Many Christians have the habit of saying that Jesus is Lord. This is a correct statement due to Him being the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). With this being said, what do Christians mean when they say Jesus is Lord? Some of those that declare this have a heart-felt embrace of Jesus being the Lord and master of their life. This requires Jesus to be the head of that Christian’s life (Ephesians 1:22-23) without any reservations or areas that He is not allowed to command. Other Christians say this from a religious mouth that does not mean what it says from the heart (Matthew 15:8). This is a dangerous routine that many Christians fall prey to. All Christians should serve God, be led by the Holy Spirit, and have Jesus as not only their Savior but the Lord of their life. Every Christian is purchased with a price and does not belong to themselves to do as they please (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To even become a Christian a person must confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). Why does His Lordship stop within the lives of so many Christians? Why do some Christians believe it is okay to take so much control of their own lives that they essentially push Jesus out of any authority and turn Him into a hippie feel-good friend? The answer is compromise. Compromising the Word of God, the holiness of God, and the authority Jesus is supposed to have within the life of each Christian. All authority was given to Jesus in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18), there is no salvation in anyone else (Acts 4:12), and He became the intercessor for Christians before God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5). This is only a small percentage of the power, dominion, and authority given unto Jesus yet some Christians still feel they make a better lord of their life than He would. Jesus is the teacher, leader, and guide in helping those that believe in Him in the way they should go (Isaiah 48:17). Jesus should have enough authority in the life of each believer that they obey His commandments to reflect the love they have for Him all the days of their life (John 14:15). Every Christian first has a connection with Jesus Christ as the true vine (John 15:1-2). Sadly, some disconnect themselves thinking they can live life without being submitted to the true vine, the provider of life. This brings withering and death (John 15:2, 4-6). It is vital to remain submitted to Jesus as not only Savior but also Lord so He can direct His people to serve and live for God. Living a life that is away from the authority of Jesus being Lord leads to an eternity away from Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Jesus even rebuked those that called Him Lord but did not follow through with living what He said to do (Luke 6:46). This is the definition of being Lord is to have authority and rule over someone or something. Christians must receive Jesus as their Savior, submit to Him to be their Lord, and stay submitted to His Lordship all the days of their lives to be saved (Matthew 24:13). The real question is, is Jesus the Lord of your life?
Many churches this month are honoring their pastor and pastor’s wife by showering gifts, giving cards, and other ideas that are a wonderful blessing to each pastor and his family. Honoring pastors, their wives, and their children is biblical and correct to display appreciation for those that serve within the kingdom of God. The word honor is defined as having a good opinion about, revering, fixing a value upon, to esteem. Although October is the month that churches dedicate this time each year, a much better gift that can be given throughout the year is hearing the Word of God being preached by the pastor and living out the Word. Knowing that a pastor, including his family, is a gift from Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:11) helps Christians to understand the blessing it is to have a pastor within their lives. Even as a pastor, I have a pastor to perfect, mature, and equip me as a Christian for everything God has called me to do. While some Christians will honor their pastor with only lip service this is not the honor God desires to be displayed toward the gifts Jesus has given to His people (Matthew 15:8, Mark 7:6). God desires His people to hear the messages, see the lifestyles, and submit to the discipleship of the pastors He has established within each church that He has built. One of the best methods of honoring a pastor is to walk with God by applying the teachings they teach (James 1:21), imitate their holy lifestyle (1 Corinthians 11:1), and allow them to disciple biblical principles within that person’s life (Matthew 28:19-20). Having biblical pastors is an extreme rarity in these days. There may be many pastors, none perfect by any means, but only some will stand on the Word of God and not bow to the people’s emotions, money, or desires. Pastors are to mature the people of God (Ephesians 4:12) and not be their best friend. That leads to the next point of pastors being holy and worthy of honor. Pastors that look no different from the world or are controlled by the people are not maturing the body of Christ but giving in to the anti-Christ spirit of flesh being god as opposed to God being the One who is obeyed. King Saul was stripped of his kingship due to disobeying God and obeying the people (1 Samuel 15). If a pastor is holy, sanctified, and preaches the whole truth of God then he is worthy of honor because he is used by the Master (2 Timothy 2:21). It is vital that pastors are messengers of the entirety of the Word of God because even the Bible discusses a famine of the Word (Amos 8:11). This does not include a famine of preachers, churches, or the Bible, but a famine of ministers preaching the fullness of the Word of God creating a lack of equipping Christians as believers to be soldiers of the Living God. If your pastor preaches the full truth, he is worthy of not only honor but double honor (1 Timothy 5:17). May pastors throughout our region preach, teach, and live the entirety of the Word of God. May Christians everywhere truly appreciate and honor the gifts of Jesus Christ found within their pastors.
In recent years, many churches have focused on the aspect of inclusion to the degree of taking out everything that might offend anyone in attendance. No church or Christian should ever purposefully offend another person (2 Corinthians 6:3) or be a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9) to other people. Even with the best intentions of not wanting to offend, every church and Christian must not compromise the truth of God or God’s Word. The truth of God draws a line in the sand (so to speak) and separates the people who submit to God’s Word and those who rebel against His truth by not living it. Submitting to God requires studying the Bible AND living the Word of God out through character by doing what it says. Living out the Word of God will create a separation between those that apply God’s truth to be holy people of God while those that choose to oppose His truth will desire the separation out of conviction. Many people view Jesus as the Messiah to bring everyone from everywhere together but even He describes Himself as a divider (Matthew 10:34-36). Jesus goes a step further to say that anyone who loves family more than Him is not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37). It is not hatred within a family that Jesus wants or encourages, but Jesus is reflecting on the separation of those who reject Jesus in their lives as opposed to those of the same family that has given their lives to serve Him. This reality should be a motivation to encourage Christians to witness to people within their lives of the salvation that can be found in Jesus Christ. Separation is not an easy situation no matter the origin. To have the truth of God bring this separation displays the heart of each person. Serving God is to be conducted with the very best effort or also known as heartily (Colossians 3:23). Once a Christian realizes the blessings that come from being faithful to God they should be immovable from the truth of God no matter the cost (1 Corinthians 15:58). The truth of God forces people to look at their lifestyle and compare it to how the Bible says to live. Those that desire God and His presence within their lives will submit and obey. During this submission and obedience, others that have chosen to not obey or submit to the truth of God may be convicted of their own sin and mock God or at the very least attempt to plant the idea of having a lower standard of Christianity within the person that is dedicating their life to God’s truth. It takes a strong Christian to stand and not compromise the truth of God and the things of God. A great motivation for not compromising the things of God is remembering that one day Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32-34). This is an analogy of sheep that reflects the submitted and obedient people of God while goats are a reflection of those who do what they desire and do not submit to the truth of God. Again, this separation comes as Jesus is doing the separating although it is by choice of each individual that determines if a person is a sheep or goat. Where do you stand regarding the truth of God? Do you stand in submission and obedience to the truth of God? Or are you standing in opposition living life how you desire and neglecting the truth of God? Which side do you choose?
In the field of the world, many different seeds are sown both good and bad. Jesus described this scenario within the parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30). Jesus speaks about a man sowing good seed, which is wheat in his field. Just as wheat is the good seed that is planted some tares are also planted but from a different source. Tares are dangerous weeds that can cause issues for the wheat’s growth and health. These tares are also known as bearded darnels. Bearded darnels are poisonous grass that is almost indistinguishable from wheat from the outside. The darnels are also known as “false wheat”. On the inside, the tares have black grains. These darnels can only be distinguished from the wheat as both begin to mature. Applying this parable to today one could notice that wheat represents the true Christians that seek to be harvested for God and have Godly character. The wheat is produced from good seed planted by the man who owns the field. While the servants of the good man slept the enemy sowed tares with the wheat. While Christians have slept and not been on guard throughout time, spiritual enemies have sown tares among them to be distractions and even hindrances to the growth and health of true Christians. The lack of responsibility to maintain the field gave the enemy enough opportunity to plant the tares. Christians must awaken and shine the light of Christ (Ephesians 5:14). Being spiritually awake is vital to enduring these last days as a Christian. As the days get darker spiritually, Christians cannot afford to sleep but be people of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8). God’s people must be on guard against the wiles or schemes of the enemy (Ephesians 6:11). As discussed regarding the difference between wheat and tares there is much more to be said. As wheat grows it begins to bow as if bowing to the good man, a reflection of Jesus Christ. In stark comparison, the tares are a stiff-necked people that refuse to bow. The black within the tares represents the sin and death that is present in the heart of those that serve themselves or the enemy of God. Wheat grows higher than tares, which makes the harvest easier for the reaper. Christians can rise in favor and bow in honor. The enemies of God cannot arise as tall as Christians but do not bow because of pride. In their botanical make-up, darnels have only a single glume, or leaf, that covers the darnel which represents the desire to be independent with no help or guidance. Wheat has two glumes, or leaves, that cover the wheat representing not only themselves as cover but the coverage from the Holy Spirit in guidance and protection. God is a believer’s rear guard (Isaiah 52:12). This only happens with wheat as a believer. The tare does not have the extra protection. May Christians allow the things of God to be sown into their lives. God is not mocked and whatever is sown is the harvest to be reaped (Galatians 6:7-9). Christians must sow righteousness and break up the uncultivated ground of their heart (Hosea 10:12). Standing for the things of God and being the wheat is the harvest that God is looking for when He sends Jesus to gather His people. Be the wheat that is ready to harvest and not the tare of the world.