Contemporary Christianity is good at talking about Jesus as a meek lamb, a best friend and as our forgiving Savior. Now don't get me wrong, he is those things, but not because he is weak, timid or powerless. No, Jesus became those things to fulfill the will of the Father. In his power and glory he willingly humbled himself and became nothing.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! - Philippians 2:6-8
But let's not miss what comes next.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:9-11
Did you catch that? Not only did he humble himself to become our Savior, he has now been exalted to the highest place. He is Lord of our lives. Meaning he has all power, authority and rule over us. My life is not mine, it is his.
We all love that Jesus has won our eternal salvation. However, if we believe the Bible is true, then not only do we find the forgiveness of sins and new life by the blood of Jesus, we also read that Jesus is Lord of our lives.
This aspect of Christianity is not optional. We don't get salvation Jesus and not Lord Jesus. He's one and the same. We die to ourselves, our desires and our plans for ourselves and exchange them for life in Jesus.
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. - 2 Corinthians 5:14
As a church, we've grown accustomed to hearing that our eternal salvation is secure. But if Jesus is Lord of our life, then our need for him needs to go beyond just the life to come. We need him filling our present lives here on earth. Our lives should stand out because we live and care about the things Jesus cares about. If we are ignoring his Lordship in our lives, we enjoy our eternal salvation and we go on with life as normal. We can make sure to pray, go to church, even serve on a board or a committee because that's what Christians do. But look at our lives, beyond those things, do we look much different from the rest of the world who don't know God? Do we listen to the same music? Do we talk like the world, party like the world, dress like the world? Do we spend our money on making comfortable lives for this short earthly life? Do we spend our time and energy looking for pleasure for here and now?
We all need to ask ourselves this question: have we really let God be LORD of our lives or do we live our lives our way and keep Jesus around for salvation?
This is not easy stuff. I know it's possible that some may read this post and feel that I am harsh, or judgmental, but that is not my intent at all. No, this post is rather a plea, a cry out to my brothers and sisters in Christ. We can't afford to live our lives for ourselves. There is too much at stake; too many souls whose eternity hang in the balance.The reality is that our society is falling apart at the seams and the church of Christ is the only hope for our world today. But how will the church have an impact if we are cozy and comfortably-stagnate in our salvation? How can we expect to make an impact if a large portion of the men in the church are still looking at porn on a regular basis? If we as women are more worried about our cozy homes, our careers and wardrobes rather than knowing God and his word? How can we expect to make an impact if compromise and apathy are just as rooted in our own lives as the people we are hoping to impact?
You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. - Matthew 5:13
I know these are tough questions. I know this is challenging stuff. Like I said, my husband and I have been wrestling with understanding God's Lordship in every part of our own lives. Are we truly surrendering and conforming every area of our life to his will: our children, our finances, our home, our families, our free-time?
There is only one hope for us and for our world: the life-changing, chain-breaking, purpose-filling, joy-giving GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. The only real way to break free from addiction, depression, materialism, gossip, selfishness, etc., is through the power of God. We are in desperate need of gospel transformation in our own churches, our own families, our own lives. God has bigger, crazier plans then we could ever have for ourselves. But if we want to be used by him, we've got to let him be LORD of our lives. We've got to let him in and give him control of every area of our life; nothing held back. That's when we see God coming through for us. That's when God's church starts being able to do radical things like sharing Christ with their enemies, loving the unlovable, rescuing those trapped in bondage, giving up their careers, homes and even their lives for the advancement of the Gospel. Because God truly becomes everything to us, not just for eternity, but for right now.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. - Philippians 3:7-8