"If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved."
-- Romans 10:9
What a glorious celebration we have just had! Driving through the Appalachian mountain range, the verdant richness of God’s creation bursting forth in glad springtime just took my breath away. There’s nothing like my beloved Appalachian mountains to bring me to my knees in praise to the Creator of all Life! How appropriate that our Holy Week coincides with spring!
We celebrate an incarnate, suffering, dying, and Risen Messiah! Because of Christ’s death and Resurrection, we, too, may live.
Holy Week is over. What will we make of life now that Monday has hit and the rigors of life in this broken world come back into focus? After we’ve raised our hands and voices in praise and feasted together as family, what will we make of the choices put to our minds today?
What does his death and resurrection mean to me today?
Jesus saved me from the second death; not physical death–for we shall all now die in this body–but spiritual death. My soul, the thing that makes me ME, will never die but will see His face! I will fall down on my knees in praise to the One who has made my life not only possible, but rich and joyful even in the midst of suffering.
But can he save me today?
The answer to this is a resounding YES!!
When Christ died, there was perfection of power that bent so low in humble obedience to the Father. Yes, power in death. Power to choose it for our sakes and to follow through to see it ‘finished’ (Psalm 22).
And in conquering death, Jesus rose up from its clutches and defeated its chains, its power over all mankind! That same power that raised Christ from the grave, He has given us to rise up from the grasping, clawing addictive power of sin.
He ever lives to intercede for you and I. Think on that! Jesus our Messiah is praying for those who have chosen to follow Him, we who take up our own crosses in obedience to the Father. He is praying for those who have not yet come, to enable them to receive Him.
He is still intimately acquainted with our lives. He is powerfully involved in bringing us to maturity in faith, strengthening us and developing us to be His emissaries of love to this broken old world full of people who need the same grace we have been given.
Jesus is Lord!
Jesus is not only our Savior, He is our Lord. This makes all the difference today! This power that Christ has shown over all of Creation, life and death, gives Him the right to be our King. He has been crowned King of ALL Kings and Lord of ALL other Lords! We are not saved just to keep us out of hell (earthly or eternal), we are saved to obey and have no other gods before Him.
This makes a huge difference in how I live my life today. I choose Christ; therefore, I choose the life He has called me to.
Jesus is not just my friend and counselor at my side. He is completely at the helm of my life.
Jesus is not my co-pilot; He is my pilot, compass, controls and control tower all in One. He is the air that I breathe and the ground beneath my feet!
He is not just my “sugar-daddy” to fulfill all my wishes and make life easy-peasy, He is Lord!
Jesus leads me beside still waters, and yet He also leads me through dark valleys. The events of my life don’t just happento me, my Lord intends them. He is forging gold out of the metal of my life and the process burns with a white-hot heat, melting away dross that pollutes. He brings me through that low-door of humility and brokenness. It is just there that I realize again and again the value of the cross and the glory of the Resurrection today and the next.
So that others may also live
Never forget that this process has a purpose, not just to be purified for heaven, but so that others looking on may see our Crucified and Risen Lord! How well am I doing in yielding to His wisdom?
Am I showing that Jesus is Lord of my life by the nature and condition of my thought-life?
Can others see Christ’s kindness in me where agitation is “normal”?
Can others see prudence in managing my resources so that I have enough to give to those in need?
Can others see Christ’s intentional involvement when it is normal to shrug off that which complicates?
Am I reading His Word and facing Him in authentic prayer?
Do I care more what others think than what God thinks?
Do I really want to live a ‘normal’ life, or a Resurrected one?
My heart quakes at the answer to that and all that this means; but in Christ’s power, we can all find His strength is sufficient to carry us onward in victory, if we’ll only make that step forward.
Saved to reign with Him
This is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him,we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us;…” — 2 Timothy 2:12
This earthly life is but a minute speck of the glory that we will share with Christ when He comes again to reign in all fullness of power, all evil vanquished forever. That day is coming!
But even today, Christ is developing leadership skills in us. He has modeled servant-leadership all the way to the Cross, and now He bids us follow. Not so that we can be made low, but so that we can reign in righteousness over all of creation as we were meant to do from the beginning (Genesis 2).
Our low position is exalted. Glory in this with Him! He goes before us in power and purity. His Holy Spirit surrounds and strengthens us as we walk in His footsteps. His righteousness comes behind to protect us from falling utterly. He looks on us with love from above and “underneath are His everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Post-Holy Week Challenge
Today, let us continue our Holy Week celebration by making Him Lord–as practically as we did aesthetically this past week.
Let us remember His death in humility, but also let us remember the hope of His Resurrection for whatever satan may whisper in our hearts today. We can defeat big and little sin through the power of the cross and the empty tomb, if we do not grow weary.
He is Lord! He leads us onward even today.
We have a future and a hope!
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ — Matthew 7:21-23 BSB
Yet also this:
“…if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” — 2 Timothy 2:13 BSB
Jesus, My Savior and Lord, it is so easy to join with the crowd in crying “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!” and it is just as easy to join with the crowd in crying “Crucify! Crucify!!” We are so fickle, and I see it in myself, not just corporately but individually. Lord, help me see where my worship fades into selfishness. Help me also to lift my head from despair and helplessness and see the power available to me to overcome petty and also deeply damaging hurts and slights, pains and sorrows. Lead me onward, Great Commander of my soul, and show me the work that you have for me to do in Your Name. Because you love those who around me stand and you have great things waiting for them if they can only see you alive in me. You have chosen to use the foolish of this world to confound the wise. I am foolish, Lord. And yet you use me to show others the Resurrection power you offer to all because of love. Give us all strength to choose you again and again and again today in all that we think, do, and say. Lead us together in your path of righteousness for others’ sake. In the Name of Christ Jesus, my Savior and Lord, Amen.
© April 2019, by http://www.ReadPsalm119.com.
“I’m going to live like I sing about in my song”, by Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972), “The Queen of Gospel”. Uploaded by “Mahalia Jackson”, April 7, 2014. [YouTube; 4:10 min.]. Read about Mahalia Jackson on her biography website: www.mahaliajackson.us/biography/. Lyrics follow. The author of the lyrics is uncredited. Mahalia finished her life’s course true to her words and to her Savior and Lord. I take them as my own and pray I can be as faithful.
I'm gonna live like I sing about in my song,
I'm gonna stand right always showin' the road
If in the crowd, if I'm alone
On the streets or in my home
I'm gonna live the life I sing about in my song.
Well, I'm gonna live like I sing about in my song
I'm gonna stand right always showin' the road
If I'm in the crowd, if I'm alone, Lord!
On the streets or in my home
I'm gonna live like I sing about in my song.
on the busy thoroughfare
Folks may watch me, folks may spot me
Say I'm foolish but I don't care
I can't go to church and shout all day Sunday
Go out and get drunk and raise sand all day Monday
I've got to live the life I sing about in my song.
Not for gold nor for fame
but for the love of Jesus' Name
I was always walkin' the straight street and narrow way
Jesus told me in that day he would wash all my sings away,
Hey! Gonna live the life I sing about in my song.
Sure enough, gonna live, live the life I sing about in mny song
Oh yeah, I'm gonna stand right and always showing the wrong
If I'm in a crowd, if I'm alone
well, on the street, in my home
Gonna live the life I sing about, oh, in my song!