Lord of the Living and the Dead
In the New Testament, Lord is the most frequently used title for Jesus Christ. Although we rarely use this term in our daily lives, we are all quite familiar with another word: boss. That is basically what Lord means—one possessing authority, power, and control. The Word of God describes Jesus as the head of the church, the ruler over all creation, and the Lord of lords and King of kings (Col. 1:15-18; Rev. 3:14; 17:14).
The realm of Christ's reign covers everything that happens in heaven and on the earth. No one—not even those who deny His existence—can be free of His rule or outside His sphere of authority. Although Satan tries to convince us that liberty is found in doing what we want, true freedom is acquired only through submission to Christ's loving lordship.
Even death cannot release anyone from the authority of God's Son. He is Lord of both the living and the dead. All people must decide to either yield or rebel against Him, but they have the opportunity to make this choice only while they are still living. After death, they will acknowledge Christ's lordship through accountability to Him. If we have not bowed the knee to Jesus in life, we will be forced to bend it in the judgment.
Have you submitted to Christ's rule over your life? His authority causes anger or fear in individuals who have not yet yielded to Him, but those who have experienced His lovingkindness, trusted in His goodness, and surrendered to His authority take comfort in knowing Him as the Lord of their lives.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2019 All Rights Reserved.
If you’re a believer, you are part of the awesome body of Christ!!
Hanging back instead of seeking a place to serve is a form of thievery, robbing from the Lord's church.
All of us have areas of weakness. God wants these character flaws to show us how totally dependent we are upon Him.
One of our highest callings as believers is to tell others about Christ.
Today, most men and women would rather live by preference than conviction.
The more we understand what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf, the greater will be our passion to share the gospel.
When asking the Lord to reveal His will, we shouldn’t expect instant answers.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him (Rom. 15:13). Each new generation has high hopes for reconciliation among people and nations but in the end faces disappointment.
Even in an unbelieving society, people can, as individuals, follow Jesus.
Be careful not to cover up your sins in order to look like a "good Christian."
At salvation, you become a part of the body, no matter what your local church's membership rules may be.
The Lord's assuring hand at our shoulder can lead us down right paths to good choices.
The world throws confusing messages at us all day long, and we need to check our course frequently.
When Jesus walked this earth, a vast multitude followed Him. They came for all sorts of reasons—some noble, some selfish. The same is true today.
Our true identity is defined not by our past actions but by the Savior's.
Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths...
Jesus desires that we be willing to humble ourselves to serve others.
Talk about Christmas memories: you can be sure that all of the people who experienced the first Christmas never forgot it.
Waiting upon God is not passive. It is not lazy. It is not an excuse to be careless. In fact, the opposite is true.
Practicing a lifestyle of obedience doesn't mean we'll never make mistakes. But it does require diligence if we are to succeed.
Is there something God has told you to do that seems just too difficult?
When you’re in love with Jesus, you can’t keep to yourself the joy that comes from knowing Him.
On the Christian journey, there will be temptations to stray, falsely promising to satisfy longings. Stay closely connected to Jesus through prayer and Scripture.
The cross is so common in our culture that most people don’t think twice when they see one on a church.
Teaching children to sing of their friendship with Jesus is a wise idea. But I wonder when some grown believers will learn to sing of that special relationship again?
The names given to Jesus tell a great deal about His ministry.
The first chapter of Revelation gives a compact description of the Lord.
Many Christians know they're saved, but they don't really know what to think about themselves. Let's take a little test.
Anyone who thinks of himself as a pretty good person ought to take a look at God’s assessment of humanity. He says we all come into the world spiritually dead and are ruled by Satan, his world system, and our own sin nature, or flesh.
The Lord speaks to believers so that they will comprehend the truth, conform to the truth, and communicate the truth.
One day I posed a question to the waitress at my table: "If you could ask God for anything, what would your request be?" Her answer was immediate. "I want to feel at peace."
Christian lives are to testify that Jesus is the source of our peace. Does your life communicate this message?
A grateful heart is most precious to God when, humanly speaking, our situations don't warrant giving thanks.
Grace builds our confidence in the sovereign Lord.
In a world filled with endless sources of information and opinions, believers need to develop a discerning spirit. Otherwise, how will we know what is true?
A bitter and resentful spirit doesn't fit who we are in Christ.
Isaiah 66:1-2 teaches us how to experience the Father’s favor.
God's plan for each one of us has our best interest in mind.
Can you find yourself on the spectrum between fear and devotion? It is my hope that you have committed to obeying God and that you are reading His Word daily to learn how to keep your promise.
A promise is valuable only if the one making it has trustworthy character and the ability to carry through.
There is no condemnation for those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The rich man in Luke 16 made the tragic choice of living for himself without regard for the Lord. He also made two other mistakes...
God created you for specific tasks to further His kingdom.
Scripture teaches us to tell others about Jesus Christ. And while sharing the gospel is awesome, it is simply not enough. We should continue to encourage and invest in new believers.
Obedience is sometimes hard, but the struggle and sacrifice are worth it.
Time is a gift from God, and He has allotted each of us a measure in which to live and accomplish His purposes.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever (Ps. 138:8). The key to David's victorious attitude was his strong faith in the Lord.
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Let's look at God's three goals for communicating with believers...
The Holy Spirit, unlike human companions, is perfectly adequate to meet our every need.
The Lord knows what we really desire--and more importantly, what we need--even when cloudy judgment leads us astray
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14). When do I pray? Is it only during emergencies or when I need something?
What would you like to see the Lord do within you?
No one can have intimacy with Christ without daily communication.
God isn't looking for impressive people; He wants willing ones who will bow the knee in humble submission.
Our Father may ask us to do something that seems illogical, but press forward regardless of how impractical the request may appear.
Our styles and opportunities vary, but we're each responsible to develop a lifelong habit of bringing others to Jesus.
At the moment of salvation, we are transferred from the reign of darkness to the bright authority of Jesus.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps us center our attention on the Lord and discover His will so we may act according to it.
We all can benefit from someone who is able to say what we need to hear without making us feel threatened.
The Christian life is not easy, but there is great reward for living righteously when facing temptation or hardship.
No matter how much money you have, if you're a believer in Jesus, you're extremely wealthy!
Perhaps this seems like a contradiction: Believers will not be judged but will stand before Christ's judgment seat.
Daniel and his friends faced the same dilemma we do - how to live a holy life in a godless culture.
A believer's relationship with the Lord is one of complete unity.
Do my children sense a hunger in my heart for God's direction, counsel, and sustenance?
When God calls you to a task beyond your abilities, instead of giving in to your feelings, choose to rely on what you know about Him and His promises.
The Father promises that following Him leads to hope and an established future.
Our most powerful tool for shaping the world and lives around us is always available.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Rom. 12:12). Most individuals are not satisfied with their prayer life.
The Lord has a plan for your life. Be wise and ask Him for directions.
No matter what challenges you face, God can help.
The sovereign ruler of this universe is in control of your life. Don't make the mistake of thinking He isn't simply because He does not operate according to your will and schedule.
As Christians, we know that fear should have no place in our lives, but how can we ignore what's going on around us?
Do not abuse His patience with callous disregard for His statutes.
The Father reveals His treasures to us so that we can share them with others.
We, like David, can expect to be blessed when we wait upon the Lord.
Job was a man who certainly knew trouble and temptation.
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To thwart God's purposes, Satan sprinkles obstacles in our path.
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Our natural reaction to pain is to run in the opposite direction, and as fast as possible. However...
A trustworthy conscience is programmed with scriptural teaching.
Once the story of Joseph's life was written in full, it was clear that everyone who harmed or neglected the young man contributed to God's plan.
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If we believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He has promised, why do so many of us habitually waver in our prayers?
If Bible reading is neglected, a prayer life has usually faded as well.
The Word of God assures us that our Father hears our cries and responds.
Trials can be God's greatest means of building faith... or an avenue to discouragement and self-pity. It depends on your response.
Discouragement can rob peace, joy, and contentment. But I have great news if you feel disheartened: You’re not stuck!
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We cringe at news of vandalism on church buildings. But many of us don't have the same qualms when it comes to harming the temple of the Holy Spirit.
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Growing in Christ involves far more than just attending church, tithing, and listening to a sermon.
Waiting on God is an important spiritual discipline in our walk of faith.
It's easy to think our problems are unimportant in the eyes of God, but He doesn't feel that way at all.
In reading through the Scriptures, we see that every time one of God's saints gains a victory, he or she is waiting and trusting in the Lord.
In His Word, God commands us to serve one another.
Responding to Disappointment - In Touch - June 21
Followers of Christ should seek a godly response to disappointments they face.
A Servant's Rewards - In Touch - June 19/20
While some rewards will be given in heaven, other blessings can be experienced now.
Our Gifts for His Kingdom - In Touch - June 18
God has gifted each of us in unique ways with a purpose in mind. His plan involves using these talents to serve Him for the good of others. Satan would like us to believe otherwise.
The Call to Serve - In Touch - June 17
Jesus commanded that we serve one another, but obeying this mandate in humility is not natural for us.
The Power of God's Grace - In Touch - June 16
Following the Father’s Example - In Touch - June 15
I want to challenge you this week, when something threatens to steal your contentment, choose to draw from God.
Does it surprise you that Paul wrote about "the secret of being content" when he was in prison, unsure of his future?
When Jesus left His home in heaven, He didn't come to earth to be a superstar. He came to serve.
By using weak, inadequate people, God demonstrates what great things He can do.
Feeling inadequate is not a sin, but using it as an excuse is.
What three goals would you set for your life if you knew that you could achieve them?
How do you respond when someone compliments you?
No one likes criticism, but encountering some is inevitable, so we need to learn how to respond in a godly way.
The United States of America was founded on biblical principles with the intent to guarantee freedom of worship.
Repentance simply means changing your mind and going in a different direction--toward God instead of away from Him.
Prayer is the lifeblood of an intimate relationship with the Father. But believers often have questions about its power and effectiveness.
The Lord has provided a way for Christians to do the impossible.
Life is full of options. Many decisions involve a choice between following God's way or our own.
The most precious thing we can pass down to children is our faith.
Motherhood is a great honor and privilege, yet it is also synonymous with servanthood.
To serve others before serving yourself is to practice authentic Christianity.
We can understand why those without Christ are unable to comprehend biblical concepts, but why do those who know Him struggle?
The Bible clearly defines the following as ministries of the church: worshiping the living God, instructing and edifying believers, making disciples of all nations, and serving the needy.
Jesus made it clear that we would endure hardship in this life.
Think of patience as a muscle that you have to use in order to see it build.
If we truly desire to walk in the center of God's perfect will, we must become willing to cooperate with His time frame.
Failure is an excellent learning tool, as Peter could certainly attest.
God's grace is not a license to sin; instead, it's a reason to pursue righteousness.
What do you live for each day?
Paul was single-minded in the message he preached. The cross was not only his primary subject; it was also his motivation for living.
The crucifixion was the only way to rescue lost humanity.
It’s so easy to get up each morning, do our work, enjoy some relaxation or entertainment, and fall into bed each night without giving any thought to God’s involvement in our lives.
Nobody wore a miniature cross around the neck or displayed one in a place of worship in Christ's day. The cross was a torturous means of execution, and the mere thought of it was repulsive.
The cross is a place of brokenness, but it's necessary because there's no other way we'll ever bear fruit. But those who willingly die to themselves will produce an abundance of spiritual fruit.
Rebuild: Forming a Life of Sustaining Faith and Intimacy With God is an interactive workbook that takes the words of 1 Peter 1:22 – 2:10 as a starting point to help you build back in a spiritually healthy way. You’ll find an easy-to-understand breakdown of the process of rebuilding, as well as biblical examples, helpful Scripture to memorize, questions to consider, prayer prompts, and encouraging words from Dr. Stanley.