Summary: This sermon looks at why "Lord" needs to be more than a word on our tongue.
“One afternoon author Patsy Clairmont found herself on an airplane, sitting next to a young man. She writes, ‘I had already observed something about this young man when I was being seated. He called me ‘Ma’am.’ at the time I thought, ‘Either he thinks I’m ancient, or he’s from the South where they still teach manners, or he’s in the service. I decided latter was the most likely, so I asked, ‘You in the service?’
‘Yes, Ma’am, I am.’
‘Hey, Marine, where are you coming from?’
Operation desert Storm, Ma’am.’
‘No kidding? Desert Storm! How long were you there?’ I asked. ‘A year and a half.’ I’m on the way home. My family will be at the airport. I then commented that he must have thought about returning to his family and home many times while he was in the Middle East. ‘Oh, no, Ma’am, he replied. ‘We were taught never to think of what might never be, but to be fully available right where we were.’” (Focus on the Family, July, 1993, p. 5)
Wow! What commitment that this soldier had to the military and what his commanders told him. I couldn’t help but think about the soldiers last words here, “to be fully available right where we were.” Could you imagine the difference Christians could make if they made that same commitment. The commitment to be fully available right where we are, right where we are placed. To many Christians spend time wishing they were in a different place or in a different position instead of making the commitment to be fully available right where they are. God has placed us where we are for a reason. And when He is Lord in our life we are fully available to Him for whatever purpose He may have for us.
We have been dealing with questions that Jesus asked in our series. This morning we will look at a question from Christ that strikes at the heart of our commitment and His Lordship in our lives. It’s a question that can hit hard.
This question is a question that lands with a punch. It’s a hard hitting question that leaves an impact. It’s interesting to note that in a issue of Tabletalk it says that to repeat a person’s name is a Hebrew expression of intimacy. When God speaks to Abraham at Mount Moriah as he is about to plunge a knife into the breast of Isaac, He says, ‘Abraham, Abraham.’ Or when God encourages Jacob in his old age to take the trip to Egypt, He says, ‘Jacob, Jacob.’ Compare the call of Moses from the burning bush: ‘Moses, Moses,’ or the call of Samuel in the night ‘Samuel, Samuel.’ Or consider David’s cry of agony, ‘Absalom, Absalom.’ Jesus’ cry of desperation from the cross, ‘My God, my God.“ Where Jesus confronted Martha, when He warned Peter, and when He wept over Jerusalem--in each case the word repeated for intimacy’s sake. When he asks the question, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and then do not do what I say? It seems like maybe he was trying to say, “Why do you act like we are close, why do pretend to have this deep relationship with me and then do not do what I say.” You see this was a question for those who claimed to follow Christ yet maybe their actions showed differently. But maybe it was also for that person in the crowd who really did believe in Jesus yet they had not fully surrendered. This morning we will look at why “Lord” needs to be more than a word on our tongue. The first answer is simple. Because calling Him Lord doesn’t make it so. The Random House dictionary defines the word “lord” as someone who has dominion over others. Other words, a person who has control over others. It’s surprising that the sixth definition that the dictionary gives for Lord is the Savior, Jesus Christ. But for someone to call Christ Lord implies that he has dominion or control over your life; that you have surrendered yourself to Him. And let’s face it, there are a lot of people in the church that will call Christ, “Lord”, and then go out and live life in their own control and their own way. Back in 1986 Glamour Magazine did a survey of 25,000 readers. Most of the women were between the ages of 18 and 35. In this survey 77 percent pray and 87 percent felt like God is always helping them or has helped them through a particular period in their lives. Yet, nearly half of the poll disagree with the church’s teaching on premarital sex and a third of them disagreed with the church on the issue of abortion. Now that is a convenient faith. You let the Lord be Lord over areas you are comfortable with but you just ignore the areas you are not. Now if that study was in 1986, how much more is it true today. I could almost guarantee that the numbers would be even higher. All across this country in churches today you will find people who are doing that very same thing. They will come to church and they will refer to Christ as their Lord. But they have areas in their life that go against everything that Christ stood for. I imagine that Jesus Christ would ask them that same question today, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” There are couples in the church that are living together and having sex and aren’t married. Don’t get me wrong, I want them in the church, they need to be here. But there are couples doing that and living in sin and saying, “Christ is Lord.” If Christ was really Lord of their life they would be obedient to what God wants for them. If you asked many of these same people if they loved Jesus Christ they would say, “Sure I do.” But Jesus’ idea of love is different then that. Because He says in John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” He doesn’t say those who follow the commands that suit their lifestyle love me. He doesn’t say those who follow most of my commands love me. You see if you truly loved Christ you could not live in direct opposition of a command that He has given you for your life. If there was a true intimacy you would follow what He wants for your life. Now there maybe some other people here this morning that maybe you are a follower of Christ and He is Lord over your life except for one area that you have been struggling to let Him be Lord over. The fact is, either He is Lord over all of your life, or He isn’t Lord! This morning you have to give that area of your life to Him. Calling him Lord doesn’t make it so. Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” A life yielded totally to what He wants is what makes Him Lord in our life.