“Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6:9-13
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power
and the glory forever Amen
President Ronald Reagan said, “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” And that is so often our problem, “Who gets the credit?”
A proper perspective on who or what is at the center of it all is the crucial question for all humanity to answer. This question applies at the highest and most profound levels and at the most mundane micro levels of existence. The high-level question is how did we all get here? The mundane level speaks to the simple daily tasks of life. Who gets the credit?
The final phrase of the Lord’s prayer as quoted above is,
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. AmenMatthew 6:13
Many modern translations do not include this phrase. To explain, I quote from the ESV Study Bible.
“For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen” (ESV footnote) is evidently a later scribal addition, since the most reliable and oldest Greek manuscripts all lack these words, which is the reason why these words are omitted from most modern translations.ESV Study Bible notes
These words, however, are absolutely Biblical and true. They echo the words of David when he was gathering all the goods for the temple Solomon was to build after David’s death.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.1 Chronicles 29:11-13
David includes all three of the terms in this passage, kingdom, power, and glory. So, even if these words were added by a scribe and not by the original author of Matthew, the content is completely true and applicable. And, these words frame the rest of the prayer. The kingdom for which we pray is the Lord’s. The power upon which we depend to see that kingdom established is the Lord’s. And, the glory for the accomplishment of our prayers goes only to the Lord.
Back to Ronald Reagan. I would make an adjustment to his statement. He is, of course, referring to human credit for accomplishments. But to be correct, we should care who gets the credit, and it won’t be any of we human actors in history. The credit for all things belongs to the Triune God. With that, I adjust Reagan’s statement. There is no limit to the good that you can do when all the credit goes to the Lord of the universe, the creator, sustainer, and redeemer of all things.
Let us remember in all the lousy little details of life that God is at work and he gets the credit.
On our recent trip to Europe, several frustrating things happened. The kind of things that could ruin our enjoyment if we let them. I discovered some evidence that I am growing in Christ. I found myself turning to Karen and saying, “Let’s rejoice because these circumstances are conforming us to Jesus.” All things work together for the good of conforming his children to his image. By giving him the credit, I didn’t get frustrated and angry (what I would normally have done).
We do serve a wonderful sovereign God.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen