Going Deeper 3/7/19

The second reading for Lent 1...
Romans 10:8b-13   "The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.  The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.  For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

To "confess with [our] lips that Jesus is Lord" means a couple of things.  First, it means expressing confidence in the truth that Jesus was and is no ordinary being, but rather that He is both Savior and Lord.  Saying Jesus is our Savior is relatively easy... especially when we perceive that because of our sinful brokenness we truly need a Savior (which is what Lent is all about!).  But to call Jesus Lord is another matter.

For Jesus to be our Lord, we must relinquish control of our lives to Him.  We can call Him our Lord rather easily, but to truly give Him "lordship" over our lives is one of the great challenges we face.  Our sinful, broken nature is inherently self-serving, and that nature does not give up easily.  As a matter of fact, we need ongoing help in turning our will and our lives over to our Savior.  And, thanks be to God, that help is always readily available.  That help is the Holy Spirit of God.

Another meaning of confessing Jesus as Lord means that we are to let others know of our faith.  A very important part of our living as children of God is our calling to bring the Gospel, the good news of grace, to as many other people as we can.  Yes, in one sense our faith can be a very private matter... but it must not stay private.  Through our words and by our deeds we are called to let others know what we believe and why.

There are a variety of ways for us to do this.  But what is important is that we all see it as our calling, as one of the outcomes of our faith.  We are clearly surrounded by unchurched and de-churched people, children of God who have not been led to understand what our infinitely loving God has saved them from and what their Abba/Father saves them for.  It is our job to share the message.

Let us pray that our Father opens our eyes to see the need, opens our hearts to care, and opens our mouths to share our faith and invite others to seek our Savior and Lord together.

Sharing with You,

Mark Gabbert