February 2, 2019

The Outlaw King is in Charge

From just looking at the ad, you can tell Chris Pine makes a fitting Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick- also known as the King of Scots, the man who leads the battle for Scottish independence from England. The Outlaw King is certainly compelling television as history is its core. But let's be direct here: In my mind, Jesus Christ is the real outlaw king. Even to this day, he is the king that other kingdoms actively oppose- even though we measure time itself by his birth. Think about that. What He did and how He lived had to have impact to change the world to make that kind of mark. 

But no one fights against his ruling like those who detest Him and those who also follow Him.

You see, even though I love Jesus and try to follow Him, my heart is deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)- and I fight internally to do what I want versus what He would have me do.  Who do I really put on the throne of my heart? All too often, I forget who I belong to... and who I serve. Who is the boss? Or in content-  "Who rules me?" This will determine how we will live out our time on this earth. But the answer also determines who we will become as men and women.

In the Bible, God simplifies it down this: "Who do you say that I am?" It's  the question Jesus asks of Peter (Matthew 16:15). It's also one He will ask of all people on the day He returns to judge the world. 

Man, woman, child. Black, white, any race or color. Gay, straight or anywhere on the spectrum of sexuality. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, atheist. We all will have to answer that. How we identify is only the beginning of our journey with Him. Jesus invites all, but those who accept the invitation will not stay the same person as when they began. That is the Biblical pattern.

If your answer to the question is Jesus is Savior alone, He is only an expensive form of "fire insurance". If Jesus is Lord and King of our life, He alone becomes our purpose, our passion, and our desire. The center focus of our life, and we live to please and obey Him. In this role, we then become defined by whom He says we are- falling right into His perfect plan for us- instead of the sad and  pale imitation we create by following our own desires. If your answer is "Jesus is none of the above"- watch out! Hell is full of people with that answer!

All the way back to the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden, God's hand has been at work in creating man and determining his purpose. In His goodness, He has clearly communicated His desire for relationship with us as well as His desire to bless us. When Adam fell, taking all men with him, God himself provided the perfect sacrifice for sin, in sending His Son Jesus Christ. He is not some distant, detached, disinterested, deity. The Lord is a Good Father, one who loves His children, wants to save them, and has great plans for them! The Bible is full of these promises to us.

He makes it this simple because of His great love for us!

When God is the focus of our lives and when He reigns on the throne of our hearts, our desires become His, and we begin a lifelong process of becoming all He has intended. Only in this way, can we truly be fulfilled in life. He created each of us unique, and He alone knows what is in His heart for us. He will reveal his plan to us as we pursue Him. Of course, if we choose to live out our lives apart from Him, or only give Him a small part of it, we eventually end up in a trap of our own making. For now and for eternity. The choice is ours.

So, the question remains, "Who do you say that I am?" Everyday, I am challenged to live my life in accordance with my answer. The challenge is before you as well.

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