Americans and independence are like ice cream and apple pie! Our nation was born out of frustration with a monarch that disregarded the needs of his subjects to enrich his empire. The founders were ‘radicals’ of their time, discarding traditions of kings in favor of self-rule. Those same founders took the threat of tyranny so seriously that they did their best to build checks and balances into the Constitution of our republic, so that no one could govern ‘above the law.’
Today cynical attittudes about authority abound in our society. Many do not trust the police. Pastors feel the rejections of their leadership due to the multiple failures revealed in recent years. We won’t even address the problems that our politicians have created for themselves with self-serving agendas.
Christian, have you unconsciously carried an anti-authoritarian attitude into your relationship with the Lord Jesus?
Do you question His will and resist His commands?
(By the way, let’s not confuse the
edicts of church dogma with the will of God.
They are not necessarily the same!)
Christ is our King!
The angelic announcement of His birth said: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11, KJV) Lord is a synonym for supreme ruler, i.e., a king. How we love to sing of the Savior’s love. It is comforting to think of Him as the One who forgives our sins, who welcomes us into the Presence of God. And, these are truly wonderful. He is King of King and Lord of Lords, too.
Writing to Timothy, Paul reminds him (and us) of the Savior/King identity of Jesus. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:15-16, NIV) The Savior!
Then, he breaks into this shout of worship – “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17, NIV) If you’re where you can do it, read that line loudly, joyfully, declaring to all the world your praise for the King!
It’s comforting to say “I love Jesus,” thinking of the Man we meet in the Gospels. From those pages the mystery of “God Immanuel” (God present in my life) driven home to us. This is more, however, to the revelation of Jesus’ identity. In Revelation, we are told of our King. Do you know this Jesus? “They (the evil of the world) will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Revelation 17:14, NIV) “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.
With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:11-14, NIV) “O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord!” Those Revelation words strengthen my faith and invite my humility. He is my Friend, to be sure, and He is the King who triumphs over sin, death, and Hell. I must serve Him.
We need not fear that He will be king like old King George that stirred the revolutionaries of the Americans two centuries ago. He is a King who loves us, who uses His power benevolently for us. He does not oppress, He lifts us up. He extends His power to protect us and promises to bring us into His kingdom, under His reign.
Is He YOUR King? Today, I took all my trials, my fears, my foes and gave them to my King.
In humility I confess Him as Lord and Sovereign, praying that my life will be spent in His service. How about you?
As we celebrate Advent, worship the Jesus, our Immanuel here, and do not forget to “Crown Him King!”
The word from the Word invites our worship – “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17, NIV
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing.
Come adore on bended knee,
Christ, the Lord, the newborn King!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!