In the Lord’s prayer we read, “Give us this day our daily bread.” But my lexicon reminds me that the word “daily” is a very strange word, not found elsewhere, and its literal meaning is “that which is coming upon”, in other words, tomorrow! “Give us tomorrow’s bread TODAY, .” Here is the secret. Tomorrow is the Kingdom of God. But today we may receive spiritual bread to be ready for the Kingdom. Therein is great comfort, because it is God’s promise, and the Lord Jesus specifically told us to ask for it.
Now here is another most interesting fact, found in the Book of Revelation. Note the contrast between these two statements.
Rev.1:4 “He who IS, and who WAS and who IS TO COME.”
Rev.16:8 “The beast you saw WAS, and IS NOT, and IS ABOUT TO ascend out of the abyss.”
The Lord is the I AM, the Ever-present One, the God of Today, the One who wants to minister to us NOW. But the Devil is quite content to encourage our thinking BACKWARDS TO CALVARY, and FORWARDS TO THE LORD’S COMING, as along as we reject TODAY. That is why TODAY is the secret of TOMORROW.
Yes, it is wonderful to contemplate the majesty of God’s future Kingdom, and the possibility of our change into new resurrection bodies without seeing death. And yes, it is just as wonderful to look back to the days of the Son of Man on earth, to learn the lessons He taught, to kneel before His cross as our sin-bearer, and to receive new life in His name. But if we are suspended, so to speak, between these two great wonders, without allowing the Holy Spirit access into our lives in the NOW, then God’s work of preparation will be held up.
“Take no thought for tomorrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt.6:34
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In our little fellowship we love to sing of the coming of the Lord, and the setting up of His Kingdom. But we have found that most of the songs of the second advent focus on US. For example,
“When we all get to glory, what a day of rejoicing that will be!”
“When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there!”
“What a gathering, . . what a gathering of the ransomed in the summer land of love.”
But our “wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see” is for His purposes, not just for our bliss. We are being prepared to be resurrected emissaries in His Kingdom, to attend to the needs of others here on earth. The following two hymns are well presented within this theme –
Sing we the King who is coming to reign,
Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain!
Life and salvation His empire shall bring,
Joy to the nations when Jesus is King.
All men shall dwell in His marvellous light,
Races long severed His love shall unite,
Justice and truth from His sceptre shall spring,
Wrong shall be ended when Jesus is King.
All shall be glad in His Kingdom of Peace,
Freedom shall flourish and wisdom increase,
Foe shall be friend when His triumph we sing,
Sword shall be sickle when Jesus is King.
Souls shall be saved from the burden of sin,
Doubt shall not darken His witness within,
Hell hath no terrors, and Death hath no sting,
Love is victorious when Jesus is King.
Kingdom of Christ, for Thy coming we pray,
Hasten, O Father, the dawn of the day,
When this new song Thy creation shall sing,
Satan is vanquished, for Jesus is King!
Words by Silvester Horne.
From north and south and east and west,
When shall the peoples, long unblest,
All find their everlasting rest, O Christ, in Thee?
When shall the climes of ageless snow
Be with the Gospel light aglow,
And all men their Redeemer know, O Christ, in Thee?
When on each southern balmy coast,
Shall ransomed men, in countless host,
Rise, heart and voice, to make sweet boast, O Christ, in Thee?
O when in all the orient lands,
From cities white and flaming sands,
Shall men lift dedicated hands, O Christ, to Thee?
O when shall heathen darkness roll
Away in light, from pole to pole,
And endless day by every soul, be found in Thee?
Bring, Lord, the long-predicted hour,
The ages’ diadem and flower,
When all shall find their refuge-tower and home in Thee.
Words by George Thomas Coster, 1835-1912