3-1-15 “The Lordship of Christ”
“The Lordship of Christ- the Beginning of Growth in Service”? 3-1-15? Col. 2:6-10; Jn. 20:27-29; Rev. 22:20-21;
To see video of this sermon, click here: http://youtu.be/gYEXM-wEUSc
Too often people want God to serve them as if they were Lord, instead of serving God as if He were Lord.? Tim Keller, Pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in New York, Redeemer Presbyterian, which has reached out to many non-believers, has said that in the past people would say, ?I won?t believe in Christ unless you can prove his existence to me.?? Now some say, ?I won?t believe in Christ because it doesn?t work for me.? Keller says, “This makes our consciousness the arbiter of reality.? What we think is best is best.? We must be willing, Jesus said, to lose everything for him- taking up our cross- not loving homes, family, work more than Him.? Why? Jesus did lose everything for us.? He only wants us to be willing to lose it all- to not love your convenience and desire more than His will for us.? This rubs up against American pragmatism.? I?ll believe in God if it helps me- but if I want something I know God doesn?t want- I will not believe.? Christianity is best for you- it will work for you- and work for eternity.? But it has the long run not the short run in mind.?? Did you get into Christianity for God to serve your needs- or did you get into it to serve God?? You only know if Jesus is your Lord if you go His way. Whatever controls you is your God.? If you believe you control God- choosing when He is your Lord- then you believe you are Lord.? Your ultimate allegiance determines who is in control, who is God, and also who you are.? If you say ?No one controls me? your independence controls you- that is why you can?t get married and have a lot of acquaintances but no one you can trust.? You may say, ?Well I don?t want to make a god out of independence? but you will make a god out of something. It may be the way you look, or romance, or your money, or your work- if that is your identity and your ultimate allegiance then you need to take a good hard look at making Jesus your Lord.”
I. THE LORD OF ALL- God is God of all the earth.? There were some who claimed that they had a god of their country and that you may have a different god of your country.? The king or ruler basically decided who the god would be.? The idea is you believe what you want to believe and we will believe what we want to believe and that it really doesn?t matter that much as long as you are sincere.? The Assyrians believed in this idea when they were at the walls of Jerusalem.? Their general said every other nation?s god was defeated by us why should your god be any different.? But within a few days the vast Assyrian army was either dead or defeated from plague.? The claim of the God of the Bible is to be Lord of heaven and earth.? God made all and therefore deserves the allegiance of all.? Paul said, ?Every knee will bow in heaven on earth and under the earth confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord? (Phi. 2).?? ???? The idea that God is our maker and father of us all- as declared in Acts 17 is a reminder that we all look to God to not only make us- but to sustain us in a sense.? As we sang in our song- He is not just our salvation- He is our health and salvation. ??? God?s Lordship is universal in every area of the world- therefore as His servants we are called to care for other areas than our own- this is why missions is not just restricted to the block around our church, or the 5 mile area around our church.? I know that the children at Thornwell are glad as well as the people in our partner church in Iquitos.?? But He is Lord of every area of the world and every area of your lives.? What area of your life are you holding back from God?? Is there some places in your life you want God to see and some you are trying to hide from Him?? He is Lord of every person- every area- every place.? One day we will admit we cannot hide from God.? Today, there are tools that police can use to listen and even see through walls.? You cannot hide behind a wall.? There are infrared and night vision glasses so that you cannot hide in the dark.? If you google your address- it pops up.? We cannot hide from humanity- how much less can we hide ourselves and our thoughts from God.? Come clean with Him- ask Him to be Lord over all of your life- not just one day- but seven days;? not just one place (like church) but all places; not just one area but all areas. II. THE LORD OF ALL SERVANTS- The Scriptures say ?serve the Lord with gladness.?? To know God is to know how much He loves you and does for you.? To not know God is to be afraid that He will take the reins away from you.? God is a better driver than you are.? He knows the curves and bumps and accidents ahead of you.?? To grow in faith is really to loosen your grip on the wheel and trust God to guide you. If I can carry this image a step further: Sometimes we have to get in a wreck to know that we are not that good a driver.? Sometimes our lives descend into a royal mess before we realize we really need God to step in and rescue us.? ?We naturally want to think that the only person we are accountable to are ourselves, and that the only person to whom we need to listen is our inner voice.? But there is a greater, better voice than ours that calls us out of comfort to a better life- a life of faith, hope, and love. ??? To call God ?Lord? means in part we are called to serve Him as Lord.? Our passage says, ?Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives- rooted and built up in him.?? We are called to grow in service- rooted in what we know but growing from that root.? Building on the foundation that we have.?? An adult does not serve Christ in the same way as a child or a youth does.?? We are called to always adapt to how we need to serve Christ around us- looking for the needs around us.? ?????????Sometimes God will bring someone into your life that needs help and you need to help.? Sometimes someone needs encouragement- and you have the faith and hope to encourage them.? Sometimes? a situation comes up- the dam is leaking and you have the thumb to plug the dyke to save the city.? If- if it doesn?t cost me my reputation, my money, my relationship? if there is any if in your obedience- then you need to ask who is Lord.? Do not be hesitant to give to the Lord.? Elizabeth Elliot gave this story-? A beggar was sitting by the side of the road with his begging bowl.? The king of the land came by and said, ?Give me everything you have.?? The beggar thought that is not fair- I will not get my money back.? He gave the king two coins. The king then put two prescious diamonds in his beggar?s bowl.? The beggar asked, ?Why didn?t I give him everything??? Do not be afraid to serve or give to God.? You cannot outserve or outgive God. III. THE LORD WHO COMES- One of the things Jesus talked about was the servants who were ready when their Lord showed up- they had their lamps trimmed and burning; they had tended the vineyard given to them.? If Jesus showed up and wanted to walk with you through your schedule this week- looking over your shoulder- sitting beside you- would He say, ?Well done good and faithful servant??? Or would He say, ?You need to return to your first love??? Jesus showed up when Thomas was doubting and said, ?Stop doubting and believe? and Thomas?s response was to worship Him as Lord and God.?? Thomas was forever changed and went onto India where he was martyred for his faith instead of cowering in his skepticism.? In Revelations the Lord Jesus said, ?Yes, I am coming soon?? the Lord is coming back to check in on the world He is Lord over.? He is coming to you.? Our prayer should not be- Lord, wait a few years until I have this or don?t have that.? We should be content that we want only Christ- and we have no other gods keeping us from wanting His presence. ??? A man and his wife went on a long trip leaving their sixteen year old daughter and seventeen year old son at home.? The teens had their driver?s license.? They had food for the week.? They had money-lots of money.?? They promised they would behave.?? The parents came back early as they had gotten an early flight back.? They had tried to call but received no answer.? They walked in on a Friday night about 8 PM.? The place was a disaster area.? There were strange teenagers in the house.? There was alcohol and the smell of what I call wacky tobacky everywhere.? ?The parents found their teenagers and told them they were going out for a long dinner, and when they came back they wanted everything straightened out.? When they came back the house was clean.? They were ready physically for their parents but they were not ready mentally or spiritually. ????? Jesus wants to come to you.? He wants to be not just your servant that helps you- He wants to be what He should be- Lord of your life.?? Be ready to meet him in communion today.? Cleanse your heart to be ready for Him.? He has come and sacrificed for us.? He is not trying to hurt us- He allowed hurt to Himself out of love for us.? He is the only Lord who will not manipulate you- but you will find if you make Him Lord, He will free you- and you will be free indeed!? 5: Love God/Love neighbor; Be One; Serve as I serve; Do this in remembrance of me; Go into all the world and make disciples.