Read Psalm 119:1–16
Your kingdom come, your will be done.Matthew 6:10
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.” These are the words every American boy and girl learns from a very early age. The pledge has sustained fights from atheists, who argue that the phrase “one nation under God” infringes on their right to disbelieve in God. But it may surprise us that some Christians have also taken issue with the pledge.
The Bible makes it clear that our identity is not first of all ethnic or national. We are Christians before we are ever white or black, American or Angolan. Our loyalty is never first to our clan, tribe, or nation. Our loyalty is to Christ and to His body, which is the church. We see this expressed in Jesus’ prayer when He prays, your kingdom come, your will be done. To whom do we owe our primary allegiance? To the “blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15).
This allegiance can be enthusiastic and not merely dutiful. God’s law is not simply a set of prohibitions by which God rubber-stamps, “Not for Consumption” on the fun of life. There is more in the Bible than a long list of don’ts and a litany of prohibitions.
The psalmist uses words like delight to describe his earnestness for becoming a man who pleases God and lives according to God’s Word. “I rejoice in following your statues” (v. 14). And the joy the psalmist describes, the joy that obedience does indeed inspire, is the very same joy Jesus experienced, which allowed Him to move beyond the pain of the cross into the delight of God (Heb. 12:2). Sin promises fleeting pleasure; obedience secures eternal joy.
Apply the Word
Living for the kingdom and staying loyal to God’s will are means to deep and abiding joy. Hebrews 11:25 recounts how Moses chose “to be mistreated with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” But the decision to reject pleasure now for greater joy later can only be inspired by our future hope. How often do you think of heaven?
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