Friday, November 1, 2019

Yielding To The Authority Of Jesus

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

What does it mean exactly that Jesus is Lord? I mean it is fundamental to our faith – necessary to being born again.  To explain it simply – hopefully not simplistically – if He is your Lord then you do what He says to do – live the way He says to live – love the way He says to love.  When I was  a commander in the Army, I had significant authority over the men and women in my unit.  I won’t go into the details, but hasten to say – that my authority as a commander was given to me by the Army – it was not something I brought with me or a decision I made.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” – Matthew 28:18

Jesus was given His authority to be Lord from the Father. And so, we are to acknowledge and yield our lives to His authority. In a similar way that the men and women in my unit were to acknowledge my authority and obey my orders.

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’ The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, ‘Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.’” – Matthew 8:5-10

The Centurion – a soldier – a commander – understood what authority was and acknowledged Jesus’ authority. “Just say the word.” Jesus has all authority and all He had to do was speak it and it was done. It says the Jesus was amazed that this Roman had so much faith in Him.  He had not see faith like the Centurion’s even among the Jews.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” – Luke 6:46

The military has its own justice system. The law book is called the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  Members of the military are subject to civilian local, state and federal laws and the UCMJ. Article 92 – Failure to Obey A Lawful Order – says that service members must obey the lawful orders of those with the authority to give them or they can by punished under Article 92.  Punished for being disobedient and depending upon the severity – even court martialed. Jesus was asking His followers why they called Him – Lord – but didn’t obey Him.  The reason is because, unlike the Centurion, they called Him, Lord, but did not acknowledge His authority over their life choices. (Ok here we go!) That is something we all struggle with. For a Christian – the punishment for disobedience is not death – Jesus was punished for us – but it is a violation of a love relationship – of trust.  We so often treat choosing our own way or the way of the world – our old nature and rejecting the Word – Jesus, as no big deal. But we are so wrong.   

Someone once wrote “If Jesus is not Lord of All – then He is not Lord at All!” How are you doing with that? Does it seem impossible? My point is not that we must be perfect while we walk this earth – that is not going to happen. But the fact that we do sin – don’t do what Jesus says – well, that should matter. We must stop making excuses for our disobedience – our lack of faith and trust and confess it – acknowledge His authority afresh and then press on – in repentance and the power of the Spirit and the counsel of the Word. I will leave you with an appeal from the Apostle Paul.

I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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