Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Over the next few weeks,  we’ll take a look at each phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, one at a time.  This week’s phrase is, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.           –  I Timothy 2:3,4

Do you like getting your way?  Of course you do.  And God likes getting his way too.  What happens when God gets what he wants?  Really it comes down to three things.

1) God wants his Word to be taught simply, clearly and without any twisting of his words.

2) God wants all people to be saved, as they come to a knowledge of his truth.

3) God wants all people to live holy lives, free from sinful and self-centered lifestyles.

Notice that God’s will is not that we always get our way.  Sometimes we might get a financial bonus, but notice that God’s passion isn’t that we have plenty of money.  His will isn’t that we always get promoted, or that we always win the championship.  And God would much rather hurt our feelings with his truth than make us feel good about a lie.

Isn’t this interesting – God always gets his way in heaven.  In heaven, his word is never twisted.  Everyone in heaven knows his truth and is saved because of it.  And everyone in heaven lives a sin-free, holy life.

How easy is it for you to let go of getting your way?  It wasn’t easy for Jesus either.  Yet he left his heavenly, always-get-my-way home to come to corrupt, sinful earth.  He entered the planet where his words were often twisted, where he’d endure the heartbreak of some refusing to believe his truth, and where selfish people ran wild.

And yet he came.  For us.  It wasn’t too hard for him.

So thank him for surrendering his will for us.  Live your life in a way that God wants.  Never twist his words.  Go “all-in” on sharing his truth with all people.  Live in repentance and peace, that Jesus drives your heart instead of you.  Then God gets his way, which is the best thing for everyone.

Prayer (written by Martin Luther, about the words, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”):

Savior, through baptism you have united us with your own death and resurrection.  Work out in us your own way and will, that united with you, we may daily count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in you.  Give us patience when our own will is broken so that we do not become angry or complain.  Teach us to surrender our own dreams and desires, that your saving and gracious will may be done in us.  Finally, as we contemplate the mystery of the gospel, in which you, the eternal Son, surrendered your own will to die for love of God and us, move us to pour out our own lives in joyful thanksgiving to God, and in loving service of our neighbor.   Amen.

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