One of my favorite Christmas carols is "Silent Night." In one of the verses we sing, "Jesus, Lord at Thy birth." These are powerful words. We must see Him as Lord, not just a baby, as we remember Jesus' birth. This conviction struck me while reading in my quiet time. I read the following words from the apostle Peter's first public message after Jesus' resurrection:

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36 NKJV).

Jesus is both Lord and Christ! We like to emphasize the "Christ" part, but we must also remember the "Lord" part.

When the people heard Peter's words, the Bible tells us, they were convicted:

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37)

Peter's answer to them is the part of the gospel that often gets left out:

Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

Is He your Lord?
John the Baptist, Jesus, the disciples of Jesus, and Peter, all preached repentance — a heart and lifestyle change to honor God and welcome Jesus. Many people want mercy without repentance, a Savior but not a Lord. Paul, however, described his ministry as comprehensive and faithful to God, "testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).

A minister with a heart for world evangelism has characterized American Christianity as sometimes having a negative impact, almost like an errant "virus," in countries where it has been exported. He says that quite often, "We preach a gospel that offers faith without repentance, grace without the fear of God and destiny without discipleship" (Rice Broocks).

We should not only see the gift of God in the Messiah come to earth, but also surrender to Jesus the Lord. Have you repented? Is He your Lord? May I ask "have you ever repented and surrendered to His Lordship?" This is a great time to live and to sing, "Jesus, Lord at Thy birth!"