Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
January 13, 2011
What did John F. Kennedy’s Oval Office doodles mean? What did he and former President Eisenhower discuss during the Cuban missile crisis? Today you can find out. This morning’s New York Times tells us that the Kennedy Library has made eight million artifacts from his presidency available online. The article’s headline: “Touring Camelot, Without Having to Leave Home.”
You can tour the Kingdom of Heaven even more easily today. His throne room is as close as your next prayer.
Yesterday it was my privilege to teach a conference at Baylor University on the spiritual awakening sweeping the globe today. More people are becoming Christians today than at any time in history. I am praying that God will do in America what he is doing in other nations around the world.
At the conclusion of the conference, one of the pastors was asked to lead us in prayer. He made a statement to God that caught my attention: “When it is all said and done, you will still be the only King.” He was right. Jesus came to announce the Kingdom: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17). He taught us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). When he returns, the name by which he will be revealed to the world is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).
If you want to get along with God, stay off his throne. If you want his power and purpose in your life today, make him your King. The Model Prayer shows us how to begin each day by surrendering it to our King. Jesus has taught us to live for God’s glory (“hallowed be your name”) by his will (“your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). We are to trust to him our present needs (“give us this day our daily bread”), past problems (“forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”) and future fears (“lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”).
Now we come to best-known benediction in literature: “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Here we are reminded that our God is an omnipotent, glorious King. Unlike other rulers, however, he permits us to choose whether or not we will make him our king. Citizens of England live under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II whether they like it or not. Citizens of God’s Kingdom live under his reign only if they choose to do so.
As fallen people in a fallen world, our “default” position is to be our own king. Jesus will be King of this day only if you deliberately, intentionally submit it to him. He will be King of your decisions and problems today only if you give them to him. He is King of this essay only if I surrender it to his Spirit.
Have you made Jesus the King of this Thursday?