When Does Jesus Rule in Our Lives?

by Bill Denton

When Does Jesus Rule in Our Lives

"Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints" (1 Thess. 3:11-13).

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The Christian sees through kinder eyes-like Jesus.

He gives from a bigger heart-like God.

He speaks with a purer tongue-like Christ.

He serves with more willing hands-like Jesus.

He walks with a greater faith-like his Lord.

He loves with agape love-like the Father in heaven.

He thinks with a spiritual mind-like Christ.

He sees the needs of others with a compassionate view-like Jesus.

He heals the wounds of others with love-like the Master.

The Christian is different only when Jesus rules his life.

Author unknown

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The last phrase is what counts: "...when Jesus rules his life." Let's turn that phrase into a question. The answer will be powerfully instructive. "When does Jesus rule a person's life?"

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I think we might be tempted to give a theological answer instead of a more practical, and possibly more real answer. We might want to say, "Jesus rules a person's life when that person puts his or her faith into Jesus," or we might say, "Jesus rules a person's life when he or she obeys the gospel." Please understand that nothing I'm about to say is intended to contradict such theological answers. I just want you to think a bit more deeply.

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Paul understood a principle that sometimes escapes us. When writing to the Roman Christians, he wanted to address the subject of sanctification. He wanted them to understand that it made no sense for people who claimed faith in Jesus and who had died to sin, and who had been raised with Jesus to live in newness of life, to ever again live as if they were unsaved people.

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The principle he employed is found in Romans 6:16: "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?" What's the principle? Jesus rules as people live. If you say you are a slave and then disobey your master in favor of another, then who really is your master? It's the one you obey. There is no rule where there is no submission.

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It is quite popular among professed Christians to speak about Jesus being Lord. We quote the verses from Revelation that label Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. We have complex theologies worked out that center on the "lordship" of Jesus Christ. But the question to us as individuals is still a powerful one: "When does Jesus rule in your life?"

Is Jesus ruling when you allow your tongue to speak lies? Does he rule when your treatment of others is filled with hate or disrespect? When you cheat or take advantage of others, is Jesus ruling in your life? When envy, strife, and general contentiousness fill your relationship with others, is that Jesus ruling? When you are just like the unsaved, does that mean the lordship of Jesus Christ is operating in your life?

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"The Christian is different only when Jesus rules his life." I believe that is true. Christians are different when Jesus rules. But, Jesus cannot be ruling if His sovereignty fails to produce a difference in us. It is that "difference" that is the concern of His lordship. Therefore, it is imperative that we discover that "difference" in ourselves. We will not find it in our claims, but in our actions. Is Jesus ruling your life?

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© Copyright 2002, Dr. Bill Denton

All Rights Reserved.

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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