As it is in Heaven

Greg Gillham | February 18, 2021

The past couple of years, I've been thinking a lot about what Jesus meant when he prayed what we commonly call "The Lord's Prayer" in Matthew 6:9-13. I have especially been considering that first part in verses 9-10,

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven

I've heard preachers and teachers remind me that Jesus takes time at the beginning of this prayer to confess God's identity: "our Father" which is intimate, who is "in heaven" which is distant. Jesus shows that the God who made everything is also accessible as our Dad. Amazing!

 

I've also learned that the next part "hallowed be your name" is really meant to be parallel with "your kingdom come, your will be done." It doesn't work well in English, but it's supposed to be something like "your name holied, your kingdom come, your will be done." That means, then, that Jesus asks God to make all three things happen "on earth as it is in heaven."

 

What would it be like on earth if God's name was as holy as in heaven, where He is the holiest? What would it be like on earth if God's kingdom was as real and good as it is in the place where there is no other authority? What would it be like on earth if God's perfect will had no opposition? These are the questions that Jesus is incredibly inviting his disciples to ask! 

 

Even further, I am amazed when I consider that Jesus -- who is God Himself -- is teaching the disciples of God's Kingdom to pray to God the Father with these words. Why does He need to tell us what to tell Himself? Well, first of all, we know from Luke 11 that they asked Him to teach them how to pray. But I think there's more. I think there's an element of this teaching-prayer in which Jesus is inviting His disciples to participate in the prayer. In other words, He is inviting them to help establish His Kingdom. 

 

And that brings me to Missions Month! Jesus's disciples get to advance the borders of God's Kingdom. They get to imagine what situations would look like if He was really acknowledged as King, and then help make them real. How would people be treated with dignity? How would people's needs be met? How would people's lives be changed forever if they submitted to a good, holy, loving King? That is our Message, and that is our missionaries' message. 

 

So I pray that we submit again to Jesus today. I pray that we will use His teaching, especially in Matthew 5-7, to imagine what it would look like to follow Him today. I pray that we will be willing to learn from Him today. And I pray that we will make ourselves available to join Jesus in His work of sharing His Message today.

Missions

January 28, 2021

"He has servants in His cities and countries all over the world and each place brings a different challenge to bringing His Kingdom. He GROWS His people when they say YES and step out of their comfort zones to grow His Kingdom."

Advent: Joy

December 15, 2020

"Take heart, says my Savior. Choose joy. Choose my deliverance. Desire to experience life in my victory that will never fade, and much has faded this year."

Questioning

November 17, 2020

The older I get the more I realize my own lack of understanding and my own made up ideals of who I expect God to be..."

The Diorama of Grace

October 6, 2020

"For my Springs Church family I have a diorama with a wonderfully believable background image. It is the arms of Christ creating the banks of a flowing fresh spring fed river."

Pandemic Planning

August 17, 2020

"If 2020 has taught us anything it might be that we are much less in control of our lives that we pretend to be; and that our planned and premeditated existence is much more fragile that we would like to admit."

The Struggle is Real

July 7, 2020

"I have had questions about the Bible and God for lots of years, but only in the last year or so have they really bothered me."

Lessons Learned During Quarantine

May 19, 2020

"... I hope it helps you realize you are not alone in whatever you are feeling and we will make it through together (albeit six feet apart)."

God First

April 7, 2020

"God is his most important meeting of the day and everything else needs to adjust, not the other way around."

Prepared to Connect

February 18, 2020

"Our behavior itself can be a door that leads to connection, then to belief."

An Anxious Amen

January 7, 2020

"Living with mental illness can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people... Sometimes it feels like the only thing keeping me from sinking to the bottom is God."

Advent – Peace

December 9, 2019

"... Peace of some

kind is what many of us long for, it seems. It’s on a lot of minds as we try to cope. Where do you go to feel at peace?"

Peacemaking

November 5, 2019

Despite my shared love for Christ with many people, heartbreaking conflict still happens … a lot."

Bring What You Have

September 17, 2019

"One of the strengths I’ve always appreciated about The Springs is the willingness of leadership to consider an idea, bless it, and send you forth to “Go.”

Youth Mission Trip

August 6, 2019

"It is very encouraging for our youth here to get to know other Christians their age. And also they are inspired by the singing of such a musically talented group as this Spring group is."

Growth

January 7, 2021

"What does growth look like for you in 2021? What does it look like for your Connections Group, your relationship with Jesus, our Church?"

Advent: Peace

December 8, 2020

"I want to be a peacemaker. I believe that Jesus calls us to be active in bringing peace on earth through caring for those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and poor."

Connecting

November 3, 2020

"I think it’s fair to say that many of us are feeling disconnected as of late. Due to the pandemic, all

aspects of life aren’t normal whether it’s church, work, or friendships. Virtual or in-person church can be challenging."

Loss and Growth

September 22, 2020

"The losses we endure, sometimes, creates stumbling blocks on the road of growth in Christ.  I believe the “joy” that is mentioned in James 1 is based in Christian maturity of learning to recognize the stumbling blocks and having faith in Christ so we can create stepping stones from those stumbling blocks."

Opening a Window

August 4, 2020

"How does one reconcile themselves to the “other?” The first step might reflexively urge you to stop labeling them as “other.” Which I agree, is an important stop on the map to Heaven on Earth. But I would suggest that is not the first pit stop in the path to harmony within the Kingdom."

I Choose Life

June 23, 2020

"The choices I make are not just about me. They concern others and because they concern others they concern God. My choices are about life."

Sitting Ducks

May 5, 2020

"I had been taught what to believe but not why to believe."

Endless Blooms

March 24, 2020

 "Like a bloom in a child’s hand, the goodness of God can take our curious stare and prodding to reveal new depths of His love."

God is in Control

February 4, 2020

"We have both met so many people in all walks of life and always pray that God leads us to searching hearts."

Advent – Love

December 23, 2019

"..Advent helps us to remember that the way the Lord arrived and the way Jesus lived his life mattered..."

Advent – Hope

December 2, 2019

"Yet, because of God’s faithfulness we have hope, and our hope fuels our faith.  Our Living Hope sustains us, and gives us back our joy."

Diversity

October 15, 2019

"As I looked around last Sunday morning, of the 45 or so people present, at least 10 different nationalities were represented."

Be Kind to Everyone

September 3, 2019

"The word kindness roles off the tongue with great ease and conjures up thoughts of weakness and feelings that make us think it is an easy thing to do..."

The Primary Functions of Elders

July 16, 2019

"...it is beneficial to review briefly the main leadership functions of elders as found in the New Testament."

Advent: Love

December 22, 2020

"May God’s love cause us, like Mary, to open up to acts of courageous love."

Advent: Hope

December 1, 2020

Yet, our anchor isn’t in any one stage or season, but in the Lord that turns the seasons
and sustains our days."

Yes! Church

October 20, 2020

"We certainly didn’t have a full understanding of what might happen and have plans for all those contingencies. Our youthful enthusiasm focused more on the dream than the plan. It was risk for them to move forward. And yet, they said “yes”!

The Power of Story

September 8, 2020

We need to tell our stories to help others and to find healing ourselves. “Story is what connects us and binds us to each other. . .Story is what defines us and sets us apart. . .

[Story helps us] to truly know

and be known.”

In Christ's Family

July 21, 2020

"I have often found myself drawn to the book of Galatians, particularly the third chapter... These verses are a beautiful example of unity within the church—the way it ought to be."

Revelation

June 9, 2020

"It is in this time of 'aloneness' that Jesus shows up..."

You Can't Log Out of Christianity When You Log into Facebook

April 21, 2020

"... in this time of hourly, sometimes inappropriate and often harsh social media messages originating anywhere from high-level government officials to the local busy-body, we can’t forget who we are … and WHO’S we are."

Joining the Conversation

March 10, 2020

"When we don’t know what Christians have historically said we know far less about what we say."

Missions

January 21, 2020

"My heart for missions began while a student at Oklahoma Christian in 1983."

Advent – Joy

December 16, 2019

"... To be truthful, I am a very joyful person. So why am I finding it so hard to write this little Advent piece about Joy?"

Before & After

November 19, 2019

"But I am trying something new: being kind to my past self. God is teaching me that he loves the before-Angi just as much as he loves the after-Angi."

Look for the Little Miracles

October 1, 2019

"...busy in their minds, prepping for their day, talking on the cell, settling down wiggly kids in their car seats – never noticing God’s gift in the sky."

Between Two Gardens

August 19, 2019

“...You are either going into a storm, in the storm, or coming out of the storm.” I have lived my life thinking my spiritual journey would be like an Oklahoma storm."

Looking Back

July 2, 2019

Monema Stephens reflects on how God has worked through the Springs over the years.

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