried again, ‘How can I picture God’s kingdom for you? It’s like yeast that a women works into enough dough for three loaves of bread – and waits while the dough rises.’” Luke 13:20 (The Message).
If we are the sons and daughters of God, we need to be imitating Jesus. Since it is our role to continue the mission of Jesus on earth, we cannot do it in a hit-and-miss fashion. Jesus gave His life to transfer us from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light.
“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” Colossians 1:13 (NIV)
4. OUR RESPONSE TO JESUS PASSION FOR GOD’S KINGDOM
Jesus came to announce God’s kingdom and to set it up in people’s hearts by dealing with sin and opening the way to the Father. His work would be in vain if we are not passionate about what He is passionate about.
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15 (NIV).
Paraphrase: If you value what I value, you will do what I tell you so that you do not break my heart.
Jesus focussed all His energy on teaching and establishing God’s kingdom. His prayer was directed to doing His Father’s will.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 (NIV).
Question: In what practical ways can we imitate Jesus in His passion for the Father’s kingdom and glory?
1. Jesus is the model we are called to follow.
2. His passion for God’s rule in people’s live spilled over into everything He said and did.
3. His prayer life was the engine that drove Him. Anything less is unworthy of Him.
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