In my younger years, I held to the adage, “If Jesus isn’t the Lord of ALL, He isn’t Lord at all.” I was reminded of that when I was rereading the story about Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. He was actually trying to give them an example of how they were to serve one another. When He came to Peter, Peter said, “Oh no, you will never wash my feet!” (John 13:8). Now to be fair, Peter was acknowledging Him as Lord but he was not willing to do what Jesus asked him to do. That’s when Jesus told him, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me, we can have nothing to do with each other.” Well, that shook Peter up a little and Pete then said, “Oh! Oh no, Then by golly, wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well” (John 13:9). Well, you have to give him some credit for his zeal and enthusiasm (but not too much).
But here we see that twice, Peter told Jesus, who he claims to be “Lord,” no! How in the world could that be? If He is Peter’s Lord and Peter was telling Him no, then is he really Peter’s Lord? I mean, to tell Jesus no is clearly not allowing Jesus to be Lord of your life, is it?
Right before Jesus went to Calvary to die, once again, Peter told Jesus “no!” Jesus had just told His disciples about what was going happen to Him and said that He would have to go to Jerusalem and would suffer there and He would be killed. But three days later, He would be raised to new life (Matthew 16:21). Now, we know the story and are ready to shout with joy every time we are reminded of it, but Peter took Jesus aside. Sad and confused, and maybe a little bit prideful and chastised Jesus, “Never, Lord! This will never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:22)! Go ahead and read that again. Peter just said no to the One he had called Lord! Can we say no to the Lord and still rightly call Him Lord? To acknowledge Jesus as Lord is to do what He says and never say “no” to Him.
Yesterday I told you that if we wanted to claim Jesus as our Lord, He would want to be “Lord.” If Christ reigns as the supreme authority over his kingdom, and we are his subjects, then our lives must be governed by him. That Jesus must be allowed to guide and direct all of our actions and behavior, and influence every thought, conversation. He will want a say about who our companions are, the words that we speak, and our attitudes about other people.
If we say no to the Lord, is He really the Lord of our lives? Jesus rebuked Peter for being Satan’s agent when Peter told Jesus no because he was thinking only.
Wow! I can’t imagine doing that! Ooh, or can I? Is it possible for those of us who call Jesus Lord, ever say no? If we do, do we still have a right to call Him Lord? I mean, to acknowledge that Jesus is our Lord is to do what He says and never say “no” to Him. If we do say no to the Lord, is He really the Lord of our lives? Jesus rebuked Peter for being Satan’s agent when Peter told Jesus no because he was thinking only in human terms and not on the things of God (Matthew 16:23).
Here’s the thing, in the New Testament, our salvation and being disciples are so closely related that you can never divide them. They may not be identical, but as Tozer taught, “as with Siamese twins they are joined by a tie which can be severed only at the price of death.”
If that is true, then why are they being severed in many of our churches today? For the average Christian today, salvation is considered to be immediate and automatic, while being a disciple is thought to be something optional which a professing Christian can delay as long as possible — even indefinitely or never at all.
We continually hear Pastors and teachers tell those seeking the Truth, to simply accept Christ now and leave moral and social questions to be decided later. What they are saying is that obedience and discipleship are unrelated to salvation. We figure that we can be saved by believing a historic fact about Jesus Christ (that He died for our sins and rose again) and apply that to our personal situation. The whole biblical concept of Lordship and obedience is completely absent from the minds of many “believers.” He needs help, and Christ is the very One — the only one — who can furnish it, so he takes Him as his personal Savior and the even the thought of His Lordship is completely ignored.
So once again I bring that saying: If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. You need to hear this because Jesus said that the person who hears their Lord’s words but doesn’t obey them is like someone who is building their house with no foundation, and when the “floods” of life come, it is simply swept away (Luke 6:49). However, the one who hears and follows — or obeys what his master says, builds their house on a rock-solid foundation, and when the floods come, it remains (Luke 6:47-48).
Floods are symbolic of God’s judgment, so whoever hears and does what God says will not be swept away in judgment when it comes (Revelation 20:12-15), and it is coming. Like me, you probably have a friend who says they were baptized many years ago and believe in Jesus, but his lifestyle is nothing like a disciple of the Lord, Jesus Christ. They use foul and perverse language, get drunk, watches R- and X-rated movies and have a lifestyle that has absolutely no evidence of godly fruit, but rather the fruit of the Devil (John 15). We can warn them all the time that they can say “Lord, Lord” all they want. But if they do not obey what the Lord says, is He really their Lord? Read Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus warns that not everyone that says to Him “Lord, Lord” is going to be saved.
“Simply calling Me “Lord” will not be enough. Only those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven will join Me in heaven. At the end of time, on that day of judgment, many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive demons out of the possessed in Your name? Did we not perform miracles in Your name?” But I will say to them, “I never knew you. And now, you must get away from Me, you evildoers!”
I shudder every time I read that . . .
Oh Father, your righteousness overwhelms me at times. Please help me to be more obedient and to never say “no” to my Lord when He commands me to do or say something. I do not want to be lord of my own life but want to have Jesus as my Lord and do what He tells me to prove that, indeed, He is my Lord, and in His name I pray
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