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Session 1: Reign of God

 


Righteousness and peace kiss each other

 
The theme for the Presidency of Baptists Together 2017-18 is that phrase from the Lord’s prayer 'As in heaven'.  May your Kingdom come, your will be done amongst us as Baptists, in our communities, our lives 'As in heaven'.  We ache for better in our own lives and responses, more love, more grace, more of God’s presence and in essence that is the focus of 'As in heaven'- seeking more of God, not just for ourselves but even more so in our communities; seeking to participate more fully in God’s Kingdom.


When we pray 'As in heaven' we are praying:

  • For God’s presence to be pre-eminent in all things.  Heaven is the reign of God and so in our communities we seek God’s gracious, holy, loving rule in all we are and all we do.
  • For God’s truth to be the foundation of our beliefs and understanding.  Heaven is the place where the living Word of God’s work is complete.  Where because of loving sacrifice, mercy and grace there is forgiveness and healing.
  • For God’s character to pervade all things.  God is good, mercy, love, holy, compassionate, slow to anger, patient, kind, generous – these are the qualities we are seeking when we pray 'As in heaven'.
 
Reflection: When you say the words “May your Kingdom come on earth as in heaven” what is in your mind?  What do you hope might be the outcome of this prayer being said a million times around the world? Using your God given imagination what will the fulfilment of this prayer look like.
 

Reflections from the Psalms  – As in heaven

We pray 'may your Kingdom come – as in heaven' knowing that what we are seeking is multifaceted and profound.  We can keep learning knew truths about God’s Kingdom from the varying authors whose writing make up God’s revealed story in the Bible. 
 
Read Psalm 47:8 and 146:10 – what do we learn of God’s sovereignty over the nations and his Kingship?

As the Creator and Author of Creation God’s power is ultimate.  This could appear oppressive if it were in flawed human hands but as God’s reign and power are detailed we read of liberating and positive features of God’s supremacy and Kingdom.
 
Read Psalm 85:10-13 this Psalm gives insight into God’s Kingdom – what are the main characteristics of God’s rule?  Reflect on the meaning of love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace in this Psalm.  How do the beauty of these images of love and faithfulness meeting and righteousness and peace kissing each other help us understand God’s presence?

As we pray for God’s Kingdom ‘as in heaven’ so we pray for our lives together to be pervaded by that love which is as strong as death which many waters cannot quench, Song of Songs 8:6-7.  We seek to be a people ruled by God’s faithfulness and for our compassion and kindness to be, that which pervades heaven. 
  • How can we encounter God more fully in his love and faithfulness, righteousness and peace?
  • In what ways can we reflect God’s rule in our own lives and communities as we seek heaven on earth?
  • What evidence for 'love as strong as death' do you see in the community of which you are part? 
  • How might you continue to seek heaven on earth in the light of the verses we have read in the Psalms?

Pray seeking heaven on earth in your daily routine; seek God’s love, faithfulness, goodness and peace in all things.

 

Psalm 89:14-15 - Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne, love and faithfulness go before you.  Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.

A prayer 

Lord we thank you that your Kingdom is your reign: of peace, all that is good, faithfulness and love.  We pray that our lives and communities might bring heaven to earth by being people who bring peace and all that is good into the lives of others.  We acknowledge our failure, at times, to bring heaven to earth by our words and deeds.  Fill us with your presence that we might be channels of your presence and your Kingdom in all we do.  In the name of Christ our Lord, Amen.
 
 


 
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God's Kingdom is always about transforming death to life, darkness to light, ashes to beauty
Insights into discipleship and community 'As in heaven'
The Kingdom of God is 'the reign and rule of God in the lives of God’s people'.
Seeing God in the ordinary things of life
Worship is about honouring and submitting to God
Righteousness and peace kiss each other