For Thine Is the Glory

January 18th, 2008 • Category: My Favorite Scripture
by Steve Adams

Today’s scripture: Matthew 6:9-13 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

One of the many things we have a super-abundance of in America is spectator sports. And, we get very passionate about them, don’t we? Here in Indianapolis, all you have to do to start a lively conversation is say one word: Colts!

While it may sound strange to a devoted fan, I think it’s critical to remember that a game, no matter how exciting, is still only a game. Yet, I’ve heard a number of Christians say they would pray for the Colts (or some other team) to win. What about prayers like this?

Jesus provides us with the ultimate “model prayer” in Matthew 6. Here’s a short synopsis of what I derive from it: we are to pray for things that help build the kingdom of God on earth, and for God’s will to be done. We’re to ask God to give us our spiritual bread to make it through the day. We’re to forgive others. We’re to pray to be delivered from evil and temptations.

What stands out the most to me is that we’re to pray for the furtherance of the kingdom of God. God is passionate about people helping to build systems of justice and love in the face of the staggering injustice and evil that dominates much of the world. So, how does a game compare? I think God is glad we can have fun and enjoy our favorite team. But, I think it’s safe to say God wants most of our time, admiration, and money — and all of our prayers — to go toward the furtherance of the Kingdom, not our favorite team.

Even though it would be hard for anyone who knows me now to believe it, I used to be an absolutely avid sports fan. Between Indy car racing in the spring and summer, football in the fall, and basketball in the winter, my entire year was just about filled up with my passion. But after I became a Christian, I started to see that, even though watching sports is exciting and fun entertainment, it simply isn’t nearly as important as I thought it was.

For THINE is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever! I used to think how glorious it would be if my favorite team won the championship. Now, more and more, I instead look forward to how glorious it will be to spend the first day of eternity with my Lord Jesus Christ — to be part of his world in which there is only love, justice, peace, honesty, integrity, and wholeness!

Thought for the day: Lord, the better I get to know you, the more you overshadow all the excitement the world has to offer.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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