You may have read from a few weeks ago that we are saved by faith, through grace, and if you stick around me long enough, you will hear it said again. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, He becomes not only our Savior but also our Sovereign Lord and Master. We are under new ownership now, and we can only enjoy our new life in Christ as we daily seek His will and follow Him in obedience.
Lets look at what the Scriptures have to say about it.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
What is a temple? A house of God. So our bodies belong to God, for two reasons. One, He created us, and Two, He bought us back with his own blood. Our spirits occupying these bodies is more of a landlord tenant relationship, because these flesh suits are on loan from the Lord. Let us be a good steward of what belongs to God by giving Him our hands, feet, and our time.
Secondly, if God resides inside us, then our bodies are holy grounds. We do well to treat Gods property with respect.
I think of it this way. If I borrowed your car, for the expressed purpose of one goal, and you were traveling with me on my way to accomplish that goal, I would be unlikely to drive it recklessly, or allow myself to travel off course with out your consent. So it is with us and our lives. We belong to God, and are expected to live life on mission.
Matthew 22: 37-38 – 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
Jesus expects us to love Him with every fiber of our being. And if we do this, and nothing else, it is enough.
In the context of Jesus being our Lord, this is fitting. Because we will submit for one of two reasons. 1) Authority is insisted upon, like a cop stopping a criminal. But with this authority, the criminal will engage with the crime as soon as his authority is not present. 2) Authority is given out of respect, like when a leader earns your trust. In this case, we will submit to their direction because we trust that their will is in our best interest, even if they are not around to watch.
Loving God is step one to being able to fully submit to His Will.
Psalm 37: 4-5 – 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
We have a benevolent king. When we align our hearts with Gods, He is pleased to give us what we ask of Him, and is waiting on the edge of His seat for us to just seek Him for our provisions and blessings.
Matthew 6:33 – 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
When we put anything before our relationship with God, it becomes an idol or distraction from the real source of fullness. Even things that are normally not bad, like family or work, when put before God, will always leave us wanting. But when we put God first, all these other things we may seek are added to us in greater measure then we could have acquired before. So for example, our family relationships will be better off if they are second to our relationship with God, and putting God first is not an equation of subtraction from family, but an equation of addition.
John 15:5 – 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
What happens when you pluck a grape from the vine? It starts to die, because it is cut off from its source of life. What do you find on the vine? The source of reproduction and an abundance of fruit, growing. Jesus compares Himself to the vine, reminding us that without Him, we are withering. It is our loss if we choose another lord.
I imagine that a grape never said to its vine “your not the boss of me, you cant tell me what to do. If I want to take off and do my own thing, I will!” That is silly. The grape gets its life from the vine. With out that connection, the grape starts to die immediately. The vine does not insist to the grape that it stays, grows, and contains the ingredients for reproduction. The grape is happy to abide in the vine, because it is in this connection that it has life.
Luke 6:46 – 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
In these words of Jesus, we see he realizes there are going to be plenty of people who would claim they are His, when in reality they are not. He does not determine your loyalty based on your words, He determines your loyalty based actions. I did not say we are saved by our actions, but our deeds do become a type of measuring tape for our level of loyalty to Jesus as Lord. Deeds are a symptom of salvation, not a precursor. So if you have not seen a change since you started identifying as a Christian, then you may find conviction in Luke 6:46
1 John 5:2-4 – 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
If we love God, it is not a burden to keep His commandments, because we know He only wants what is in our best interest, and we trust him the way we expect our kids to trust us when we tell them not to play with fire.