Friday, December 25, 2009

Jesus is our LORD and Savior

During the Christmas season, we celebrate the birth of our savior. Christians embrace the idea of a savior. Do we also embrace Him as our Lord?

In the beginning, God gave man freedom of choice, however he never created us to be independent. He wanted us to be dependent on Him. Not because He is on some big ego trip, but because as our creator, He knows what we need and He loves us and desires what’s best for us to such a degree that He wanted to take on that burden for us. When it comes to the issue of independence, we really don’t have a choice as to whether we are going to be dependent or independent. Rather whether we recognize that we are totally dependent on God.

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” Psalm 24:1

Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and your are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength.” 1 Chr. 29:11-12

Do you see it? Everything we have belongs to him and He is control of everything! Really receiving this truth is central to our recognition of Jesus as Lord.

Thirdly, our recognition that He is our sole provider is very important. When we recognize who our provider is, are more apt to do what the provider says. This was made very clear to the Israelites through Moses in Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, when God said:

“ You may say to yourself “My power and the strength of my hand s have produced this wealth for me” But remember the Lord your God for it is he who gives the ability to produce wealth and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers as it is today. And then he gives this warning…”If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to the, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.”

The Christian life is impossible to do by our self. Although, nothing pleases Satan more than having us believe we can. Faith becomes totally unnecessary when we think we can do things on our own.

Handling money and finances is no exception to this. Faith comes when we finally realize that we can’t do it by ourselves.

I struggled with debt for many years. I would get myself in trouble and get myself out of it only to find myself in deeper than I was before. I knew the arithmetic of staying out of debt. Adding up all my income and making sure that the sum was greater than all of my expenditures. But knowing that didn’t keep me out of debt. I was a single mom for 8 years and during that time, I used credit cards to as a way to purchase what I felt my family needed. I didn’t see Jesus my savior, as Jesus, my Lord.

If I had, I would have approached my finances differently. If I saw him as the owner of everything I had (including my money), I would have sought him more as to how he wanted me to use what He had given me or whether He even wanted me to have those things I was buying at all.

If I had seen Him as Lord, I would have realized that He was in control of everything in my life and that included people and circumstances. If I had truly understood this, I could have faced tough circumstances and not said, “Why are you letting this happen to me Lord,” but instead asked, “What do you want me to learn from this situation?”

He uses circumstances, even the seemingly devastating ones, for our ultimate good. Everything that happens in our lives goes through this scrutiny on God’s part. He will not allow anything in our lives that cannot be used ultimately for our good.

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Lastly, if I had seen Jesus as Lord, I would have worried a lot less, because I would have recognized Him as my provider. God promises to provide for our needs.

“Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be given to you. (Matthew 6:33.)

I suspect that around January 2nd or 3rd, people will be putting away their Christmas decorations and opening up their credit card bills. Some may open those bills and wish for a savior, but the reality is that to be truly “rescued” they will need their LORD! Declaring Jesus as your Lord comes with the recognition of WHO He is and WHAT He has promised. It also comes with a condition. Obedience to His word. If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)

You see, we are independent in that we can choose our own paths. We can choose to live beyond our means. We can choose to let other people dictate our actions and our reactions to circumstances. We can choose to live in fear of not having enough. But in our independence, we can also choose to be dependent on our Lord by believing Him when he says he is in control and by listening to and obeying his instruction. If Jesus is my Lord, I will submit to do things His way. That means that we have to seek Him in both prayer and by knowing what He says in His word. Remember, “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” (Hosea 4:6)

I have found that by submitting myself to Jesus as Lord…by declaring my dependence on Him…I was not LESS free, but more free!

Now that’s what I call a savior!!



The Old Geezer said...

Merry CHRISTmas

Edie said...

Oh Stacy this is a fabulous post! Worthy of a repost when more people are reading too. :)

It is so easy to think we have accomplished something when the LORD blesses us but you are so right. He is the ONE who Provides ALL our needs.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Edie said...

...and we need to recognize HIM as our LORD and not just our Savior. You made a lot of great points in here. :)

I used to have a quote under my email signature that said "Jesus can't be your Savior until He is your LORD."

Now my quote is Matthew 6:33. I am working to live it out in every aspect of my life.

Okay now I'm finished. :)

Warren Baldwin said...

I like your connection b/n Jesus as Savior andLord and living more responsibly. Too often we use money (or credit) to compensate for a sense of lack. It doesn't work! Great post. wb

Steve said...

Great Post. I'm a slow reader, so I came back twice to read. Like Edie said, this post you should post again when more people are on the net and at home, so they can read this great post.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and May God Bless You and Your Family.