Lordship of Christ
B.J. Honeycutt, a character on the T.V. series “M.A.S.H.,” gave this reason for why he didn’t give in to temptation in the midst of the Korean War: “I live in an insane world where nothing makes sense. Everyone around me lives for the now, because there may not be a tomorrow. But I have to live for tomorrow, because for me there is no now.”
B.J., his hope for the future was seeing his family again. That hope was
sufficient to define how he would behave in an extremely difficult situation.
How much more so should our future hope of the
One afternoon author Patsy Clairmont found herself on an airplane, sitting next to a young man. She writes, "I had already observed something about this young man when I was being seated. He called me "Ma'am." At the time I thought, 'Either he thinks I'm ancient, or he's from the South where they still teach manners, or he's in the service.' I decided the latter was the most likely, so I asked, "You in the service?"
"Yes, Ma'am, I am."
"Hey, Marine, where are you coming from?" "Operation desert Storm, Ma'am."
"No kidding? Desert Storm! How long were you there?" I asked. "A year and a half. I'm on my way home. My family will be at the airport." I then commented that he must have thought about returning to his family and home many times while he was in the Middle East. "Oh, no, Ma'am," he replied. "We were taught never to think of what might never be, but to be fully available right where we were." ── Focus on the Family, July, 1993, p. 5.
My favorite Abraham Kuyper quotation comes from a speech that he once gave before a university audience in Amsterdam. He was arguing that scholarship is an important form of Christian discipleship. Since scholarship deals with God's world, it has to be done in such a way that it honors Christ. Kuyper concluded with this ringing proclamation: "There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry out, 'This is mine! This belongs to me!'" ── Richard J. Mouw, Uncommon Decency, pp. 146-147.
I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough. He has done all we wanted him to do, and we should be obliged if he would leave us alone. But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what he intended us to be when he made us...
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on. You knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.
But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of -- throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.
You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but he is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.── C.S. Lewis.
In 1991 a Gallup poll showed that 78 percent of Americans expect to go to heaven when they die. However, many of them hardly ever pray, read the Bible, or attend church. They admit that they live to please themselves instead of God. I wonder why these people would want to go to heaven.
In an article title, "Are We Ready for Heaven?" Maurice R. Irwin points out that only 34 percent of the American people who call themselves Christians attend church at least once a week. He says, "We sing, 'When all my labors and trials are o'er, and I am safe on that beautiful shore, just to be near the dear Lord I adore will through the ages be glory for me.' However, unless our attitudes toward the Lord and our appreciation of Him change greatly, heaven may be more of a shock than a glory." ── Daily Bread, July 31, 1992.
It was in 1873, in Dublin that D.L. Moody heard British evangelist Henry Varley utter those life changing words: "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him." It was after an all-night prayer meeting in Dublin, at the home of Henry Bewley. Varley did not even remember making the statement when Moody reminded him of it a year later. "As I crossed the wide Atlantic," Moody said, "the boards of the deck...were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with them."
The result: Moody decided he was involved in too many ministries to be effective and therefore began to concentrate on evangelism.── W. Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, p. 200.
Someone once wrote and asked Emily Post, the etiquette expert of another generation, "What is the correct procedure when one is invited to the White House but has a previous engagement?"
Replied Post, "An invitation to dine at the White House is a command, and it automatically cancels any other engagement." ── Today In The Word, November, 1989, p.7.
Shortly after joining the Navy, the new recruit asked his officer for a pass so he could attend a wedding. The officer gave him the pass, but informed the young man he would have to be back by 7 p.m. Sunday. "You don't understand, sir," said the recruit. "I'm in the wedding."
"No, you don't understand," the officer shot back. "You're in the Navy!". ── Source Unknown.
The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message" "Alter your course 10 degrees south."
Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!"
Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am seaman third class Jones."
Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship."
Then the reply came "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."
In the midst of our dark and foggy times, all sorts of voices are shouting orders into the night, telling us what to do, how to adjust our lives. Out of the darkness, one voice signals something quite opposite to the rest- -something almost absurd. But the voice happens to be the Light of the World, and we ignore it at our our peril. ── Paul Aiello, Jr.
Bruce Larson, in Believe and Belong, tells how he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ:
"For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. 'Now that's one way to live,' I would point out to my companion, 'trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.'
"On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. My point was illustrated graphically.
"We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, 'I give up, Lord; here's my life. I give you my world, the whole world.'"── Richard A. Hasler.
On the tombstone of an old Cavalier soldier who lost his life and property in battle for the royalist cause: "He served King Charles with a constant, dangerous and expensive loyalty." ── B. Larsen, Luke, p. 59.
A wife who is 85% faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ.── Vance Havner.
A Glamour magazine survey of 25,000 readers, most of them women between the ages of 18 and 35, reflects a powerful swing to life's spiritual side: 77% pray, and 87% feel that God is always helping them or has helped them through a particular period in their lives. These readers seem to choose aspects of their religion they can live with and ignore what they can't, without discarding their faith. For example, the poll finds that nearly half disagree with their church's teaching on premarital sex, and a third (42% of the single women) disagree with their religion on abortion.── Glamour, May, 1986.
Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master".── Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 22.
A.W. Tozer says that people who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:
1. they are facing only one direction,
2. they can never turn back, and
3. they no longer have plans of their own.
── Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 187.
A. W. Tozer in "The Old Cross and the New".
"From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life; and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique -- a new type of meeting and new type of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as of the old, but its content is not the same, and the emphasis not as before.
"The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into the public view the same thing the world does, only a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.
"The new cross does not slay the sinner; it re-directs him. I gears him to a cleaner and jollier way of living, and saves his self-respect...The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.
"The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere, but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross. The old cross is a symbol of DEATH. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took the cross and started down the road has already said goodbye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life re-directed; he was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise; modified nothing; spared nothing. It slew all of the man completely, and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with the victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.
"The race of Adam is under the death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear, or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him, and then raising him again to newness of life.
"That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world; it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life to a higher plane; we leave it at the cross....
"We, who preach the gospel, must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, or the world of sports, or modern entertainment. We are not diplomats, but prophets; and our message is not a compromise, but an ultimatum." ── The Biblical Evangelist, November 1, 1991, p. 11.
Jesus, who died for thy sins, is worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. We can never ascribe too much to Jesus. But He is worthy also to be believed, in preference to Satan, unbelief, the world, or appearances; to be trusted with all, for all, before all; to be loved more than any other, in opposition to any that would rival Him;...to be followed, wherever He may lead us, through evil report or good report; to be preferred to ease, pleasure, wealth, health, to anything and everything. Jesus is worthy to be our example, our confidant, our king, and our all. He is worthy of all He requires, all we can give, all His people have done for Him or suffered in His cause. ── James Smith, in Daily Remembrances.
The Greek word for lord is indeed used in scripture in the sense of master, and as a mere honorary title as in the English Sir. But, on the other hand, it is the translation of Adonai, supreme Lord, an incommunicable name of God, and the substitute for Jehovah, a name the Jews would not pronounce. It is in this sense that Christ is 'the Lord, the Lord of Lords, the Lord God'; Lord in that sense in which God alone can be Lord--having a dominion of which divine perfection is the only adequate or possible foundation. This is the reason why no one can call him Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. It is a confession which implies the apprehension of the glory of God as it shines in Him. It is an acknowledgement that He is God manifested in the flesh. Blessed are all who make this acknowledgement with sincerity; for flesh and blood cannot reveal the truth therein confessed, but only the Father who is in heaven.── Charles Hodge.
I am not sent a pilgrim here,
My heart with earth to fill;
But I am here God's grace to learn,
And serve God's sovereign will.
He leads me on through smiles and tears,
Grief follows gladness still;
But let me welcome both alike,
Since both work out his will.
No service in itself is small,
None great, though earth it fill;
But that is small that seeks its own,
And great that seeks God's will.
Then hold my hand, most gracious Lord,
Guide all my doings still;
And let this be my life's one aim,
To do, or bear thy will.
There is not an inch of any sphere of life of which Jesus Christ
the Lord does not say, "Mine."
── Abraham Kuyper, quoted in The Devil's Gauntlet, by Os Guiness.
Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.── Augustine.
I said: Let me walk in the field.
God said: Nay, walk in the town.
I said: There are no flowers there.
He said: No flowers, but a crown.
I said: But the sky is black, there is
nothing but noise and din.
But He wept as He sent me back,
"There is more," He said. "There is sin."
I said: But the air is thick, and fogs are
veiling the sun.
He answered: Yet souls are sick, and
souls in the dark undone.
I said: I shall miss the light, and friends
will miss me, they say.
He answered me: Choose tonight, if I
am to miss you, or they.
I pleaded for time to be given;
He said: Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in heaven to have
followed the steps of your Guide.
I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said: My child, do you yield? Will
you leave the flowers for the crown?
Then into His hand went mine,
and into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light Divine,
the path I had feared to see.
── George MacDonald.
Ye call Me Master and obey me not,
Ye call Me Light and see me not,
Ye call Me way and follow me not
Ye call Me Life and desire me not,
Ye call Me wise and acknowledge me not,
Ye call Me fair and love me not,
Ye call Me rich and ask me not,
Ye call Me eternal and seek me not,
Ye call Me gracious and trust me not,
Ye call Me Noble and serve me not,
Ye call Me mighty and honor me not,
Ye call Me just and fear me not,
If I condemn you, blame me not.
── Resource, July/August, 1990.
God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.── Andrew Murray.