Sunday, November 26, 2023

Jesus is our King Right Now: Is Jesus King of your Life?

What does it mean for one to be a King? It is to be unchallenged leader of a nation, or group of nations. There have been many kings and presidents and prime ministers and dictators and leaders on planet Earth. Many have longed for that position, and done anything to get power over civilizations.

Thinking of one of the great leaders of history George Washington, he knew the importance of submission to God, when it came to power.

He said, in his thanksgiving proclamation so long ago…

Washington knew how important it was for those in power and indeed all free people to acknowledge and humbly submit to God.

Many empires and kingdoms and nations have been founded through power and violence and force. Think of great conquerors like Napoleon Boneparte. Here’s what Napoleon had to say about Jesus, the great king of the earth.

He said…

That’s how Jesus won our hearts, through His love and goodness. He is the perfect king. The king who makes you smile because he always does what’s right. He conquers our hearts through love. And right now many of us here would literally die for him. That’s an amazing thing.

Imagine if all we Christians stood together for our savior. Unfortunately the enemy often keeps us divided.

But perhaps we can learn from the words of John Wesley:

"Would to God that all names, and unscriptural phrases and forms, which have divided the Christian world, were forgot; and that we might all agree to sit down together, as humble, loving disciples, at the feet of our common Master, to hear his word, to absorb his Spirit, and to transcribe his life in our own!"

Advent beckons all who consider themselves Christians—to come to the stable and there fall on our knees, yielding our allegiance, our hearts, and our will to the newborn King. That will be our purpose today, to come together at the feet of the Master, Jesus, and to learn from Him.

What is the incarnation? The incarnation describes the concept that God became a human being, that Jesus the son of God was born as a human being.

Martin Luther said about the incarnation…

"The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding." -Martin Luther, Table Talk.

John wrote about it in John 1:14. Which says in the NIV: 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the King of every nation on planet Earth. He's king right now. 

Point 1: Jesus is King (right now)

When we talk about Jesus being King, it’s easy to think that yes, Jesus will be king one day. When he returns at his second coming he will be king. When the kingdom of God comes, Jesus will be king. But that’s not quite right. Those things are true.But, right at this moment, Jesus is king,

Though most on planet earth don’t acknowledge that, they are in fact rebels against the true king. We true Christians, do currently, right now, have Jesus as our king. Period. He is the king, right now, not later, right now!

Point 2: Jesus is our King (Community)

Luke 1:26-33 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

His kingdom will never end. He will be enthroned over all. It says this in Isaiah as well, a prophecy about the coming of Jesus, from Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

So we ought to follow the leading and guidance of Jesus Christ our King, as a community. That’s why we gather together on Sundays to worship God together. That’s why we gather with other churches and worship Jesus. That’s why we as a nation, ought to worship God together. That’s why the body of Christ, the church, should work together to help people in our community and spread the gospel.

But it’s easy enough to say the community should worship Jesus, though most do not. Jesus is the perfect King. He’s the perfect leader.

And he’s not just for Americans, or for one nation, or just for Israel, or just for India or Rome or any one particular group, but for all peoples, of all nations.

His incarnation was and is for the redemption of the whole world. Do you understand why we celebrate? He is the perfect true leader who can bring together people from all nations, all those willing to repent of their sins and put their faith in Him.

No wonder Herod, the roman leader, was threatened. No wonder that Rome was threatened at the spread of the gospel 30 years later. They were still threatened because they were all vying for power and control against the One who already had all of the power and control. Jesus is THE King! Is Jesus YOUR King? Or are you still vying for power and control? Trying to manipulate events to your personal desire? Let it all go. Drop the control. Let Jesus be King. He’s the only one qualified.

So fair enough, we see Jesus is king of the world, for all who will believe. Easy enough to say it’s about community. But let’s make it more personal, what about you?

Point 3: Jesus is my King (personal level)

Is Jesus the King of your heart, mind, and life, or have you put yourself (or maybe something else) on the throne of your heart? 

When you pray, do you pray as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done”? Or really, are your prayers more in the line of “My kingdom come, my will be done”?

This is where the rubber meets the road. I’ve talked to enough people. Even people who go to church regularly. And often when you really get down to it, they come to church, they even read their bible and pray, but they don’t really allow Jesus to be king of their life. They are their own god. And when it comes down to it, they do what they want ot do, and no one is going to stop them from doing what they want to do.

And that is not a Christian. That is someone playing church. Period. They are not on their way to heaven, because they don’t really know Jesus. He isn’t their lord. They are their own lord.

Is Jesus your King? This is what Christmas and this advent season is all about: recognizing, remembering, and reorienting your life to your King. And when we do, something beautiful happens.

Luke 1:32-38 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Remember that promise from verse 37: “For nothing is impossible with God” (NRSV). And second, look at Mary’s response in verse 38: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Mary’s response to God’s will—to God’s kingdom come in flesh and blood to Earth—was recognizing herself in relationship to the Lord and responding with obedience. Maybe the response you need to have to Jesus our King today is vs. 38. Put yourself in that verse. Can you say, “I am the Lord’s servant! Lord, what are you asking me to do?” May it be so.

First, Submit to God, Lord, I’m your servant. Say it with me, Lord, I’m your servant.

Second, ask him, again and again in prayer, What is your will? What are you asking me to do today? Lord, I have this idea, is it your will? Lord, this job, this person, this relationship, this house, what’s right Lord? And God will lead you.

So again, reflect within yourself, for the challenge today…

Challenge: Is Jesus the King of your heart? Embrace a new allegiance to Christ, an allegiance that goes beyond mere words, but flows into your actions and how you plan your future. 

The lights, the traditions, the reminders of Christmas all around us are beautiful symbols of who God is, but none of the symbols or the celebrations can replace the One who wants to be in relationship with you. Jesus deserves your allegiance.

Too many people separate their spiritual lives from their everyday living lives. What do you think might happen if we started living in a way that showed our allegiance to Jesus, instead of…well...ourselves?

Let me remind you that Jesus is more than a story. He is the only One who truly has dominion, and power, and authority. Will you worship Him?

Jesus is the One, True King who deserves our allegiance.

So in the end what does all this mean? It’s easy enough to say “Jesus is king. Jesus is our king. Jesus is my king. But the test will come with how you live your life. Whose running the show? Is it you or is it God? Do you check your decisions with God? Do you pray about the big decisions first?

Are you really led by the Spirit of God? Or are you doing your own thing? Jesus said not everyone who says to me Lord lord will enter eternal life, but only those who do the will of my father in heaven.

So I think it’s fair to say, one who is truly made Jesus king of their life is practically led by Jesus through life on a daily basis. They truly have Jesus as king of their heart and life. That’s how you’ll know, if you really have made Jesus king. You’ll be a servant like Mary, a servant of God, who obeys God’s leading in your life.

Otherwise you’ll simply do whatever you want, and if that’s you, then saying Jesus is king is just words. It’s not really true. But, if you really let God lead your life, then Jesus is your king, and you belong to Him.

That’s the difference. Maybve you need to to resubmit your will to God today, and say God, take over, I don’t want to be in control of my own life, I need you to run my life and guide it all. Come and pray and name him king of your life once again, or for the first time, and watch what he does with it!

So to review:

1. Jesus is King right now - in heaven (and over every true Christian on alive Earth)

2. Jesus is our King – as a community we are called to obey Jesus’ leading

3. Jesus is my King – individually we must make Jesus King of our lives

"Praise Him for the incarnation,
for the word made flesh.
Tonight I will sing praise to the Father
who stood on heaven's threshold
and said farewell to his Son
as he stepped across the stars
to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
And I will sing praise to the infinite, eternal Son,
who became most finite, a baby
who would one day be executed for my crime.
Praise him in the heavens,
Praise him in the stable,
Praise him in my heart." -Joseph Bayly.

-Includes quotes and references from materials associated with Incarnation by Adam Hamilton