Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wanting More of Jesus' Supreme Lordship

Revelation 1:19-20 (19) Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. (20) As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Over the past couple of days we have been looking at reasons to want more of Jesus.  In looking at Revelation 1:12-20, the cry erupting from my heart has been: I want more of Jesus.  I want more of His presence and power in my life.  John has shown us thus far two reasons for wanting more of Jesus: His shining light (Revelation 1:12-16) and His strengthening love (Revelation 1:17-18).  In today's post we want to consider one more reason to want more of Jesus: His Supreme Lordship.

Wanting more of Jesus means wanting more of His Supreme Lordship.  Revelation 1:19-20
How much of your life and mine belongs to Jesus Christ? 1 Corinthians 6:20 states - "Therefore you have been bought with a price, glorify God in your body."  It is clear then that Jesus Christ has rights to every area of our lives.  When we speak of Christ's Lordship, it refers to His Authority, Dominion and Kingship. Lordship says that what Jesus says in His Word for me to do, I am to do.  Second question: "How much of your life are you willing to let Christ have control?"  I imagine that for every Christian, the way you answer the question is a little bit different than the first.  Why? Because by right and fact Christ is Lord, however in experience we think we can give almost all to Jesus.  

Whether we are speaking about individual Christians or entire churches, Christ's Supreme Lordship will test how much I really want Jesus.  In Revelation 1:19-20 the Supreme Lordship of Jesus Christ is uncontested.  Notice where we see Christ's Supreme Lordship both demonstrated and experienced:

Wanting more of Jesus' Supreme Lordship through His Word - Revelation 1:19
Revelation 1:19 gives what is almost universally recognized by Bible teachers as the outline of the entire book of Revelation.  Once again Christ is telling John to "write these things" like He did in Revelation 1:11.  If you and I are truly serious about wanting more of Jesus, we should and must desire more of His Word.  This verse outlines the book of Revelation as it centers around the Revelation of Jesus Christ's Person, Power and Plans:

1. "Therefore write the things which you have seen"  points us to John's initial vision of Jesus Christ in Revelation 1.

2. "and the things which are" corresponds to the seven churches in John's day in Revelation 2-3.  I would also include Revelation 4-5 since those two chapters represent in a way what the Lord is doing in Heaven right now.

3. "and the things which will take place after these things." speaks to the future unfolding of events in Revelation 4-22.  In this outline I see some overlap in chapters 4-5 since in eternity, past, present and future look the same to God.  
Christ's supreme Lordship is revealed through His Word.  The great late pastor and theologian Dr. W.A Criswell writes in his commentary on Revelation about Revelation 1:19 - "The Great Executor of this Divine plan is none other than Deity Himself.  Christ is not one thing in one age and another thing for another age and another time and another country and another people.  Christ is the Lord God, 'the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).  So in wanting more of Jesus' supreme Lordship, I must want to be exposed to more of His Word, but notice another truth found in Revelation 1:20...

Wanting More of Jesus' Supreme Lordship means recognizing His Lordship over His church.   Revelation 1:20
A Christian who is not restricted by health or circumstance or occupation needs to be with God's people whenever they meet. (Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:24-25)  I dare to say that how a Christian treats their Bible and treats their church attendance will tell an awful lot of how much they want Jesus.  Christ's Supreme Lordship over His church is uncontested.  He is the One who stands amidst His church, providing her light to work by and live by and holding her destiny and success in His hands.  Being that Christ died for His church (Acts 20:28), authored the church's design (Matthew 16-18) and gave her the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:15-21), it on stands to reason that every Christian be connected to a local expression of His church.  

Whenever you and I are with other Christians, they urge us onto love and good deeds until the day of His appearing. (Hebrews 10:24-25)  Through the local church we experience Christ's molding and shaping of our lives by His gifted and called leaders. (Ephesians 4:1-13) Christians who willfully choose to skip the time needed to be with God's people are Christians who will never consistently want more of Jesus. (Ephesians 4:14)  Does it means that there may not be the potential of hurt in the local church? No.  But without the local church, no Christian can ever hope of being rightly and jointly put together with other Christians in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16) 

We have for the past few days been exploring the idea of wanting more of Jesus.  In wanting more of Jesus, what are we saying? We want more of Jesus because of His shining light in us and over us.  Secondly, we want more of Jesus because of His strengthening love.  Whenever He says "do not fear", it calms the heart and clears the mind.  Then the third reason for wanting more of Jesus is because of His Supreme Lordship.  I would rather surrender under the Supreme Lordship of Christ in His Word and over His church than to try to figure it out all on my own.  May you and I be a people who want more of Jesus in our lives.  

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