“Kingdom Come” is GACX’s 2017 theme — for both the upcoming Global Forum in October as well as a common thread woven throughout our thoughts and actions during this trip around the sun. It comes, of course, from Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6:9-10.
“Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
Jesus is telling us to come to the Father with a heart that seeks for His (Jesus’) reality to become their reality: a Kingdom where God’s rule and reign are fully manifest. I’m captivated by the power of Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18, the windup before we get the Great Commission. “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” Hear it with the ears of the disciples. They had shared countless miles, intimate meals, laughter and tears with Jesus. Now the friend and teacher they knew so well — killed and then raised — is declaring the unprecedented, unlimited scope of his power. In Ephesians 3, Paul writes that the purpose of God’s redemptive plan is “to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” But what’s more, God has “put all things under his [Jesus’] feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 5:22-32) Jesus is the head of the church who gladly exercises His authority for our good. The church is the practical though imperfect expression of God’s kingdom in the present world. The Westminster Confession beautifully declares, “The visible church is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ and the house and family of God, outside of which people cannot ordinarily be saved.” To multiply the church through new local branches is to increase the number of places where God’s rule and reign, His kingdom, is demonstrated and proclaimed.
God’s Kingdom is a reality which is must be comprehended internally before it can be exercised externally. Jesus authoritatively proclaimed and demonstrated about the Kingdom, His Kingdom, from a position of intimate familiarity. That’s why GACX is calling leaders and “prayer igniters” representing our members and other like-minded organizations to gather next month for the Ignition 2017 prayer summit in Orlando. Prayer is at the heart of Kingdom Come because it is where we most fully encounter, personally and collectively, the reality of God’s power and glory. Prayer aligns our heart and minds with God’s will and assures us that our King is continuously interceding on our behalf. In John 15:16, Jesus says he has appointed his followers “to produce lasting fruit so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” And in our collaborative pursuit of 5 million more churches, we’re asking for a lot in 2017.