Every day I think to myself, “I am a dinosaur,” because every evening I read a printed newspaper. Yes, I know I’m one of a dying breed.
Now days, it seems everyone gets their news from the internet or at least television. Not me, I like to hold what I’m reading in my hands, whether it be a newspaper or a book. [Note to my kids: Don’t buy mama a kindle for Christmas.]
There are certain pages in my newspaper that I like to examine. I definitely read the front page first to see what’s going on in the world and locally. My next favorite is the editorial page, where I check out columnists and the editorial cartoon and if I’m lucky, there will be a few letters to the editor. Some of those make me wince, some irk me, and some make me laugh because they can be ridiculous.
On Saturdays, our local paper features church pages, where local churches can publish their upcoming events, sermon title for Sunday’s worship hour, or basic information about the church and congregation. I don’t know why I always read this section (which I pessimistically suppose isn’t that well read); I’m just interested in what our churches are doing to further God’s kingdom, I guess.
This past Saturday I noticed that one pastor had posted his upcoming sermon titles for the next few weeks. I really liked how he entitled his sermon series. What I gather from the information I read is that this pastor will stress to his congregation that Jesus Christ is Lord, not just another religious leader, but THE LORD.
In this age of watering down the gospel as many pastors seem to deliver in “feel good” sermons, I admire this one for making perfectly clear who Jesus really is. It reminded me of a passage in a book (printed pages bound together, not an electronic version) I just finished reading – Radical by David Platt, lead pastor of my daughter’s church.
Platt relates a story when he was in Indonesia, sitting outside of a Buddhist temple, having a conversation with a Buddhist and a Muslim, both leaders in their community. As they discussed different religions, these two leaders agreed that all religions are basically the same with just some small differences. Platt described how he listened to their dialogue and when asked his opinion about the matter, the following was his reply:
“I said, ‘It sounds as though you both picture God (or whatever you call god) at the top of a mountain. It seems as if you believe that we are all at the bottom of the mountain, and I may take one route up the mountain, you may take another, and in the end we will all end up in the same place.’
They smiled as I spoke. Happily they replied, ‘Exactly! You understand!’
Then I leaned in and said, ‘Now let me ask you a question. What would you think if I told you that the God at the top of the mountain actually came down to where we are? What would you think if I told you that God doesn’t wait for people to find their way to him, but instead he comes to us?’
They thought for a moment and then responded, ‘That would be great.’
I replied, ‘Let me introduce you to Jesus.’ ”
I love this illustration! That states exactly the difference between other world religions and Christianity. Jesus Christ came to this earth for us, to save us, and He continues to do so. We don’t try to earn our way to Him, because there is nothing we can do by ourselves to save ourselves. No other god has accomplished that nor can that be accomplished by any other god you may worship.
Platt goes on to say, “This is the gospel. As long as you and I understand salvation as checking off a box to get to God, we will find ourselves in the meaningless sea of world religions that actually condemn the human race by exalting our supposed ability to get to God. On the other hand, when you and I realize that we are morally evil, dead in sin, and deserving of God’s wrath with no way out on our own, we begin to discover our desperate need for Christ.”
We need Jesus, only a God like Jesus.
To only my Maker, My Father, My Savior. Redeemer, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder. To only a God like You, do I give my praise!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~ Philippians 2:9-11
His name is being proclaimed across the world. Watch the following video and listen to the name of Jesus being praised in another language.
Have YOU heard the news? Jesus Christ IS Lord.