Jude 24-25 (NLT) Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
For weeks, I have been preparing for a yard sale to get rid of all the clutter and superfluous items that have accumulated while preparing to move. Every nook and cranny of our home has been emptied and explored. Those things of use, worth or want packed carefully in boxes to make it to our destination. Unceremonious piles of stuff that is no longer needed piled high in boxes in various places around the house. The mass accumulation of all the “stuff” became overwhelming until the day of our moving sale finally came. The old adage rings true that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure as people loaded up these items and paid me to take them away.
Toward the end of the morning, my friend and I began to go through the leftovers deciding what to do with the rest when a woman approached me. I recognized her as her parents were unfortunately with us in the care center where we stayed during our son’s cancer treatment. After a sweaty embrace and quick inquiry about the parents, she said her mom had sent her to find items as they were helping a family rebuild their life. I told her she was welcome to whatever she could find free of charge. She insisted on paying for it and of course, it was refused. So we went through all the items that were left and filled her truck with those things of use.
This was not a sacrifice. I didn’t want the remaining items and in fact we were developing a donation strategy when she walked up. But I wonder if the Lord does not allow us opportunities to give our life away each day that go unrecognized? Times when we consider the cost too much or do not see that Christ is standing before us offering us more or better for our less and worthless? The sale was a success. Now I want to work on the sacrifices in my life.
2 Samuel 24:21-23 (NLT) “Why have you come, my lord the king?” Araunah asked. David replied, “I have come to buy your threshing floor and to build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.” “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.”
There was a terrible plague. King David had come to realize through godly revelation that is was because of his sin and he had to make things right with the Lord. The Lord told him what to do and David, a man after God’s Heart, set out to do what was requested of him and repent. Before Jesus came and covered us with grace, repentance required sacrifice. When he approached Araunah, the man recognized the king. When David requested the items for his sacrifice, the man said to the king – “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish…I will give it all to you, Your Majesty…” David could not take it from this man or it would not be a sacrifice. He had to pay the price which he did.
Araunah recognized David’s Majesty and responded the moment that he gave his all to the governing power and ruling authority in his life. He took what he had and was willing to give it all away in response and acknowledgement of his allegiance to the king. I think of the number of times that I have come to God and given Him my life thinking that I was offering something of worth. I consider those feelings of regret and remorse, like the rich young ruler, when the things of this world held more value than Kingdom blessings. Now I realize everything I am and everything that I have belong to Jesus. When I offer the Lord my life it can only be in response and acknowledgement of Who He is and nothing I am or have done. I’ll wait while you think about that for a moment… and I do, too.
Hebrews 1:2-4 (NLT) And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ allows Him to be my Savior. It is the Lordship of Christ which is the Resurrection Power that robbed the grave and the Authority bestowed to Him in direct response to His Obedience in overcoming death that allows me to give my life back to Him. The sacrifice was made for my life by Jesus Christ. I cannot earn or repay the Lord for this gift. He holds it in His Hands. It is how I respond to His Authority and Power in my life that allows me to be saved. Without sacrifice there is no remission of sins, Jesus didn’t give me a sacrifice. He is the Sacrifice so unless I become one with the Lord and live in allegiance to Him – I have nothing to give back to God.
Matthew 8:7-10 (NLT) Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!
Shortly after we opened shop for the day, a very pleasant woman was wandering around surveying our wares. After a hearty “Good Morning”, we struck up a conversation over our coffee. She noticed a tall vase sitting on the table. She stopped midsentence and said, “You aren’t selling that are you?” I followed her pointing finger to the vase clearly marked for one dollar. She went on to tell me that the piece looked to be “depression glass” which is of some kind of worth. Furthermore, it is very old and that I she keep it or at the very least do some research. Removing the sticker, I put it away for safekeeping. I applaud the woman for pointing out this to me. I also revel in her honest since most people would have paid the dollar to have the valuable piece to resell or keep for themselves. She is a collector. She recognized its worth.
The centurion came to Jesus because his servant was sick. He pleaded with the Lord to heal his ailing helper. Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion refused as he too was a man of authority. A centurion was of one of the highest ranks in the Roman guard. His title implied that no less than 100 men were under his direct command and he was responsible for the comings and goings of each one of them. These men were of the highest paid officials in Rome. Yet when Jesus offered to come to his home and heal his servant, the centurion refused. Why?
The centurion understood authority and power from both sides as one who was under the command of others and the one who “was” the commanding officer of many. The officer recognized, understood and acknowledged the authority and power of Jesus Christ. “Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.” Faith. The centurion had faith in the authority and power of Jesus Christ. So much so that he didn’t need Jesus to come lay hands on the man. He didn’t have to see Jesus do anything or a change in his immediate circumstances but if Jesus just spoke the word than he knew that everything would be alright and the order would be carried out.
I want the centurion’s faith. I want to believe the Lord at His Word every single time. I want to recognize the things in my life that need change and trust the Lord to do it – sight unseen. The woman at the yard sale recognized the great worth of the vase I was selling for one dollar. She acknowledged it to me and now I know that what I have is worth something. May the faith of the centurion speak to all of us today and show us the great worth of surrender to the Power and Authority of Jesus Christ when we put our faith in His Word. By virtue of the Roman officer’s position of power in this country, he could have commanded Jesus to come and heal his servant. I don’t think it would have happened. The healing was in response to this man’s absolute faith in God’s Complete Authority and Power invested in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus Christ sustains everything by the mighty power of His Command. Jesus must only speak the Word and new life begins. Things change. Mountains move. Walls crumble. His Authority and Power is nothing to me until I accept Him as Savior and make Jesus my Lord. It is under his direct authority and complete power that I have access to all His Kingdom has to offer.
Hebrews 13:14-16 (NLT) For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Our life is an offering that must be given through Jesus. His Sacrifice is our only hope of salvation. It is through our acknowledgement and allegiance to His Sacrifice that we are able to offer acceptable gifts to God of things like praise, worship, commitment and obedience. We cannot sacrifice anything worthy. Jesus paid the ultimate price and is our sacrifice. The only hope that I have is my faith in Jesus Christ as I surrender to His Authority and Power in my life. It is the only thing that I have to give back. This world is not my permanent home. I thought this house was the last place I would live. I made a declaration when we moved in that I would never move again. But then the Holy Spirit moved on my heart and the Lord whispered in my ear. Now we are moving again. My life is not my own, to you I belong, I give myself, I give myself to you. The things of this world will be destroyed down to the last red cent. It will be the prosperity of our soul that is our currency into Heaven. The only thing there of worth is Jesus. I owe Him my life. Why not give it all to Him? It is crazy that the Lord showed me these things through my experiences at a yard sale. Life is not about what we have but Who we know!
Ephesians 1:19-23 (NLT) I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.