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Thursday of Lent 2

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ó Romans 14:17

For what do we pray when we pray ďThy kingdom come?Ē There are many false ways of seeing or wanting that kingdom. Matters of eating and drinking can be extended to all sorts of issues, goals, and priorities that distract us from the true meaning of the kingdom of God. What matters is not what we think or feel is right, nor our preferences or our ideals. All those things pass away. But the kingdom remains, and it is ours. It is a righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That is to say, the essence of Godís kingdom is having Christís righteousness that covers all our sins, having the peace that comes from sins forgiven, and having the true joy of knowing that we are justified and saved on account of the work of Christ.

That is Godís kingdom, and it is what it is even without our prayers. Whether we would pray for it or not the kingdom of God, the righteousness of Christ is a reality, and is the only reality that will stand at the last. But we pray that it may be ours, that this kingdom might come to us. And so God gives us His Holy Spirit, so that we believe the Gospel, that the righteousness of Christ becomes our righteousness, that the peace and joy that comes from the Gospel might be applied to us and that we might live, by His grace, in that righteousness, peace, and joy all our days.

God our heavenly Father, who in love sent your only-begotten Son to be our righteousness, peace, and joy, grant that by your grace we may be strengthened in this hope all our days. May your kingdom may come to us and expand to the ends of the world, that we and all may believe the good news that the righteousness of your Son covers all our sins, and that we would have the peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.

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