RSS

Tag Archives: authority

My God is…to whom I submit James 4:7-8

James 4:7-8 –  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to White flagGod, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Submit yourselves therefore to God

Definition of SUBMIT

transitive verb
1 a: to yield to governance or authority
   b: to subject to a condition, treatment, or operation <the metal was submitted to analysis>
2: to present or propose to another for review, consideration, or decision; also : to deliver formally <submitted my resignation>
3: to put forward as an opinion or contention <we submit that the charge is not proved>
intransitive verb
1 a : to yield oneself to the authority or will of another :surrender
   : to permit oneself to be subjected to something <had to submit to surgery>
2: to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another
What do you think of when you hear the word submit? Is it a positive or negative thing for you? Take a moment to read the definition of submit above. Does it mean what you thought it did?
To yield oneself to the authority or will of another
Do you have a problem with authority? As Americans, we can kind of have a “you’re not going to tell me what to do” kind of attitude. We like to think of ourselves as independent beings. We don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything. As long as we’re not hurting anyone we should be able to do what we want. Do you like it when someone exerts their authority over you? It’s not always enjoyable. Maybe the reason we have such a hard time with those in authority over us is because we think we’re just as good as them, and we want to be the one’s with the authority.
We want to do what we want and not have to worry about what other people want or expect from us. We often put ourselves first, but that’s not what we’re called to do in the verse above from James. We are called to submit ourselves to God.
Surrender!
To some people surrendering means you’ve lost. To others surrendering means to give up. Some might say it means to stop fighting. I want to submit myself to God. I want to surrender to God. I don’t think of it as losing or giving up, but mostly I think of it as stop fighting. I need to stop fighting God. Often I feel myself pulled in one direction or another, like I’m being encouraged by God or other trustworthy Christians to do something. But I often try to ignore such promptings. These moments almost always bring discomfort. They make me afraid that I will not be good at what they’re encouraging me to do. I let fear keep me from doing what God would have me do. I fight Him at every turn. I ignore Him. I need to stop fighting and surrender. I need God to be the one to whom I submit.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
How am I to submit to God? The verse goes on to give some examples of what a life submitted to God, surrendered to God might look like. First it says, “Resist the devil.” I don’t always want to resist the devil. Sometimes it looks like a lot more fun to give in to the devil (though I can’t think of a time I felt good after giving in). We fight God and His promptings to do what is right and give in to the devil all the time. We take the opportunity to say something snotty or crude. We drink a little too much. We gossip. We do so many things, and often we never even try to resist the urge. There is a promise at the end of the statement. If we resist the devil (the opposite of surrendering) the devil will flee from us. I don’t know about you, but I may not want to resist the devil, but I also don’t really want the devil hanging around. The more we resist the devil, the easier it becomes to resist the devil (because he is fleeing from us).
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Here is another part of the advice given in James about how to submit to God. We need to draw near to God. We need to seek Him out at every opportunity. Go to God in prayer, read His word and seek out those who know Him as their savior when you have decisions or questions to discuss. Draw near to Him. Put Him at the front of your mind, and you will not be disappointed. He will draw near to you as well. What a blessed promise that is!
Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Keep your hands out of trouble. Don’t take what isn’t yours. Don’t dirty your hands with unkind deeds. though we are sinners we need to always be working with the Holy Spirit’s help to purify our minds. To become increasingly more like the one we submit to. We need to stop saying we believe one thing on Sunday and do something completely contrary the rest of the week. We need to stop being double minded. We need to be focused on God. We need to submit to Him and His authority. We need to stop fighting what we know is right.
Have you stopped fighting?
Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 9, 2013 in James, My God is to whom I submit

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My God is…the authority Mathew 28:16-20

Mathew 28:16-20 –  Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed

Professor Gülgün Köroğlu holding a piece of the chest that is said to possible hold a piece of Jesus Christ’s cross (Photo credit: NBC News)

Professor Gülgün Köroğlu holding a piece of the chest that is said to possible hold a piece of Jesus Christ’s cross (Photo credit: NBC News)

them.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Who has authority in your life? 
Are you clinging to the hope that you have power over everything that happens in your life? Or have you given in to the idea that some things are out of your control. Many of us struggle with the idea that we can’t fix some things. We don’t like to be out of control. We don’t like to be questioned. We don’t like to have to prove ourselves. We want to be the authority. Some of us feel like others are always in control of our lives (I’m sure my boys feel that way some times). There is one who should have authority in our lives. He’s the only one who truly has the power to back up His claims, and that is Jesus Christ.

Definition of AUTHORITY

1 a (1) : a citation (as from a book or file) used in defense or support
     (2) : the source from which the citation is drawn
   b (1) : a conclusive statement or set of statements (as an official decision of a court) 
     (2) : a decision taken as a precedent (3) : testimony
   : an individual cited or appealed to as an expert
2 a : power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior
   : freedom granted by one in authority : right
3 a : persons in command; specifically : government
   : a governmental agency or corporation to administer a revenue-producing public enterprise <the transit authority>
4 a : groundswarrant <had excellent authority for believing the claim>
   : convincing force <lent authority to the performance>
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
The verses for today are an account of what happened after Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus told the disciples to meet him in Galilee. When Jesus met up with them there, some of them worshiped Him, and some had their doubts. Jesus reminds them that He has the authority that they seek.
This morning, there were claims coming from Turkey that a piece of the cross that Jesus died on may have been found in a small box with crosses on it. My son and I were watching, and I asked him, “Do you think it’s real?” We had our discussion about it and discussed our doubts. We couldn’t believe it. The news then brought on a priest to talk about it, and he similarly said he was withholding judgement until the archaeologists had dated the item in the box. The priest wanted someone with more authority to help him decide. He wanted proof from a trusted authority before he decided.
 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Are you looking for proof? Jesus understood that seeing him risen from the dead was a hard paradigm shift to make. For most people you die, and you stay dead. But Jesus wanted His disciples to know that they could trust Him. He’s the authority. He’s the evidence. He’s the truth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations
It was with His authority that Jesus then commissioned the disciples. He is the one who has the evidence, the power, the might and is the truth. It is that authority that the disciples would base their ministries. They were basing their faith on the authority of Jesus Christ as Lord of all.
Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
This is an amazing command, and one that Jesus is asserting His authority. If they didn’t get it before, this phrase should have nailed His point home. Jesus is God. He was telling them that He is part of the trinity. He is one of the persons of the Almighty that they have known through faith their whole lives.
And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age
We too can have faith in Jesus Christ who is the authority. He is who we look to when we need support. Because of who He is we can trust what He has to say. He knows what He’s talking about, He is the Almighty. Because He is the authority, He should be the greatest influence on what we think, say and do. He is in charge, He has power over death and the Devil. It is in being raised from the dead that we are able to see His amazing power and gives us grounds for our faith. He is with us, ever the authority, forever. We can trust Him to always be there and for His word to always be true. He is the authority.
 
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 2, 2013 in My God is the authority

 

Tags: , , , ,

My God is…Lord Psalm 16:2

Psalm 16:2 – I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

Excuse me, Your God is Showing.

Excuse me, Your God is Showing.

I have no good apart from you.”

Let’s take a look at the word Lord:

1lord  noun \ˈlȯrd\ definition of LORD

1: one having power and authority over others:

a: a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due

b: one of whom a fee or estate is held in feudal tenure

c: an owner of land or other real property

d obsolete: the male head of a household

e:husband

f: one that has achieved mastery or that exercises leadership or great power in some area <a drug lord

2 capitalized: god
b: jesus

3: a man of rank or high position: as

a: a feudal tenant whose right or title comes directly from the king

b: a British nobleman: as
(1): baron 2a
(2): a hereditary peer of the rank of marquess, earl, or viscount
(3): the son of a duke or a marquess or the eldest son of an earl
(4): a bishop of the Church of England

c plural capitalized: house of lords

4—used as a British title: as

a —used as part of an official title <Lord Advocate> <LordMayor>

b —used informally in place of the full title for a marquess, earl, or viscount

c —used for a baron

d —used by courtesy before the name and surname of a younger son of a duke or a marquess

5: a person chosen to preside over a festival

One having power and authority over others

My God is Lord, and He has authority over me. He is the great authority. When you think about someone being the authority on a topic, it’s someone who has worked with something a long time or is the creator or that item. God is the authority on you. He created you, He knows you better than you know yourself. But I don’t think that’s the kind of thing it’s talking about here. God has the power and authority to make things happen. He can change things, if it’s His will. He can make things happen. Nothing can become greater than it’s creator, and so it is with God. He created us and is bigger, smarter and more than we’ll ever be. He is outside of all measurement.

A man of rank or high position
God by way of being God is in the ultimate high position. There is none that outrank Him. But sometimes in our lives, we don’t act like He is Lord. That He is the one with authority in our lives or even that we treat Him with honor. We are called to give God glory in all we do, but sometimes our selfish interests get in the way. Maybe we ignore the nudge from God to get up on a Sunday morning and attend worship. Maybe we don’t give the money back when we’re given too much in change. Maybe we focus more on pleasing our spouses or significant others instead of showing God that He is truly in the highest position in our heart. To put this idea in context, I’ve heard people say, “How would you prepare for a visit from the President of the United States?” Even if you don’t like the president in power, most likely you would still show him the respect the position holds, and maybe even be proud he came to see you. Now how do you prepare your heart and home for the One of Highest Position? What efforts do you make in your relationship with the Most Important? I don’t know about you, but it makes me think about some of my choices each day. If I could actually see God as residing in my heart and my home, physically, would I be doing anything differently? I’m guessing I would. Would you?

My Lord, My Master, My Father
How blessed are we that the one who is all-powerful, of the highest rank and position and holds all authority is also the one who adopted me into His family, so that I might benefit from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I am not a slave, but a child of God, serving not out of duty, but out of love. May we be blessed with continuing faith in the God who is Lord of all.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

The second half of this verse says it all really. My value, my purpose and my spirit are nothing without the Lord. I am God’s child, and when left to my own devices, I am hopeless. I fail, I’m mean, I sin. With the Lord I am saved, purposeful, blessed, encouraging. When my focus isn’t on God, you can tell. It shows in my actions. I want my God to show. I want God to get the glory in my life. I want it to be obvious that there is something different in my life that gives my life meaning. Maybe next time I see someone doing good, I’ll say, “Your God is showing.”

Is your God showing?
 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in My God is Lord, Psalm

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,