I want to talk to you this morning about the issue of authority.
You say, oh boy, no listen, I really want to talk to you about that and I want to talk to you about the authority that Jesus Christ has and how that impacts your life and my life because that's really what our passage this morning is all about. A few years ago, I had an unforgettable lesson about authority. Actually, at the time, I was sitting in Montgomery County traffic court. You say, what were you doing there, Lon? Well, actually, the reason I was there is that I was visiting. You say you were visiting. Yes, I was.
I was visiting at the invitation of the Maryland State Police, as a matter of fact. They said I was doing 70 in a 50. Now I want to say, this is the honest truth, I was not doing 70 in a 50. I was not.
I wasn't doing 50 either. So they said I should drop by and we should talk about it. So I did. And we were sitting in the courtroom and you know, I was just waiting for them to call my name and they were calling everybody else first. And they called this fella up, I guess he was about 19 years old. And they called him up in front of the judge and the judge said to him, you're accused of driving 85 miles an hour on the beltway in a Jeep, how do you plead? And the young man said, I plead innocent. And then he went on to say, judge, you can't even drive a Jeep 85 miles an hour, it'll blow up. This judge looked at him and said, son, he said, when I was your age, I drove lots of Jeeps, 85 miles an hour.
He said, and I never had one blow up on me. Anyway, he found the guy guilty. He fined him $75 plus cost and I figured, hey, that's the end. I mean, that's how the rest of them end, you hit the gavel, it's done.
But it didn't end. No, as a matter of fact, this young guy looked at the judge and said, well, what if I can't pay? And the judge said to him very sternly, you will pay, son, or you'll stay behind bars in jail until you do. And the kid looked right at him and said, well, I don't have the money and I can't pay.
Wrong thing to say, without even a word. The judge simply looked at the bailiff and the bailiff looked at the officers and two of these officers sprung into action, they came over, they grabbed this guy, they put his arms behind his back, they handcuffed him, they got him one under each arm and they proceeded to drag him out of the courtroom while he's trying to tell the judge why he can't pay and they dragged him out and into the hall and the door shut. And the room is just silent.
We're stunned. And after a minute, the judge said very tensely to the clerk, next case. And the clerk said, Law Neil Solomon. I'll lie not.
This is the truth. This really happened. And I even had bowed my head and said, oh, no, God, no, you wouldn't do this to me. And they called my name.
I was the next guy up. And I'm telling you, folks, I have never been so intimidated in my whole life. It was yes, sir, and no, sir, and yes, your honor, and no, your honor, and whatever you say, judge, I didn't want to go to jail. I mean, the point had been made big time that this guy up there in the black robe had authority.
Now in this world that we live in, isn't it true, friends, that authority is a real force whether you like it or not? I mean, just ask any prisoner behind bars. Ask any athlete who gets fined or suspended. Ask any soldier who gets a bad fitness report. Ask any child who gets spanked.
Ask any teenager who gets grounded. Ask any employee who gets fired and they will testify to you that in this world, authority is for real. I have a premise I'd like to share with you as we begin. Here's my premise. A wise man, a wise woman is not a person who tries to go around authority or bypass authority in this world because you can't do that. A wise man or woman is a person who figures out in any given situation who has the authority and then brings themselves in line with that person and submits to them. Would you agree with that premise? You figure out whether it's a teacher or judge or policeman or boss or mom or dad or whoever it is that has the authority and then if you're wise, you will bring yourself into line with that person and you will submit. That makes you a wise person.
Now I buy that premise. I don't know if you buy it or not, but I think that that's what makes a wise person and I'm going to talk to you from that perspective this morning because we're going to find out this morning in our passage. What God wants us to see is that Jesus Christ has the ultimate and final authority in this world and in this universe and that how you and I respond to the authority of Jesus Christ is the single most important issue in your life or my life. And whether we respond wisely or stupidly, well that's up to us, but we have to respond.
Now let's talk about it. Luke chapter seven verse one. When Jesus had finished saying all of these things in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. If you follow the gospel according to Luke, you know Jesus has just finished the sermon on the mount and he's come down off that gorgeous mountain right overlooking the Sea of Galilee. He's begun the little two and a half mile walk up the quiet shore to the city of Capernaum.
If you've ever been to Israel, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's just beautiful. And right as he gets to the edge of the city, he has a situation that confronts him. Verse two. There a centurion servant whom his master valued highly was sick and about to die. Now we have two new people that appear here, a centurion and his servant. What was a centurion? A centurion was a Roman officer. He was a member of the Roman military occupation forces that were in Israel. He was the commander usually of a garrison of men.
And what that means is that today in our army, we would basically say that he was equivalent roughly to a major or to a Lieutenant Colonel. He was obviously the commander of the garrison that was there at Capernaum. We find out also from this verse that this man was not just a Roman soldier who was tough, but he was also a man of compassion.
You say, how do you know that? Well, I know that because of the way he responded to a servant that he had who was sick. We learned from Matthew chapter eight that the servant was a little boy, not a grown man. And that this little boy that he had was not only about ready to die as it says here, but that he was paralyzed.
Most people think this little boy had polio, which seems to me to be a very likely possibility. Now in the Roman world, slaves were property. They were bought, they were sold, they were killed. It didn't matter.
You could kill your slaves and nobody even batted an eye about it. Nobody valued slaves, but this Roman centurion did so much so that his slave who was very dear to him is what the Bible says. He wanted to get help for this little boy. Here was a man of compassion, not just a tough old soldier, but a man of compassion.
And so look what he did. Verse three, the centurion heard about Jesus and he sent some elders of the Jews to Jesus asking him to come and heal his servant. This man knew being a Roman that he really didn't belong going to a rabbi. I mean, there was no love lost between rabbis and Jewish leaders in the Romans.
They hated each other. So being a Gentile and being a Roman soldier to boot, rather than go to Jesus himself, he got these Jewish leaders to go on his behalf. And when they came to Jesus, verse four, they pleaded earnestly with Jesus on the man's behalf. You know, I think this is the only place in the Bible, it's certainly the only one that I could think of where Jewish leaders ever have anything good to say about a Roman. And these Jewish leaders not only have something good to say about him, but they actually go and plead his case for Jesus. Now, why would they do that?
Why would they do that? Watch. And they said, this man deserves for you to do this, Jesus. He deserves it. Verse five, because he loves our nation, and he has built our synagogue. In those verses, we learn one more thing about this centurion, not only was he a man of compassion, but he was a man of faith. Here was a soldier who had been stationed at what they considered in those times, the end of the world, Palestine, but he had become impressed with the God of Israel, he had become impressed with their faith in the one true God. And because of this, he had developed a love for the Jewish people. He may have been the only Roman soldier in that whole country who loved the Jewish people. But not only did he love the Jewish people, but he put his money where his mouth is. And he built them, they say, a synagogue right there in that city.
If you go to Capernaum today, and I hope if you've never been to Israel, you'll go sometime, it'd be a life changing trip for you. But if you go to Capernaum, there's an actual synagogue in Capernaum that the archaeologists have uncovered. And this synagogue that they've uncovered comes from the second or the third century AD. Now obviously that was not the synagogue this guy built, because this is all happening 200 years before that. However, underneath that synagogue, archaeologists have confirmed that there are the ruins of an earlier synagogue built on the same site that was built around the time of Jesus Christ. And it is very likely, and I'm personally convinced it is the synagogue that this man built for these people out of his own funds right in that city. And because of that, the Jewish leaders come on his behalf and say, Jesus, there's not many good Romans out there, but this is one of them. He deserves for you to heal this child for him.
You need to do this. Verse six, so Jesus went with them. And he wasn't far from the man's house when the centurion sent friends to him saying, Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That's why I didn't even come to you myself.
He sends a group of people that says to Jesus, Jesus, you don't need to come any farther. Don't come to my house. I'm not worthy for you to come to my house.
He was a humble man as well as a compassionate man, as well as a man of faith. But there was another reason why this man said, Jesus, you don't need to come to my house. Look, he said, but verse seven, you just say the word and my servant will be healed. Jesus, you don't need to come to my house. You don't need to come here and lay your hands on this child. You don't need to come here and touch this child. You don't need to come here and see this child. You don't need to come here and do anything to this child.
All you need to do, Jesus, is the word and I know this little child will be healed. Now how did he figure this out? Well look at verse 8. For he says, this is why I can say that, for I also am a man under authority.
The key word there is the word also. I myself also am a man under authority with soldiers under me and I tell this soldier go over here and he goes and I tell this one come here and he comes and I say to this servant go do this and he does it. Do you see what this man is saying to Jesus? He's saying Jesus the reason I'm saying to you that you don't need to come to my house, all you need to do is say the word and it will happen is because I understand authority.
I'm a soldier. I have authority and I understand how it works. I understand that if I want something done in Jericho or I want something done in Nazareth or I want something done in Jerusalem, I don't have to get up and go there myself. That's why I've got all these people under me, under my authority. All I have to do is speak the word and one of my soldiers will get up and go for me and get it done and so in the same way Jesus, you don't need to actually come to my house. You have authority.
All you need to do is speak the word and some angel, some seraph, some heavenly creature will come to my house and take care of healing this little child. You don't have to come here yourself. You have authority. Military people understand authority, don't they? If you've ever been in the military, you may not understand one other thing when you're done, but brother you understand authority. The general doesn't have to get up and go anywhere. If he wants something done at the barracks or he wants something done at the perimeter or he wants something done in the mess hall, the commanding officer of the base doesn't have to get up and go anywhere, does he? The general calls the colonel in and says, get it done and the colonel calls the major in and says, get it done and the major calls the captain in and says, get it done and the captain calls a lieutenant in and says, get it done and the lieutenant says to the sergeant, get it done and the sergeant says to you, do it, right? Did the general ever have to walk out of the office to get it done?
No, he didn't even have to get up out of his chair. Why? Because he has what? Authority. Do you understand where this guy's coming from? And he said, Jesus, you have authority much greater than my authority.
You don't need to come to my house. All you need to do is what? Speak the command and it'll happen. Did you ever notice in Genesis chapter 1 when the Bible talks about God making this whole universe, that it never says God did anything? Did you ever notice that?
It says what? And God said, let there be light, and there was light. And God said, let there be dry land, and there was dry land. And God said, let there be people and animals and all this other stuff.
And there was. God didn't do anything. God said. And because he had authority, everybody else went and did. True?
Right? And perhaps this centurion had even read Genesis chapter 1 and understood that. Look at Jesus's response, would you? Verse 9. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. When Jesus heard this, he marveled at this man.
The Greek word here means to be astonished or to stand in awe or amazement of something. Interestingly enough, this is the only time anywhere in the New Testament that the Bible ever says that Jesus was amazed at somebody's faith. Mark Chapter 6 says that Jesus was amazed, same Greek word, at Israel's lack of faith. He was amazed at their unbelief. But this is the only time the Bible ever says Jesus was amazed at somebody's faith. And it wasn't even a Jewish person. It was a gentile, a Roman, no less. What he was amazed at is the grasp this man had on who Jesus was, the grasp he had on the authority that was at Jesus's command, the grasp that he had on the power that Jesus had.
And then his willingness to trust Jesus to do through that power and through that authority what he needed. The Bible says when Jesus heard this, he was amazed. And turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, I tell you, I haven't found this kind of faith, not in all Israel. I haven't found one Jew anywhere, not even you, Peter, who know how to believe in me like this.
He was amazed. Matthew Chapter 8 says that he said to the people, go on back home. I'm not coming. When you get back, you'll find the servant well. And it says here in verse 10, then the men who had been sent returned to the house and they found the servant well. Did Jesus finish going to the house? No. Did he simply speak the word and it happened?
Yes. And the important thing is not that he did that, but what he proved by doing that. He proved the centurion was right.
He proved that he had the kind of authority the centurion believed that he had, didn't he? And some angel or some seraph or some heavenly creature went to that house and healed that kid in direct response to the orders of Jesus Christ because he had authority. I love decorations. This is a gorgeous plant here right in front of us, isn't it? If I were to lean over and say to this plant, go water yourself. And this plant were to suddenly kind of levitate right down the middle aisle and doors would open out. And then 30 seconds later, you'd see that plant coming right back down, water dripping out the bottom of it and come back around and sit down and plant itself right here. I'll bet I would have your full attention for the rest of the message. You wouldn't get hungry.
In fact, I bet we'd sell more tapes as well. But I can't do that. Watch. Go water yourself.
Nothing. I told the people in the second service, don't dare put a string on that and pull it and have that thing move. Or I'd faint right here on stage. I can't do that.
I can't do that. I don't have that kind of authority. But Jesus Christ right here in Luke Chapter seven demonstrated he does have that kind of authority. He demonstrated it in every miracle he worked.
And the greatest demonstration of all was in his resurrection. Remember what Jesus said in John Chapter 10. He said in verse 18, I have the authority to lay my life down.
Now, so do you. You can step in front of a bus. You can take a revolver and blow your brains out. You have the authority to lay your life down. But Jesus went on to say, and I have the authority to take my life back up again.
Now, whoa, that's a different story. You don't have that kind of authority and neither do I. But when Jesus Christ laid his life down and then rose from the dead by his own power and authority, he demonstrated to us he was telling us the truth. He has a kind of authority that nobody on this earth has. And that's why Jesus said after the resurrection to his disciples, all authority is given to me in heaven and in earth.
I've got it all. And if you don't believe me, just check out the resurrection, guys. If you don't believe me, check out the resurrection. This is what this passage is trying to teach us. It's not trying to teach us that Jesus healed a centurion servant.
He did. But the way he did it, based on the understanding that centurion had of him, proves to us that the kind of authority that centurion believed Jesus had, he's really got it. But all that leads us to ask the question, so what? If Jesus has all that authority, what difference does it make for my life here in the 20th century? And I have three suggestions I'd like to give you to answer the question, so what if he has all authority in heaven and in earth? Suggestion number one, if Jesus has all authority in heaven and in earth, then what that means is Jesus has authority over who gets to go to heaven and who doesn't.
In fact, he even said that. He said, John chapter 17, that the Son of Man, meaning himself, the Son of Man has authority over all flesh, listen, that he, Jesus, should give eternal life to whomever he wishes. Do you understand what this is saying? It's saying that Jesus gives eternal life to whomever he wants to. He's the one who has authority over eternal life.
He's the one who has authority over heaven, and he gives it to whoever he pleases. Friend, if Jesus tells you that you're going to heaven, you're going to heaven. And if Jesus tells you you're not going to heaven, you're not going to heaven. And it doesn't matter what your priest says, what your pastor says, what your mother says, what your teacher says, what your friend says, or what your husband or wife or coworker says, because they are not the ones who have authority over heaven. It matters what Jesus Christ said. He said, well, Lon, he gives it to whomever he wants.
I mean, that's pretty fickle, isn't it? No, because he didn't hide who he gives it to. He made it very clear in the Bible. Listen, Jesus said in the Bible, I am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody comes to the Father except through me. Jesus said in the Bible, John chapter 3, unless you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God. Jesus said in the Bible, John chapter 3, he who believes on me, he who relies on me has eternal life. And he who does not rely on me will not see eternal life. Jesus isn't hiding the basis on which he decides to give eternal life out.
He's making it very clear. People who are willing to trust him and rely on him and what he did for them on the cross, not rely on their own effort or their own work or their own good personage and character, but rely on the death of Christ in their behalf, they're the ones who get eternal life. Jesus didn't hide that. For God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whoever would rely upon him, believe in him, would have eternal life and not perish. You know, I meet people every day in this world who are determined to try to go to heaven their own way, who are determined to try to get eternal life their own way. They're going to try to get it through their good works, and they're going to try to get it through their church membership, and they're going to try to get it through the fact they were baptized or the fact they sang in the choir or they took the sacraments or they're out there doing their best or they gave some money to the church or they worked out in the church parking lot or they planted some grass for the church. And folks, all those are nice things.
There's nothing wrong with any of those things. The only problem is the person who's running heaven didn't say that's how you get in. That's the problem. He said you get in not by trusting yourself or anything you do, but by relying on what he did for you on the cross. That's how you get in.
And so maybe you're here this morning, and maybe you've spent your whole life trying to figure out how you're going to work your way in. I'm here to tell you you can't. You try, and you've bought a ticket on the Titanic.
It's not going to work. The one who runs heaven says you don't work your way in. You trust your way in. And what you trust is what I did for you on the cross as payment for sin. Not anything you do for yourself, and I'll let you in.
I'm going to give you a chance a little later if you've never done that to do it this morning. I hope you'll think about it if you're here and you've never trusted Christ in a real and personal way like that. But there's a second so what, and that is for those of us who've already trusted Christ as our Savior, those of us who are already Christians, there's a big so what here if Jesus really has all the authority he says he has, and that is that Jesus' authority demands an obedient lifestyle from us. Now listen, if Jesus has no authority in this world, if Jesus really isn't going to evaluate us when we get to heaven, if there really is no judgment seat of Christ the way the Bible tells us about it, if there really is no performance review for Christians when we get to heaven, if Jesus does not have authority over our lives and over the rewards we get when we get to heaven, then we ought to go live any way we want and everything's hunky-dory.
But if all authority in heaven and earth belongs to Jesus Christ, and if there really is a judgment seat of Christ the way he tells us, and if every one of us as Christians really is going to stand in front of that judgment seat of Christ to give an account of the things we've done in our body whether good or bad, if all that's real, remember our premise? A wise person figures out who has authority, brings themselves in line with that person and submits, right? Stupid people say, I don't care who's got the authority, I'm going to do it my way.
That's stupid. And I don't want you to be a stupid Christian. I want you to be a wise one. Folks, Jesus Christ has the authority. He proved it through miracle after miracle and through his resurrection. If you're a Christian and you're on your way to heaven, there's going to be a performance review when we get there. A smart person says Jesus is the one who's got the authority.
If he says there's a performance review, there's a performance review. And if I'm smart, I'll live now in light of the fact I'm going to have that performance review. And I'll also live in the way that makes him happy because he's the one that has authority in this world. If you're here and you're a Christian and maybe you've taken control of some areas of your life and you've been living them the way you want to live them, I want to challenge you.
It's time to come back under the authority of Jesus Christ. You know, you don't have to be real smart to read the Bible and figure out the way God wants you to live. You don't have to be a rocket scientist. It doesn't take a whole lot to read the Bible and figure out the way God wants you to run your sex life. It's pretty simple. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read the Bible and figure out the way God wants you to run your business ethics.
It's pretty simple. You don't have to be that smart to figure out the way God wants you to handle your money or the way God wants you to talk, the way he wants you to work and the way he wants you to act and the priorities he wants you to have in life and the attitudes that he wants you to portray in life, of love and forgiveness and compassion instead of bitterness and malice and revenge, you don't have to be that smart to figure that out. The issue is not whether you can figure it out. The issue is whether or not you and I are going to submit to his authority and with his help whether we're gonna try to live that way or whether we're gonna decide we're the authority for our lives and we're gonna live the way we want to.
That's the real issue. All authority belongs to me, Jesus said, in heaven and in earth, even to the authority to conduct your performance review. Jesus says now be smart and live in light of that. And I believe there's probably some of us here this morning who who need to make some changes in our lifestyle because we've taken over the authority and we're way out from under the umbrella where Jesus wants us to be. Third and finally, if Jesus really has all authority in this world then what that means is that we have to as Christians accept his plan for our lives. That we as Christians have to be willing to let him be the one who runs the show if he has all the authority and if he loves us then we're wise to let him run the show.
I walk into churches all the time where we sing you know he is Lord he is Lord and people often have their hands up you know singing he is Lord he is Lord he's risen from the dead and he is Lord and by raising your hands what are you trying to say you're trying to say I admit that I accept that I submit to that I want you to be Lord but then as soon as God takes them up on what they're singing the hands go from being like this to being like this true true I mean if you're gonna sing and tell him to be Lord he's gonna take you up on it and he is Lord and as Lord he reserves the right if you're a Christian to run your life his way. I believe that Jesus Christ has authority over every virus and every bacteria do you? You believe that? I believe Jesus Christ has authority over every cancer cell in the universe do you believe that?
I do. I believe that Jesus Christ has control and authority over every boss's heart over the stock market over every contract you're involved in and over every twist and turn your career has taken and will take. Do you believe that? I believe that Jesus Christ has authority over every pregnancy and I believe that he has authority over every child that results I believe he has authority over everyone you got whether they're mellow or whether they have a stogie in their mouth he had control over that and you got the right one trust me you're matched up just perfect. I believe Jesus Christ has control over every event in every life and that everything that touches your life he has authority over do you believe that? Now folks listen there are so many Christians who are mad at God and bitter with God and angry with God because they got their little apple cart they had the little apple cart just laid out and they had the little future laid out and they had it planned for years and God comes along and he rattles their little apple cart and they're mad and they're angry and they don't like it they said I was happy to sing he is Lord as long as you don't do anything I don't like but you did something I don't like well I tell you something people with authority often do things we don't like don't they but you know what God knows what he's doing God hasn't made any mistakes in your life sure God sometimes bring heartaches and he sometimes brings reverses and he sometimes brings losses and pain but God's in the process of molding character and character doesn't get molded just from success I mean you don't get to grow up and be a big strong person just from eating Snickers and three musketeers I mean I wish it were that way don't you I'd love to eat nothing but Snickers and three musketeers but you can't grow up to be a big strong person like that you need some hard stuff that your body's got to work on and you know character is the same way it wouldn't be good for God to send you nothing but little successes that fit into your little apple cart God knows what he's doing and if he has all authority in heaven and in earth and he loves you folks we need to let him run our lives his way and trust him we need to drop the bitterness drop the anger because the person we hurt the worst is us when we feel angry at God like that the joy in our Christian life dries up our relationship with God's shrivels up we're the losers not God we are God doesn't want you to live that way and you shouldn't even live that way if you could stand on the shores of heaven and see everything God sees you'd agree with everything he's doing with you you say but I can't great that's where you got to trust him and if he's got all authority and he loves you you can trust God wants you to lay your rifle down wave your white flag and let's surrender I want you to turn back as we close just to one passage it's back in the Old Testament it's the book of Job Job chapter 1 if you're using our copy of the Bible it's page 360 I want to show you something page 360 or job chapter 1 now you remember the story job had a bad day you remember the story job he had a bad day they came and told him well job your servants are dead your sheep are dead your oxen are dead your camels are dead and all your children are dead and it all just happened definitely not one of his better days look what he did verse 20 at this job got up and he tore his robe and he shaved his head and he fell down on the ground now folks listen just because you're submitting to God and just because you're letting him run your life does not mean that there's not times where there's grief and pain and mourning and a heartache that you feel and that's real job felt those things look at him he tore his robe he shaved his head he fell on the ground watch in worship whoa there's an unusual combination there's an unusual combination here is a man in grief whom God has just flattened like a pancake but when he falls to the ground it didn't say in anger did it what did it say in worship look what he said naked I came out of my mother's womb I didn't have any of this stuff when I arrived and naked I'm gonna leave again hearses don't pull you hauls I came in naked and I'm leaving naked the Lord gave me and the Lord has decided to take away blessed be the name of the Lord and in all of this verse 22 job did not sin by charging God with wrong doing when we shake our finger with God and go how dare you do this to me what do you think you're doing don't you know I served you how could you let this happen to me what is going on here you know what we're really saying we're saying to God you made a mistake you're wrong this is wrong this is wrong this is not best this is not good this is bad well you're charging God with wrongdoing you're saying God you're treating me wrong job never did that he said God you gave to me because you thought it was best and now you've taken away because you thought it was best either way blessed be the name of the Lord I know you're doing what's right that's a person who's grabbed a hold of the authority of Jesus Christ and is living it in their life who's really surrendered to it so much so that God can take or give anything he pleases anytime he wants any way in which he chooses and the response is the same blessed be the name of the Lord I ran into a fell out in the hallway between services and he said to me you know Lon he said I got to tell you he said you'll love this because it fits right in with your sermon I was in Chicago and I was at this sales meeting and some guy got me mixed up with somebody else and accused me of assault and battery he said I never even saw I never even touched the guy he said and he called the police and the police came in and arrested me right there in the show they put my arms behind me just like they did that guy in the traffic court they handcuffed me and they took me to Cook County Jail I don't think I'd ever want to be in Cook County Jail not in Chicago and I said my goodness what did you do he said Lon you wouldn't believe that I kept saying to myself God's in control this is no surprise to God I don't know why I'm going to Cook County Jail but there's got to be a good reason the trade show was boring anyway so let's go to jail and he said I was as happy as could be he said I had a ball in Cook County Jail for the few hours I was there I said you know you're one of the few people I've ever met that could have fun in Cook County Jail he said Lon it didn't have anything to do with Cook County Jail it had to do with believing that Jesus Christ was in control of what was happening to me and that he knew what he was doing and all I had to do was trust him and come along for the ride boy that's practical huh and that's the way God wants you to see life because he really does have all authority there's no cancer cell no bacteria no decision your boss will ever make no contract you'll ever been on no child you'll ever have no nothing that'll ever come in your life that God doesn't have total authority over that he hasn't already orchestrated for your benefit if you'll just relax and trust what have we learned this morning what we learned in Luke chapter 7 that Jesus proved he has authority and that from his resurrection he proved he has ultimate authority and that if you and I are wise people remember my premise if we're wise people we will submit to his authority and obey it will submit to his authority over how we get into heaven we won't try to go our way we'll be happy to go his way we'll submit to his authority over the way we live our lives as Christians we won't take our lives under our own authority we'll leave him under his authority and do what he tells us with his help and finally we'll submit to his authority when it comes to how he chooses to orchestrate our lives we won't accuse him of wrongdoing we'll trust him and follow it and bless his name this is what God's looking for from you and me and if you and I really understand his authority the way this centurion did then these responses make all the sense in the world may God help you do that let's pray with our heads bowed and our eyes closed if you're here this morning and you're Christian but you're a Christian who's been struggling with anger bitterness towards God because he rattled your apple cart in some way you didn't want him to or maybe you're a Christian who's here that has kind of decided to take some part of your life under your own authority to live it your own way and you know you're not living it exactly the way that the Lord Jesus wants you to in either case if you're willing this morning to say Lord I'm prepared to surrender and do it your way I'm prepared to trust you I'm prepared to submit to your authority and live the way you want me to I'm not sure I can in my own energy but if you'll give me the strength by your spirits I'll seek to do it every day if you're here and you need to tell that to the Lord I want you to raise your hand you can put it right back down as a way of telling that to God thank you god bless you so many hands anybody else come on now never be easier than this moment anybody else thank you god bless thank you if you're here this morning and you've never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way maybe you spent your whole life trying to figure out how you gonna work your way into heaven and now you understand this morning that it it's not working your way in it's trusting your way if you're willing to give up everything else you've ever relied on your good works church membership and if you're willing to trust what Jesus did on the cross for you shedding his blood to pay for your sin as your only hope of getting in if you'd like to make that transaction this morning I'd like to pray for you I'd like you to raise your hand again you can put it down after you've raised anyone like to do that thank you thank you anybody else dear Heavenly Father I want to thank you this morning for speaking to our hearts for helping us understand the real issues in this world I want to pray for Christians who are here that raised their hands and maybe for some who should have but didn't people who are willing to acknowledge that in one way or another they've challenged your authority in their lives thank you Lord for their willingness this morning to humble themselves to resubmit and for those who are struggling with anger and bitterness I pray Lord that you would reassure them that you love them reassure them that everything you're doing is for their good if they could only trust you and replace that anger and that bitterness with peace and with the joy of their salvation do that for them I pray Lord for those who've taken their life under their own authority in some area bring them back under the umbrella of your authority help them live their lives in obedience to you the one who has all authority and for those who are here that have never trusted Christ before is their personal Savior but raised their hand and said this morning they wanted to I pray that right now you would let them know that the transaction if they were sincere is done Lord Jesus reassure them that heaven is theirs not based on anything they ever did or ever will do but based on their willingness to rely upon the blood of Christ plus nothing to pay for their sin thank you Lord Jesus that the Word of God is so practical so every day may it change the way we live as a result of our being here and hearing it this morning thank you that you do love us that you do have all authority thank you Lord Jesus that we as Christians belong to you we love you this morning change our lives by what we've heard we pray in Jesus name amen you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-19 08:11:52 / 2023-03-19 08:30:16 / 18