My Lord and My God (part 2 conclusion)
On last week, we engaged ourselves in a discussion from the perspective of Jesus being Saviour and Lord. We discussed the saving work of Jesus at Calvary, and how this singular act of love redeemed us (believers), and restored our relationship with God. For many as we noted, the work of Jesus as Saviour has been sufficient for our personal needs and wants. For some it looked like this; “I needed to be saved. Thank you Jesus, I’ll let you know if I need anything else from you. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my life, until its time for me to go to Heaven.” However, God is calling us to more. In our text last week, we referenced the reaction of Thomas once Jesus proved he rose from the grave, as he said he would. It was after this confirmation, the bible records the immediate words of Thomas, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Those are the exact words God is expecting from those who have been redeemed by the cross. Thank you Jesus for saving me, now for the rest of my life, I will gladly serve you as my Lord; as the ruler of my life. As the example of my life. As the guide of my life. As the one who made living eternally in heaven possible for me. It is one thing to see him as Saviour, but an entirely different commitment to serve him as Lord. Until we grasp this reality, our lives never will measure up to the expectations of God; when he tells us to be holy because he is holy. We will never be the place where God intends for the Holy Spirit to live. We will remain captivated by the delights of the world, and neglect our charge to be salt and light to a dark and lost world. It was the proclamation of Thomas that changed everything for him, and the same will happen to us, when we too embrace Jesus as Lord, and dedicate ourselves to follow him; all the way into the throne room of God, where we will spend eternity worshiping him. Blessings.
My Lord and My God (part 1)
If someone were to ask you who Jesus was to you, how would you answer? Would your mind immediately conjure up the cruel scene at Calvary, as Jesus hung, bled, and died on the cross for your sins? Would it remind you of the great grace that entered your life the day you were told the death of Jesus on the cross was for you, and through it, your sins were forgiven? Truly, the thought of the redeeming work of the cross is a monumental moment in the life of a believer. It is for this reason many see Jesus as their Savior, because his death and resurrection saved them from eternal separation from God. If you only see Jesus as your Savior, then allow me to broaden your view by challenging your perception of who Jesus is. Let’s begin by visiting the disciples in the upper room. The time is shortly after the event of the cross, and Thomas on hearing Jesus has been resurrected from the dead, helps all of mankind by making the statement many of us would want to make; but would be too embarrassed, to allow it to leave the confines of our thinking. In John 20:25, he said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” What a brave statement. Thomas is often criticized for this statement and it was here, the phrase doubting Thomas was born. This is not the end of moment for Thomas (or us), because a week after he said this, as they were sitting once again in the same room, Jesus appears, and challenges Thomas to verify that which he struggles to believe (he even allowed him to use his own methods for verification). After Thomas examined the evidence in Jesus’ hands and side, he made the proclamation that is missing in the lives of most believers. He immediately exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
Did you catch it? So just what does that mean, my Lord and my God, and how does it differ from savior? We will examine the answer to that question next week. Blessings
Those Who Lead
Dating back to Moses, God has always provided an individual to lead his people. The bible tells us that Joshua was the right-hand man of Moses, which made him a natural successor to lead the people after Moses died in Joshua 1. A good leader makes leading look easy. The real truth is leadership is complex and difficult. Take for instance when Moses came down from the mountain and discovered the children of Israel dancing around their newly fashioned idol (the golden calf) in Exodus 32. Moses knew of the command of God not to worship any graven image, therefore he knew this would anger God, so he took immediate action. First, he threw the tablets containing the 10 Commandments on the ground and broke them. Then he took the golden calf, melted in down and ground it into powder; putting it into their water, and made them drink it. Finally, he executed God’s justice on the people. In Exodus 32:26, the Levites strapped on their swords, and Moses instructed them to go from one end of the camp to the other each killing his brother, friend, and neighbor. 3,000 died. As difficult as this was, Moses did this because he was following the instructions of God. True leaders of God must lead as they are instructed regardless of how they feel about it. This makes it very difficult, and sometimes the directive of God even breaks their hearts; but that is the only way you can lead Gods’ people. Today in the church it is no different. God instructed us to choose men to be elders, according to his instructions for the purpose of leading his people. They too like the leaders of old, are often thrust into difficult positions by the people of God; and they must ignore the pain of their hearts and obey God. So, if leadership looks easy to you, and you only see leadership as “being in charge,” look again. God calls his leaders to be “servants” who must give account for those they shepherd. If that sounds like an easy job, then stay tuned to next week, as we conclude our examination of those who stand in the gap, for the people of God. Blessings.