Jesus Christ is described as the ‘King of kings’. Who are the ‘kings’ of whom He is the King? You and myself! – David Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Our relationship with Jesus is described in many terms. He is our Saviour, Redeemer, Master, Teacher, apostle, high priest, bridegroom and friend. But the most important title given to him is Lord. Being a Christian is the recognition that Jesus Christ is Lord. Here is how the Scriptures put it,
“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).
Our decisions—our loyalties, affections, preferences, and choices—are now submitted to his will (“not my will but yours be done”). It now means that everything is lived under the rule of Jesus. Jesus is either Lord of all or not at all. There is no such thing as a half-lord: “lord” by definition means complete over-rule. If He is not Lord in every part of our lives, then he is not Lord of our lives. Getting saved is recognising Jesus as our Saviour; living saved is recognising Jesus as our Lord. Everything involved in being a Christian is summed up in this one phrase: Jesus is Lord!
THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
With that in mind we need to understand that there is a cost to following Jesus. Jesus clearly and repeatedly taught his disciples there would be a cost to following him. He said we should carefully count the cost before we decide to follow him to see if we are able and willing to pay it and so be able to finish what we started. The price Jesus paid to save us is infinitely greater than any we might pay. The reward of following Jesus (both in this life and the next) are infinitely greater than any cost of following him. Nevertheless, Jesus said there would be a felt cost – and those who have followed Jesus for any period of time will tell you that there is indeed a cost. Listen to how Jesus put it.
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. – Luke 9:23 – 26
Although there is a cost to follow Jesus, it is not something to grit and bear but to celebrate since He is Lord; Jesus is worthy of every cost and at any price!
OUR WHOLE LIFE IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP
Since he is Lord and has rescued us, our entire lives are to be an act of worship.
…And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:1 – 2
Worship is not simply singing to Him, but an opportunity to honour God. Every area of life is an opportunity to worship Him. The way we conduct ourselves at our workplace is an opportunity to worship Him. The way we handle our finances is an opportunity to worship Him. Even the language we use is an opportunity to worship Him. The Scriptures make it clear that, because of the work Christ has done on the cross and the mercy that has been revealed to us our whole lives should be in worship to Him.
Obedience is not a word that we like these days. Christianity can often be reduced to merely a feeling. Ultimately, however, obedience flows from the Lordship of Christ: because he is Lord, Master and owner, obedience is a fitting response. Yet, at the same time, God doesn’t want outward obedience without inward change – then we can simply do all the right religious things without truly loving Jesus. An inward transformation should lead to an outward transformation too. David was one of the standout characters in the Old Testament. He wasn’t perfect; however, God commended him as the “man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). David loved God! However, his love for God flowed into his actions; this is what it meant for David to be a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). Obedience flows from our love for God and a recognition that he is Lord. Jesus put it this way
“If you love me, keep my commands.” – John 14:15
To say that we must trust and obey Christ as Lord doesn’t mean that salvation depends on us being perfect. Rather, following Jesus as Lord is the attitude of complete surrender and obedience to Jesus Christ.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN PRACTICALLY?
If Jesus is Lord of your life it means that what his word says about your behaviour is more important than your preferences or opinions for example.
• Your sexuality is designed for marriage and marriage alone (1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20).
• Forgiving those who offend you (Ephesians 4:32).
• Your wealth has been given to you by God and you should find out what he says about it (Saving, Tithing, Giving) (2 Corinthians 9:7; Malachi 3:10).
• The way in which you treat others (Matthew 7:12).
The Scriptures speak into almost every arena of life, we are to find out what his will is in each area
A FOUNDATION THAT CANNOT BE ROCKED
Jesus, in his famous preach on a mountainside, gave a parable that helped explain the importance of following him at his word as Lord. It’s a vivid picture of those who take him at his word and those who simply listen but never follow their hearing with obedience.
“… everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. – Matthew 7:24 – 27 NIV
Notice the difference between the two builders. One simply heard Jesus’s words but didn’t put them into action. Jesus likened that to a builder who builds their house on sand. Whereas the other heard and put what Jesus said into practice, Jesus likens this person to having a solid foundation. Our Christian journey stagnates when we don’t put into practice what the Scriptures tell us to do. Serving and following Jesus as Lord, means we will not be shaken even when everything is shaking around us. With Him as Lord, we have a solid foundation that can withstand the greatest and mightiest of storms that may come our way. The writer of the Hebrews writes.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping him with holy fear and awe. – Hebrews 12:28
Day 1: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11
Day 2: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’” – Matthew 16:24-26
Day 3: “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:27
Day 4: “If you love me, keep my commands.” – John 14:15
Day 5: “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” – 1 John 5:3
Day 6: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1-2
Day 7: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:14
- What does it mean to recognise Jesus as Lord in your daily life? How does this recognition impact your decisions, priorities, and actions?
- How can obedience be a genuine expression of love rather than just obligation? Can you share an experience where your love for God led you to obey Him even when it was difficult?
- How does his love for God translate into his actions? How can you cultivate a heart that is not only devoted to God emotionally but also actively seeks to live in accordance with His commands?
- Reflect on your relationship with Jesus and your recognition of Him as Lord. Identify an area of your life where you have struggled to fully submit to His lordship. Prayerfully consider what steps you can take to surrender that area to Him.