Good afternoon HTC family and friends,
In writing my blog today, I am reminded of that age-old Christian saying: If Jesus is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.
I am convinced more so than ever, that many Christians are trying to fit Jesus into their cultures and into their way of life. It seems as if many Christians would prefer that Jesus fits into a compartment of their lives, and that He shouldn’t disrupt or throw out the balance of their lives. It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting a Christianity that doesn’t interfere with our lives and that doesn’t confront us or challenge us too much. We would prefer a Christianity, and in fact, a Jesus, that we can manage and even control ourselves. One of our former state presidents even went so far as to say that our culture comes first, and that our faith must fit into our culture.
Christianity and following Christ is so far removed from this common view that I have just laid out. When we commit our lives to Jesus and commit ourselves to being His disciples, He calls us to give all of our lives to Him. Furthermore, He calls us to love Him, serve Him and follow Him, with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength. (Matthew 22:37-38). He would daily ask that we deny ourselves and follow Him. (Luke 9:23). Anything in my culture, my ways and my priorities, that conflicts with the culture, ways and priorities of Christ, must die.
For believers in Christ, the Culture of Christ is all-pervading and all-encompassing. These lyrics say it all: If all of You means less of me, take everything. If all of You, is all I need, take everything. (More like Jesus by Passion). Jesus can never be asked to fit into my life. He cannot be contained in a compartment of my life. When we respond to His call, He desires to be my all in all (Galatians 2:20). He desires and should become the Lord of every part of my life. He is not a side show, He is the show. He is not the appetizer or starter. He is the main course. When He is truly the Lord of every part of our lives, we will see His presence, His glory and power manifest in more and more ways in our lives. When He has free reign in our lives, He will change us more and more into His likeness.
In the song, ‘New Wine’ by Hillsong Worship, we find these powerful lines: Where there is new wine, there is new power, there is new freedom; and the Kingdom is here. I lay down my old flames to carry your new fire today.
You see, we can only experience Jesus in all His fullness in our lives, when we relinquish control of our lives. We have to die to our ways, for His ways to be born in us.
When He is Lord of all, His Holy Spirit in us will challenge us, confront us and move us in a different direction. He will surely change us. But all this if for our good, that we may share in His holiness and find the life that truly satisfies, beyond which anything this world can offer us. (John 10:10, John 4:13).
I want to end with this beautiful verse from Paul: 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 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ. (Philippians 3:8-9).
May you find that Jesus is enough for you. May you allow Him to be your all in all. As you let Jesus be Lord of every part of your life, may you know His joy, His peace and the fullness of His life in you.
Bless you all,