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Greetings All,

This week's "thought" comes to you from a man named Thomas Watson, from his book "The Lord's Prayer." It has to do with Jesus instruction on praying that God's "will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Watson was born the year the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod, lived until 1686. He was one of the most loved of Puritan pastors, and was "highly esteemed as the most readable." After England outlawed all pastors not sanctioned by the Church of England (the notorious Great Ejection" of 1662 where many godly men lost all they had) he took to preaching in barns, kitchens, work sheds and in the woods.

Reading his book "A Body of Divinity" is a life-changing experience, and "All Things for Good" (originally called "A Divine Cordial") or "The Doctrine of Repentance" are equally good.

I trust you will find his words here (written to believers and not everyone in general) an inspiration. Enjoy.

"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Matthew 6:10

"The great design of God in his Word is to make us doers of his will. Doing the will of God is evidence of our sincerity and love for Christ. Failure to do God's will is foolish, because in denying God's will, we do the devil's will. It is dangerous to avoid God's will, for then he will have (exert) his will upon us. If we do not obey his will that is commanded, we shall obey it in being chastized.

Doing God's will is for our benefit and our own self-interest. It is as if a king commanded a subject to dig in a gold mine, but [instead of giving all he found to the king, the king allowed him to keep] all the gold he was able to dig.

What God wills is not so much our duty as our privilege: 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God' (Jeremiah 7:23) - 'I will give you my angels as your guard, myself as your portion, my Spirit to sanctify you, my love to comfort you, and my mercy to save you.'

To do God's will is to our honour, and his commands do not burden us but adorn us.

To be employed in doing God's will is the highest mark of honour that a mortal creature is capable of.

Doing the will of God makes us like Christ: 'I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me' (John 6:38).

By doing God's will on earth we are akin to Christ and are of the royal blood of heaven.

Doing God's will on earth brings peace in life and in death. In keeping his precepts there is great reward (Psa. 19:11). Walking closely with God in obedience gives a secret joy in the soul. If anything will make our pillow easy at death, it will be that we have endeavoured to do God's will on earth.

Did you ever hear anyone cry out on their death-bed - 'I have done God's will too much'?

No! If we are not doers of God's will, we shall be looked upon as despisers of his will. To disobey is to slight and scorn him. Doing God's will is both your comfort and your crown."

Too often in our day the need for a life of obedience is overlooked or side-stepped. In some cases it is even labeled as"legalism" (forgetting that what makes something a "legalism" is the added suggestion that by doing the prescribed thing we are somehow meriting favor with God, or more favor with God, or worse yet, securing or "adding" to our justification -- as if anything we do could purchase for us more of God's love for us and acceptance of us than what Christ already secured for us through His life, death and resurrection).

To pray that "God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is essentially to pray that we as His grace-adopted children would come to be obedient followers of Christ, would stop resisting His will for us (as we so often do), and seek to live a life of joyful and grace-spawned submission -- a submission that can also be accompanied by tearful repentance when we stop being so stubborn and finally surrender!

Maybe we all need pray it daily: "Father... Thy will be done on earth... starting with more obedience in me."

Standing With You in the Need of Yet More Grace,

Pastor Jeff