“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Jesus prays what Isaiah prophesied, “In that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 27:13). The kingdoms of this world illude power and pleasure, but deliver destruction and death. Isaiah declares a day to come when we will return to the mountain of God, where the Lord “will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8). Isaiah is speaking of Jesus.
This world offers us pleasure today. We can hold it now, which is the power of temptation. It is in our grasp, but comes with a sting, the terror of sin and promise of death. At six years old, I was scared to death of bees, and a bee flew into the car. Dad rolled the car windows down, offering escape, but this bee was intent on terrorizing me. Finally, Dad reached over and caught the bee in his hand and held it. I did not see it sting, but I know it stung because he opened his hand and showed me the bee. Dead. Dad plucked the stinger out of his palm, and I was brave again. “’O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 15:55-57).
God offers us joy forever in a day to come. It comes with a cross, the triumph of sacrifice and the promise of life. We can be sure of it, which is the power of trust. That is the choice we must make, between today and tomorrow, between temptation and trust.
My Savior God, You warned me. You told me that sin leads to death, and yet I like to sin. And so, I deserve death because I choose a life of sin over a life of obedience. In astonishing love, however, You took the death I deserved, even while I continued to sin. No wonder I learn love only because You first loved me.
It’s an amazing grace You offer me. Through faith, I receive the righteousness of Your Son. I do not need to obey to earn Your love because You freely give it to me. So, now, I obey, not because I need to, but because I want to. You have changed my desires, God, and now I want nothing more than to follow You.