Faithlife Sermons

Is He Lord?

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Turn to 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 10
As we continue learn about spiritual gifts, I hope you have gained some new insight into how we are designed and how God desires to empower us for Kingdom work? I’ve learned quite a bit – especially from Alger and Gloria. Thank you for blessing us with your teaching. I found your lessons to be very enlightening. What you said just makes good sense. And I think that is what God desires – spiritual gifts were never meant to be confusing or difficult. However, the devil wants to confuse us and humans, well, we just make things difficult, don’t we. And we often make things difficult because we simply do not wholeheartedly believe what God says.
Listen carefully to the words of Oswald Chambers:
“We must never measure our spiritual capacity on the basis of our education or our intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured on the basis of the promises of God.”
God promises His Holy Spirit to those who trust in Him. Therefore,
“Never allow the limitation of our own natural ability to enter into the matter. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be exhibited in us.”
Every believer in Christ has a responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit to use whatever Christ has imparted to us. So, the question is this: How will we use what we have been given? And what have we been given? Life, time, freewill, talents, and spiritual gifts. Remember,
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The responsibility is undeniable. The choice is ours. Again, how will we use what we’ve been given? How do we allow the Spirit to exhibit His work in us?
When I was in the Army, we used a strategic method called Backward Planning.
Backward Planning begins with identifying the objective.
Once the objective or goal is identified, then you work backwards – listing all the steps necessary to reach the objective. For example, if the objective is to take the hill by 2300 hours, what do we need to do prior to that and when.
I think we can do a little Backward Planning to help us reach our objective. Of course, step one is to identify the objective, which we find in 1 Peter 4:10.
1 Peter 4:10–11 LEB
Just as each one has received a gift, use it for serving one another, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as the oracles of God; if anyone serves, let it be as by the strength that God provides, so that in all things God will be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
So, what’s the objective?
The Objective: To serve.
The high and holy calling of every Christian is to serve – to serve Christ and serve people.
But we have a problem don’t we. That’s not always our objective, is it. We know that every Christian is called to be a servant - but not all Christians are servants. Why do we struggle with this – some more than others? As I thought about this, I concluded that there are 3 categories of servants. The first two are based upon nature versus nurture - does a person do what they do because they were born that way or because they were raised that way.
The first servant is the …
1) Natural Servant:
These are the people who just naturally serve. It’s the way they’re wired – it’s in their DNA. Most likely their motivational gift.
We tend to applaud servants because they serve, serve, serve. But they often have a problem. They have difficulty saying no. They don’t know when to stop. Ever been around a dog that will play itself into exhaustion? No matter how many times you throw the ball, they’ll chase it – even though they’re panting and having cardiac arrest. Natural servants can be like that. They have a tendency to do too much - even without the Lord’s blessing.
Natural servants must learn to manage who they are and learn to sometimes say no.
The second servant is the …
2) Nurtured Servant:
For this Christian, serving does not come naturally – but they do serve. Serving is more of a choice as a response to their new life in Christ.
The nurtured servant also has a problem– they tend to be more calculated or selective in their service. They have, by their own design an approved list of where and when they will serve. They enjoy serving, but if it’s not on their list – don’t bother asking. These servants are like the prophet, Jonah. God told him to go to Nineveh and preach. How did Jonah respond? He said, “Nope! It’s not on my approved list of places to serve. Ain’t going there.” And God said, “Oh really.”
Nurtured servants must learn to manage who they are and learn to sometimes say yes.
The third servant is the …
3) Dubious Servant:
Ah, the dubious servant. Dubious means unsettled in opinion. See, the Dubious Christian has not settled in their hearts who Christ is. They received Christ as Savior, but that’s it. This is the carnal Christian – the one who still lives according to the flesh, who still lives a self-centered life. To this person, Jesus is the ticket to heaven; He’s the “genie in the bottle,” but He’s not Master, Lord, or King. This is the person who will enter Heaven smelling like smoke – having barely escaped the fires of judgment (1 Cor. 3:15).
Dubious servants must learn to manage who they are and learn to kneel.
At this point, it would be good to ask the Spirit – what kind of servant am I.
Understand all three have management issues. Natural servants tend to serve too broad. Nurtured servants tend to serve too narrow. And dubious servants - well, they don’t do much serving.
So, how do we resolve this? This is where backward planning comes in. Remember, the objective is to serve, but it’s not just to serve. We can do some good things, pat ourselves on the back and call it good – but that is not the heart of the Christian servant. The Christian servant serves in a way that glorifies God, helps advance the Kingdom of Christ and helps people reach their potential in Christ.
So, the first step in reaching our objective is to identify who’s in charge. Many of our self-management issues could be resolved if we would
1) Crown Christ as Lord.
Flip back to
1 Peter 3:15 LEB
but set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense to anyone who asks you for an accounting concerning the hope that is in you.
I’m going to be frank this morning, or Bill – I’m not sure who’s speaking, but know this - just because you come to church and just because you asked Jesus to be your Savior doesn’t mean that Christ is Lord of your life. This is from one of my commentaries:
“There is a difference between surrendering to Christ as a Savior from one’s sins and enthroning him as the Lord of one’s life. Only the born again person can make Christ Lord, and He must be Lord of all. [We are to make] our hearts a temple for Christ, where He will reign supremely as Lord.”
“To set apart” in Greek is (ἁγιάζω, hagiazō) - it means to sanctify, to consecrate, or to dedicate.
We often use it in terms that God sanctifies His people – He sets us apart for special use. Here, we are told to sanctify Christ in our hearts so that He may reside within us unchallenged.
The human heart, the (καρδία, kardia), the epicenter of a person’s being is designed to be the temple or the place of residence for God. To set Christ apart as Lord means to crown Jesus as Lord, to put Him where He belongs - on the throne. It means to acknowledge as Lord and kneel before Him.
Understand that Lord is not a casual reference to Jesus. It’s not like saying Mr. or Mrs. Lord is a title, a position and a function. Lord, (κύριος, kyrios) – means Master, Owner or Ruler – and we were created to adore Him, worship Him and Crown Him Lord of all and over all!
It is my opinion that no human struggles with surrender or worship. Many have surrendered their lives to the god of Google and Facebook and whatever else the world throws at us. Furthermore, we have no problem worshipping one of the greatest gods of all time – self.
We must pause and ask the question -
Is Jesus Christ the Lord of my life?
Have I crowned Him Lord and made room for Him to be my Master, Owner and Ruler over everything - over every relationship, every decision, every motive, every thought, everything I do and don’t do …?
It’s one thing to say He is Lord, but it’s another thing to live it, and the Apostle Peter knows this all to well. Before Jesus was crucified, Peter was warned that he would deny Jesus. Peter, was self-assured - he would never deny Christ. But when Peter’s pride was put to the test, he failed. Peter caved into fear and denied knowing Jesus, not just once but three times - even as Jesus watched him.
How could this be? For Three years, Jesus had been Peter’s friend and teacher. Peter was one of the closest to Jesus. He was the first to confess Jesus as the Messiah. So how could he fail? Because he still had not made Jesus Lord of his life.
It wasn’t until 50 days after the resurrection of Christ, on the day of Pentecost that Peter’s life was forever changed. There, in the upper room, Peter was among the other disciples praying, seeking God. It was there, with hearts wide open that God poured out His Spirit. They were baptized with God’s Holy Fire. And know this, consecration of the heart precedes baptism of the Spirit of God – Jesus doesn’t become Lord of your life until you surrender your life to Him.
From that point forward, Peter was not perfect, but he was courageous and empowered. So much so that when told by the Jewish leaders not to preach in the name of Jesus, Peter said,
Acts 5:29 ESV
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
In his second letter, Peter identifies himself as a slave, a servant of Jesus Christ. Eventually, Peter was crucified - upside for his faith in Christ. You don’t get crucified upside down unless Jesus truly is Lord of your life.
Have you made Him Lord of your life?
Our objective is to use our spiritual gifts to serve, and the first step in reaching our objective is crowning Christ as Lord. Have you knelt before Him and crowned Him Lord?
Some of us have never done that. Jesus is just Jesus.
Some of us did at one time, but somehow we removed Him from the throne, and other masters rule our lives.
And for some, Christ is right where He belongs – He is King and Master of all.
Regardless of where you are, I have a challenge for all of us.
I’m reading a series of books right now called Blood of Kings by Jill Williamson. It’s a Christian allegory, and it’s the classic story of knights, and castles and kings. In the story, it is discovered that the heir to the throne is a false prince, an usurper. The real heir is identified and of course, it’s a battle between those loyal to false prince and the real prince – and ultimately, who will reign as King.
Throughout the story, as honorable knights discover the true King, they often kneel before him and
Pledge of Fealty – an oath of allegiance to serve with faithfulness, honor and without hesitation.
I think it would be good for all of us to commit our lives to the rightful and true King. Let us take a few moments and pledge our fealty to our eternal King Jesus the Christ.
Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
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