Daily Devotion: Looking Forward to Heaven

Daily Devotion: Looking Forward to Heaven

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Pray then like this: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever and ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13

 

Good morning Prayer Team!

  • What is the number one goal of every life? SALVATION
  • What is the number one goal every parent should have for their child? TO KNOW CHRIST.
  • What is the number one goal for every marriage? MUTUAL SALVATION
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is the ultimate goal and destination of every human life.

We spend lots of life daydreaming. How many children dream of being an athlete, or a dancer? I remember as a child, we knew the names of all the baseball players and we would play after school, pretending to be our favorite players, even adopting their mannerisms. People dream about being married, owning a home. Most of us have daydreamed about winning the lottery.

Children’s dreams are mostly fantasies. As people get older, the dreams become more concrete, less fantasy, and more attainable. As a teenager who dreams about driving a car or having a career moves into adulthood, these things can’t come soon enough. They can’t wait for these things to happen.

For the adult who has achieved some material and career success, there is nothing wrong with these things. There is nothing wrong with enjoying life and the things of this world. But as Christians, we are supposed to look forward to the world to come. The child enjoys being a child, and the things that are unique to childhood, like playing with friends, being on athletic teams, and at the same time looks forward to life as an adult and the privileges it will bring. We should enjoy the good things of life, but also be preparing with enthusiasm and expectation of the things that are to come.

“Thy Kingdom come,” reminds us that every day we live, we are a day closer to the end of life. It reminds us of the ultimate goal in life, salvation in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is also a prayer that we stay on track so that we will find ourselves in the Kingdom when it comes for us. One other thought here is that this phrase should remind us of the Divine Liturgy, when God’s Kingdom comes for us in the here and now. So, as you pray the Lord’s Prayer, hopefully at least once a day, give some thought to God’s Kingdom. Daydream about it-think of the majesty and glory of God, surrounded by His angels. And then take steps forward in your journey towards it. Because unlike a fantasy that will never come true, God’s Kingdom is a reality that will come to those who have prepared for it. “Thy Kingdom come,” helps us to keep our eyes on the prize each day.

 Thank You Lord for the gift of another day. In this day, I pray that I will take steps forward towards salvation. Help me to understand what it is I’m working toward. Inspire me to dream about Your heavenly Kingdom. Help me to stay focused today in my tasks. May I see glimpses of Your Kingdom in this life, and through Your mercies, may I inherit the Kingdom for eternal life. Amen.

Have a great day!

+Fr. Stavros

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The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.  OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life.  The Prayer Team is a daily devotion written by Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis, the parish priest at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, Florida. Devotions include a verse from scripture, a commentary from Fr. Stavros, and a short prayer that he writes to match the topic.

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Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0