2018-02-16 - Jesus is Lord
In John 20:28, Thomas declares that Jesus is his Lord and his God. Later, Thomas travels to India, sharing this same message and dies as a martyr.
In Acts 2:36, Peter states that Jesus is the Messiah and Lord. Later Peter travels to Rome with this same message and is hung on a cross upside down and dies as a martyr.
In Romans 10:9, Paul proclaims that Jesus is Lord. He too would die in Rome because he would not quit doing the work Jesus told him to do.
None of these men woke up one day and decided they wanted to go down a path in life that would take them through times of persecution, and ultimately lead to their early deaths. But each said Jesus is Lord, and they lived accordingly.
Saying “Jesus is Lord” means the end of this phony bull-crap we call Christianity. If we believe Jesus is Lord, then there can be none of this easy-believism nonsense that we as the church have been feeding to the masses for so long. We can’t just be content with some hollow words repeated after a pastor’s emotional plea to ask Jesus into our hearts, that produces a bountiful harvest of believers that have Hell insurance.. When Jesus is just a savior meeting an emotional need and keeping us from a lake of fire, we have a commitment that lasts about a week or two, before life pulls us back into their old ways. And when Jesus is not Lord, there is no cost to count; it is all just profit. This mindset of "it’s about me and making sure my needs are met" explains Christian consumerism that runs rampant among church members today. This must die! It is not sustainable, which is why a majority of churches in America have flatlined, and without some resuscitation, will die as the last member fades into memory.
Saying “Jesus is Lord” is the death of all that mess – the burial of a beautiful but very dead corpse that has been rotting away for years; but it is the beginning of so much more. It is the beginning of a life that goes through hardship after hardship. It is the beginning of a life that is marked by pain and persecution. It is the beginning of a life where all control is lost, and things are often uncertain. I know I’m doing a great job of selling you on this whole “Jesus is Lord” way of doing things, right? But just like the late night infomercials, wait! There’s more! In that hardship there is a hand holding yours. In that pain, there is the presence of a loving God. Amidst all the chaos, there is the one who is always in control. Yes. Yes! YES! Jesus is Lord means that I am not in control, I am not the ultimate authority - but there is a lot of freedom in simply following the commands of a loving master.
Saying “Jesus is Lord” means life, and not just a so-so life, but an amazing life both her on earth and in the eternity that will come after.
Jesus is the God-man who walked among us humans about two thousand years ago. He is the Word that was both with God and was God at the same time. Jesus is the very same Word that became flesh. Then in that flesh, he lived a perfect life, to give us a perfect example we can follow after. And in that flesh, that same Jesus was brutally killed on a cross - not for anything he has done - but because of all the wickedness I have in my life, and all the evil that is in your life, too. His life’s blood was spilt on our behalf. That was the punishment we deserved. He died a death that he did not deserve, so we could choose a life we did not earn. That is what makes Jesus our savior. But Jesus is Lord, too. As savior, he gives us life for free. But as Lord, that life will cost us everything, if we want it.
A lord is not simply somebody we listen to when we feel like it. A lord owns us. We are just property, and he is free to do with us what he wants. And what he wants is to use us to build his kingdom on earth, just as it is in heaven.
I want to eat, be entertained, sleep and have sex once in a while. That’s what I want to do; your wants may vary a little. In order to do that, I make myself look presentable, go to work, and everything else that goes on in the day. What God wants is for me to build his kingdom, so I give up what I want, and do what he wants me to do. I go to schools, trying to connect to students, so I can connect them to Christ. I spend free time studying to preach to students, and adults at times, too. I speak words of life into the lives of students. I write devotionals. I beat this middle-aged body up at times, trying to hang with teenagers at rock concerts, frisbee football, and the most horrifying thing ever created – lock-ins. I stay up way past any sensible hour, to send messages back and forth to students who are hurting, to show them there is hope in Jesus. And, I try to help others with these same endeavors. Some days, it takes every last ounce of energy I can muster up, to complete these ridiculous things. Why do it? It’s not because I want to, but because Jesus is Lord, and he tells me to do them. He is Lord, and I must obey. You see, if Jesus is Lord, obedience is not optional. It is mandatory.
Here’s the real kicker, though – when I do those things, he makes me feel more alive than when I’m doing any of the things I want to do. And before long, all I want is to serve him more. That is what “Jesus is Lord” means to me!
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted