Proverbs 3:3-6 (NIV)
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Do people know that you are a Christian? Do they know that you believe in Jesus? Can they see a change in you from other people? Are you making a difference in your surrounding environment? Are you impacting those who know you by loving them unconditionally and representing the Gracious, Loving and Merciful Lord who we serve? I want to make a difference. In fact, I have a vendetta if you will that I believe my God fully backs. The enemy came into my camp, my house, my womb and attempted to kill my child. I made a promise in the midst of his journey that once the work of the Lord was complete that I was going after his. I would take as many lost and dying souls away from him as humanly possible. Well, that time has come. I want to acknowledge the Lord in every possible way. I must submit my life to Christ to do so.
How does one accomplish such a feat to live in a place that hates God and detests the Name of Jesus so much it shuts Him out of schools, banishes Him from government and only sees Him fit for prisons? It is not a popular message. People want to call Christians the problem rather than getting to know the Solution who they offer. I have had more than one person in my life tell me that I was one of the few believers they can tolerate. I am not offended. I used to be obnoxious and offensive. I came at people with the Gospel of Christ. It was not a message of love but condemnation. I told them everything that was wrong, what needed to change, with a huge dose of advice on how to do it. It was biblically based but not wrapped in His Love that I find so sweet and true. Not to mention the mixed message often sent by born again believers, a message of grace that is not offered to anyone but them or at least one might think by religious and haughty dispositions. There is no room for offense or defense in the church that Jesus is coming after just a broken group of people being mended individually and knit together corporately in the Love of God together. We must learn to acknowledge the Lord accurately for our message to get through. But as one can clearly read in Proverbs 3:5, it requires trust and acknowledging the Lord means to submit.
Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (NIV)
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
To acknowledge means to recognize or admit the existence, truth and reality of something (or in this case someone). Why God? There is no other one true living God. He was here before anything existed. He created everything in existence. He is the Great I Am. Why Jesus? No man comes to the Father (God) except by me. (John 14:6-7) A relationship with God is impossible because of our sin. Jesus paid the price for our sin. To have access to God again, we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and make Him our Lord. Hence, to acknowledge God and His Son Jesus requires submission of our life to following Him. This means we want what He wants and are willing to go where He goes. Not because we have to, but because our love for Him requires it of us. In Isaiah 45:23, the Lord tell us that every knees shall bow and tongue confess before Him one day. When Jesus finished His Work on the Cross, His Father gave this honor to Him and it tells us in Philippians 2:9-11 that at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and tongue confess that He is Lord. In the end, EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. It doesn’t matter what you do or do not do with your life here on earth. The same grace that gives me the freedom to surrender my life to Jesus allows you to hang on to it and live for the day.
John 3:16-21 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
I Thessalonians 4:7-8 (NIV)
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
To acknowledge means to show and express recognition. To accept Jesus Christ as Savior but live for the world entertaining darkness and continuing in sin does not work. It is not why Jesus came into this world. Yes, through Him we are saved but true repentance demands a change or there is no repentance. Like sorry not sorry, what kind of apology is that? To stand at the foot of the Cross and see an innocent man who is the Son of the Living God bleeding, suffering and dying for our sin and say, “Thanks! I accept and then to turn back to what nailed Him there in the first place is ridiculous. Many times, we live that life of entitlement. Tolerance sets in when we continually make compromises and allow substitution to the place of holiness, righteousness and faith until we have nothing of substance any longer. Just another causal relationship without true love or commitment.
Jesus did not come to condemn people but to set them free from sin, death and the grave. He came to restore a right relationship between His Father and His People. Mission accomplished. Now the rest is up to me and you, what will we do with the gift we have been so painstakingly given. It all comes down to this. Who do you love? Do you love the Light of the world or do you prefer the darkness filled with sin. If you willingly do evil or sin, God sees it as hate for His Son. Those who choose to repent and live in the Light will be saved and prove that they are acknowledging God. God did not call us to continued impurity. He promises to make us whole, complete and blameless simply because we love His Son, called to Him as Savior and make Him our Lord. All the time and in every way.
Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To acknowledge means to recognize His Authority and Power. We are more than conquerors for one reason only. Jesus. The One who loves us. You may win a few battles but you will not win the war waged against your faith any other way but the Power of Christ living in you. We must be convinced of God’s Love to overcome obstacles and opposition in life. The more convinced one becomes the bolder they will be and then should expect warfare as the enemy tries to rile up our humanity to stop this nonsense. Oh but greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world. (I John 4:2-6) Most people will agree that it is often hard to distinguish the voices in our heard when indecision or uncertainty strikes they all sound so familiar and kind of like me. We must learn as believers to discern the spirits at work in our life. Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus as Lord giving Him full authority and power is from God. The ones that tell people anything contradictory to God’s Word should be immediately dealt with. The Name of Jesus will do the trick. Nobody loves you. You are worthless. You are alone. You are ugly. You don’t deserve to live. No one would miss you. Lies all lies and completely contradictory to the Word of God. You are going under. You are going to lose it all. We must take authority and power over every thought we have and submit it to the Lord. We are more than conquerors for no other reason than He loves us enough to bestow His Power and Authority to us.
John 14:12-14 (NIV)
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
When a believer, anyone who truly believes, has the potential to do greater things than even Jesus did here on the earth. Have you every witness a miracle? Have you prayed and seen the sick recover? Have you prayed and someone got saved? Have you asked and received? It is not a God problem or Jesus hold up if not…you must simply acknowledge Him and He will answer. His Word says it and I believe it. I have seen it.
I Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NIV)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.
To acknowledge means to show and express gratitude. Oh Jesus! How many times do we complain and grumble about our circumstances, situations, problems, bills or lack of contentment not realizing that we have discredited God the Father and Jesus the Son. We quench the Holy Spirit in us with negativity and doubt. The fiery passion that He is created and fruit intent on bearing dies in the midst of harsh and brutal condemnation that Jesus has fallen down on the job or God does not keep His Word. You may not have intended it that way, but that is what happens when we do not live rejoicing and worshipping the One True God trusting that He is working it all out for our good, supplying all that we need, and doing more than we could think or ask. Take it to prayer before you post it. Talk to the Lord before you text it. Put your hand over your mouth chewing before spewing to see if they are salty or sweet. We are to give thanks to God in all circumstances. It is His Will. If you want to acknowledge the Lord in all your ways, it is a mandate. Contentment with godliness is great gain. (I Timothy 6:6) Contentment silences ingratitude. “Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-20)
Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
To acknowledge Jesus means that we must make His Name known. How will we ever do that if we don’t believe in the power and presence of God and His Son Jesus in our life? We have to believe to receive new life. We cannot do it for ourselves. We need Jesus. He wants to make us a city on a hill, the light of the world. Are we hiding under a basket? Are we stuck in the valley of indecision? Are we going to go all the way or part of the way? Only those who endure to the end will be saved.
Mark 13:32-37 (NIV)
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Finally, acknowledge means to take notice. Jesus spoke to His Disciples about the days we are living in Matthew 24:3-35. Compare this to the news today, and it is clear the time of His Coming is closing in around us. We must be alert and take notice. In the House of God, our homes and the world around us. There are many distractions and confusing reports. Stay focused and alert. On task and on mission, I want to be ready when He comes. I want to acknowledge the Lord so He will know and acknowledge me. I want Him to mark a straight path for more life. But just telling people I am a Christian or that I believe will never be enough. I cannot show the Love of Jesus to the world until I have fully accepted it to myself. It takes trust, dependency, intimacy and submission to live successfully in any relationship of a personal nature. We must trust the Lord and submit our life to Him if we are to be with Him forever. Lord, show me the ways that my life is contrary to you. Lord pull me closer as I give my life to you again today. Let Your Will be done!
I Peter 4:7-11 (NIV)
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.