Sunday was hot. Not just outside... but in our auditorium. It was one of three times a year the AC is turned off at the school and the weather turns our service into a scorcher. And I always feel it more as I preach. Sweating. Burdened.
As I tried to cool off yesterday and enjoy Father's Day by hanging with my family I was struck with my preference for comfort, even in the proclamation of Jesus. Would I preach if it was hotter and we were under the punishing rays of the sun or in the stench of the slums... So I take this challenge and I pray for transformation. That Christ would be built in me, that his fullness would flow out regardless of my personal comfort, the atmospheric appropriateness for Western listeners, or whatever might distract us.
We exist for the glory of God. Where we are. When we are. In all that we are. This is what we noticed from Exodus 9:16, and it is what we hear from all of Scripture. Created to glorify, to witness and expose God's power to the whole earth.
Now in Christ, made to glorify by his finished work. Not under a burden but freed to a new purpose, a new mission and the wonder that is the grace of God. So how do we glorify God now, if Christ has glorified him ultimately for us? I think it is by calling Jesus Lord.
By surrendering our mini-thrones, our petty attempts at autonomy, and giving over control to our Savior. "Take all of me, make every inch of my life yours Jesus." It won't always be easy but it will be good. Because we are safe, made children of God in Christ. And each new surrender to Christ is proof of his transforming, sanctifying work in us.
My prayer for us and me as the chief sinner among us is increased surrender. To call Jesus Lord in more hidden corners of our hearts and lives. Glorifying God by trusting him, receiving him, and proclaiming him. Will you join in that prayer and mission?
Jesus, you are Lord. Be Lord in every part of our lives. Be our priority, our supreme value. Shape our lives for your glory. Help us to surrender to you and experience your fullness, your grace, all the more. Amen.