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by Dr. Bill Denton
Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NASB)The Christian sees through kinder eyes like Jesus.
The last phrase is what counts ...when Jesus rules his life. Lets turn that phrase into a question. The answer will be powerfully instructive. When does Jesus rule a persons life?
I think we might be tempted to give a theological answer instead of a more practical, and possibly more real answer. We might want to say, Jesus rules a persons life when that person puts his or her faith into Jesus. Or, we might say, Jesus rules a persons life when he or she obeys the gospel. Please understand that nothing Im about to say is intended to contradict such theological answers. I just want you to think a bit more deeply.
Paul understood a principle that sometimes escapes us. When writing to the Roman Christians he wanted to address the subject of sanctification. He wanted them to understand that it made no sense for people who claimed faith in Jesus, who had died to sin, and who had been raised with Jesus to live in newness of life, to ever again live as if they were unsaved people. The principle he employed is found in Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Whats the principle? Jesus rules only if people reflect him in the way they live. If you say you are a slave and then disobey your master in favor of another, then who really is your master? Its the one you obey. There is no rule where there is no submission.
Is Jesus ruling when you allow your tongue to speak lies?
Does he rule when your treatment of others is filled with hate or disrespect?
When you cheat or take advantage of others, is Jesus ruling in your life?
When envy, strife, and general contentiousness fills your relationship with others, is that Jesus ruling?
When you are just like the unsaved, does that mean the lordship of Jesus Christ is operating in your life?
The Christian is different only when Jesus rules his life. I believe that is true. Christians are different when Jesus rules. But, Jesus cannot be ruling if it fails to produce a difference in us. It is that difference that is the concern of his lordship. Therefore, it is imperative that we discover that difference in ourselves. We will not find it in our claims, but in our actions.
Is Jesus ruling your life?
Author: Bill Denton
Publication Date: June 4, 2002
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