Monday, September 20, 2010

Savior…and Lord?

“For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1: 16

I think most people like the idea of Jesus as “Savior”. For those who are faithful, passionate followers of Jesus, we understand that we cannot save ourselves. We know that without the sacrifice of Calvary, we would be lost to hell for all eternity due to our own sinfulness. We understand that it was only Jesus, as God’s Son, who could ransom us and bridge the great divide between God and humanity. And we fall upon His mercy and His grace time and again as we our confronted with our weakness and brokenness.

I think most nominal Christians also like to accept—or at least acknowledge—Jesus as “Savior” from time to time. Perhaps it is easy to ignore Christ in our day-to-day lives, but what about when the rug is pulled out from underneath our little lives? What about when life throws us a curveball we weren’t expecting? Like when someone dies, or gets laid off? Or when someone becomes ill or infirmed in some way? What happens when we are scared or confronted with a situation bigger than our abilities? I think in those moments, people are ready and willing to call out for Jesus to save them; as the saying goes: “there are no atheists in foxholes”. In fact, right after 9/11 lots of people were calling out to God, many people went to prayer services at churches and weekly church attendance actually went up. But how long did all that last? About as long as the little flags on the car windows lasted. Why?

It is fairly easy to acknowledge Jesus as our Savior—if only in times of crisis. But it is altogether different to acknowledge Him as Lord, isn’t it? To acknowledge Him as Lord means we place ourselves under His authority. It means we will obey Him. It means that we give up control over our own lives, desires, dreams and futures. We have a hard time with this, especially in America, because we are used to democracy. We view authority as stifling to our freedom. But this is the great paradox of Jesus—it is in surrendering ourselves to His Lordship, that we finally gain true freedom.

Jesus is not a giant spiritual PEZ dispenser up in the sky. He is not like a little puppy we try to train and domesticate for our own needs. He is not only our Savior, but He is the LORD of all heaven and earth! And it is precisely because He is LORD that makes His saving sacrifice so powerful. We need to not only acknowledge Jesus as our Savior, but also as our Lord. Easier said than done sometimes, but necessary nonetheless.

Dear Jesus, I place myself under Your authority today. I acknowledge You as my Savior, but also as my Lord. Through Your grace, may I come to trust You with my whole life. Amen.

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