This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff Mazzariello.
ENCOUNTER: Read Colossians 3:17-4:1
“... It is the Lord Christ you are serving." - Col. 3:24
Talking about authority seems to grate on us a bit. It is just part of our uber-independence. I mean, we all “get it” that authority is real... We get that the world is organized around many authority structures: at work, at school, the laws of the land, etc. But when Paul starts to talk about authority in relationships we get a tad squeamish. And this is for good reason! Many people have been abused emotionally, spiritually, and even physically in the name of “Christian authority.” This is such a tragedy, because the point of human relationships is always about LOVE and never about CONTROL. The dynamic at work is always about DYING TO OURSELVES for the sake of the others, never about BEING IN CHARGE. And all of this is properly understood only when we see the larger context that Jesus is the true authority in our lives and therefore in all our relationships.
This is the issue that needs to be settled: Is Jesus the Lord of my life? Am I placing everything under his lordship and control? Am I submitting all of my life, including all of my relationships to his authority? “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Col. 3:17)
This must be in the forefront of our processing when we read Paul’s writings about how to live in relationships as a Christ-follower. When we get really practical and ask the question about how to live in my everyday life as a Dad, Mom, child, husband, wife, etc., etc., we have to continually factor in that Jesus is my “Master in heaven” (Col. 4:1.) Therefore, whether one lives in a first century patriarchal culture or in the 21st century, while we may have different circumstances and relationship structures, we have the same Lord who calls us to submit to him. So no matter the specific cultural application, being submissive to my spouse is an act of trust that Christ is present and leading. Being obedient to my parents is an act of trust that Christ is present and leading. Doing what is right and fair as one in authority at work is an act of trust that Christ is present and leading...
We must ask ourselves: Where do I find that my need for power - or control - or perfection is not only frustrating to me and to those with whom I’m in relationship, but is dishonoring to the true Lord of my life?
BE A BLESSING:
In my sermon on Sunday, I gave some homework: to memorize Col. 3:17, and then to find one relationship in my life where I need to intentionally invite the Lordship of Christ. Spend a few minutes now memorizing this verse. Or at least the part that says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And then the next time you enter into that one relationship that God has brought to mind, consciously invite the Lordship of Jesus to be over you as are relating to them. See how it changes your heart for them, your insight into how to love them, lead them, follow them, etc.
Our church is a group of people who are seeking to live under the authority of Jesus - in the very real contexts that he has us living in. This is why at MCC we say we believe you grow best when you are connected to a smaller group of believers: Because when we get quality time and grow in intimacy with one another, we are reminded and encouraged to live out our lives as servants of Christ. We can then see what it looks like to die ourselves and live for Him. We become examples to one another as to this way of life. Who are your people who help you live for him?