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Archive for the tag “Jesus as Lord”

One Decision

Experts say there are around seven major life events in every person’s life. Life events are forks in the road, major turning points that alter a person’s life. Not just our immediate plans, but the whole of our lives are different because of that one decision. From that point on, our future is different because of that one decision. And experts say there are seven of them.

Usually those life events have a cost. Sometimes the events are not of our own making; sometimes it’s someone else’s decision which alters our own lives. It could be someone makes a decision to get behind the wheel of a car after having one too many drinks and it cost us something when the drunk hits us. Or like when my parents made the decision to move me from my hometown to the mountains when I was twelve years old.

That decision was my first major life event. It affected me profoundly. I told my sister recently that I thought the move even changed my personality. Maybe I think of the younger me differently than I was, I don’t know. I just know my parent’s decision was huge in my life. It’s made me into the person I am today – good or bad personality traits aside.

Thinking of life events, I realize there is one decision that should be on everyone’s life event chart. It’s the decision to follow Jesus. It should alter our course – not just for now – but for eternity. I heard someone say recently he wanted everyone to have the same relationship with Jesus he had; to know Jesus as Savior. I have been contemplating the statement since I heard it.

Just a couple of years before my parents moved us to the mountains I made the decision to follow Jesus. If you noticed in the writing above, I said my first life event was the move. I did make the decision to receive Jesus as my Savior before we moved, but it didn’t alter my life right then. I do believe I had Jesus right then, but He didn’t have all of me. It took a few years before another life event would change my relationship to not only Jesus as my Savior but Jesus as my Lord.

My ultimate turning point with Jesus was because of another friend’s tragic end. I written about it in the past – my friend died – and it changed me. Maybe some would say I didn’t really belong to Jesus from the age of twelve – it’s not biblical. But I look at the disciples Jesus chose. They were asked to follow Him before they ever believed He was the Messiah. It took them three years and Jesus’ death before they truly believed. It just took me longer than three years to understand who Jesus is.

Peter declared Jesus was the Messiah before Jesus died, but that declaration wasn’t the catalyst for Peter’s transformation. His life event was when he saw Jesus in the upper room after Jesus rose from the grave. Peter’s life was altered in that moment. Peter’s path was totally different from that life event. He went from a fisherman to preacher man.

Everything should change when we receive Jesus as Lord. Savior and Lord – the man speaking should have said Lord, but he didn’t. Did it mean Jesus wasn’t Lord of his life? The speaker is the only one who can answer. However, we need to answer it as well. Is Jesus Lord of our lives? Has the decision to follow Jesus changed our trajectory as it did for Peter? I don’t mean we all give up our professions to become preachers, but Jesus wants to direct our steps just as He directed Peter’s.

Jesus met Peter on the beach one morning after His resurrection. Peter and the guys had been out fishing all night. Peter was at a fork in the road. He could have gone back to the life he knew – fishing – but Jesus intervened. Jesus had other plans for Peter – a plan to begin the church age on Peter’s profession – Jesus is the Messiah.

Jesus asked Peter to feed Jesus’ sheep – His followers. It’s not a literal meaning but a spiritual meaning. Peter had lived with Jesus for three years. Peter heard Him speak, watched the miracles being performed; even saw Jesus transformed on the mountain with Moses and Elijah. Peter was in Jesus’ inner circle and knew Him. Jesus picked Peter to do greater things with his life. Peter left the nets behind and followed Jesus wholeheartedly. There was no turning back. Peter’s decision to follow Jesus changed history. The church age moved forward with Peter’s willingness to go where Jesus led him and make disciples wherever he went.

I don’t think my life events have done the same – they haven’t changed history – or maybe they did. Mine certainly was changed. My decision to follow Jesus today, changes how I live each day. The people I meet each day are affected by my relationship with Jesus because I am a different person with Jesus than without Him.

Each day we are given a choice – live for Jesus; let Him be Lord today or live like the rest of the world and ignore the promptings of our Lord and follow our own path. Our relationship with Jesus makes us different. Other religions follow rules – we are set apart because it’s not rules we follow but Jesus. All roads do not lead to the same place. There is only one life event that leads to an eternal home with Jesus. I know. Jesus said it’s a narrow door and only a few find it, but it’s open to all who want to come in. Jesus and only Jesus can open that door. Savior and Lord. Know Him and follow Him and alter others lives for Jesus!

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:15-18

The Message

When disaster strikes and we have nothing left, who do we turn to? In the message on Sunday, my pastor said “Is Jesus enough?” What are we left with, when everything is gone? Pastor Andy Stanley said on Sunday, “Worry not.” Worry is about tomorrow. When we worry, we bring tomorrow’s trouble into today. Is Jesus enough for today? Is Jesus enough for tomorrow? Can we really trust Jesus to meet our needs? What if He doesn’t come through? What then? I have trusted Jesus as my Savior, but have I trusted Jesus as my Lord? That means giving Jesus every aspect of my life; things that I know I have no control over and the things that I think I have control over. That means He controls the day – where and when – how and why all belong to Him. Today is His.

Is Jesus enough? How do you actually know that Jesus is enough unless you have nothing but Him? If you have everything you need, do you still need Him? Jesus isn’t a magic genie waiting to fulfill our wishes. He is King of kings – He is Lord of lords. He is God who created the world and everything in it. He is the One who was before the world began. God separated the waters; gave boundaries to the seas. He placed each star in the heavens and calls them by name. He knows the beginning from the end – He has already seen each and every aspect of what we endure. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. He understands our frailties. With all of that knowledge of who Jesus is, it takes a real encounter with Jesus to actually believe what we know.

Back in the first century, people didn’t have the written Word – all they had were eye witnesses to the events that unfolded. The disciples followed Him daily. They witnessed the miracles (but it wasn’t enough); they heard His teachings (but some didn’t believe). They saw Jesus’ love to the outcasts – the sinners (some were outraged). Everything changed with the most important event: His death and resurrection. The ones who witnessed this big event spread the word. In order to have impact for the world, Jesus has to impact our own lives. We have to feel the nail prints for ourselves. We have to live our lives in a way that gives Jesus opportunity to become real to us. When we witness the resurrection power at work, everything changes.

Trust becomes essential to the message. When we encounter the risen Savior as Lord, we can trust that He loves us and has our best interest at heart. When we trust in Jesus as Lord, it means our lives will have impact. Trust that He knows what we need and when we need it. Believe in the One who sent Jesus for us. And learn not to worry – easier said than done, but essential in our testimony of God being bigger than our problems. Nothing is impossible for God. Jesus gives us His peace, and we can trust that in all things, we can have contentment because of Jesus. Jesus is enough. When we witness the resurrection power at work, we have an awesome testimony to share that will impact the world around us. Scripture tells us that not a detail will be missed – trust Him in every little thing.

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

“This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.” John 6:35-40 (The Message)

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