I am saddened by the numerous calls and emails I get of men and women who are hurt by their church family. My response is always the same- seek the Lord and His guidance. What else can we do but point them to Jesus? He knows the hurts and the pains of His Saints better than I do, so what else can I do but point them back to Him? As I thought about these instances this morning, I began pondering on the title given to Jesus, which is Lord. I say title because Lord is a title and not His name. His name is Jesus. Ibelieve, (my opinion) that there are many in our churches today that call Him Lord but do not allow Him to be Lord. Many claim they know Him, but have no desire for Him to be the Lord of their lives. This saddens me, and I believe it saddens the Lord Jesus Christ as well.
If you want to know what a word means, you have to go back to the beginning and find where it is first mentioned in the bible. The words, “Lord God” are first mentioned in Genesis 2:4, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens…” The words “Lord God” are split up into two definitions. The first one, “Lord” means the Existing One, while “God” means Ruler, Judge, and Divine One. When we put the two together we get- The Existing One who is Ruler, Judge and Divine. The Hebrews (Jews) in the Old Testament believed that God’s name was too holy to be spoken, so they would not use any vowels, but would just become silent when His title or name was found in the scriptures. Today, however, we use God and Lord all the time, not even thinking of the holiness that is attached to His Name, let alone His title.
We have become immune to the power that is in His name, in the Title that He has been given so that we can come before our Holy God and worship Him. We say Lord God all the time, but does it really mean anything to us? Do we really understand what Lord God means? Jesus uses the Title “Lord God” in Matthew 4:7. He is in the wilderness being tempted and says, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
The words “Lord God” in the New Testament mean something a little different than the ones in the Old Testament, even though they have the same power and authority. In the New Testament, the title of Lord was given to someone who had control over you. It was given to the person to whom you belonged. It meant that the person you called “Lord” was your master, and you His servant. When you said, “Lord” you were saying that Jesus was your master, that He was the one who had the power and authority to do to you as He pleased. You have no rights and no say in the matter. You put yourself under His complete control.
Unfortunately, I believe that there are many in our churches today that call Him Lord yet they have no desire for Him to be their master. They demand their rights, they demand that life go their way and they expect God to do their bidding. Is Jesus your Lord? Is He the One who is ruler and judge over you? Is He the only one to whom you belong? Do you allow Him to have all the power to rule over you? Is He your master? Is He your God?
“But why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46. Why dowe call Him Lord if we have no intention of doing what He says? If Jesus is the Lord of our lives, if we call Him Lord; then He must be ruler over us- all of us. If we call Him Lord, then we must do what He tells us to do. And what does He tell us to do? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27. If we call Him Lord, then we must be doing what He commands.
Jesus tells us that there are many who will call Him Lord, but He will say to them, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:21-22) There are many of us who are being hurt in the churches today because we have taken the Title of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in vain. We call Him Lord but we have no desire to have Him as Ruler, Judge, or Master over us. We call Him Lord but all we want is the feeling of goodness we get from going to church. All we want is for people to know we are Christians, instead of being Christians. Let it not be said of us that we take the name of the Lord in vain, that we call Him Lord but do not know Him, nor do the things He asks us to do.
If I call someone Lord I am telling them that I am exclusively theirs, I am exclusively their servant. Are you exclusively His? Are you exclusively His servant? Do we not remember what Paul told us? Do we not remember that we were bought with a price and that we are not our own? (1 Cor. 6:20) Jesus Christ paid the price for you; He suffered and died so that you would be His, exclusively His. You call Him Lord, but do you truly understand what that means? You call Him Lord, do you understand that when you do that you are telling Him that He alone is your master and there is no other? Do you truly know Him and allow Him to be Lord over your life?
“Outward conformity is not enough. You must be a doer of the word, not a hearer only. Calling Jesus “Lord” is an empty statement if it never makes a difference in your life.” (David Guziak, Blue Letter Bible Study Notes) When we call Him Lord, let us acknowledge and understand the power and authority that we are relinquishing into His hands. There are many today, I believe that are struggling in their walks, struggling in their faith because they do not understand what it means to call Him Lord. People are sinners, folks, we all are. The church is no exception. There are some that go faithfully who know and understand what it means to call Jesus Lord, and then there are some among us who have no idea what it means, nor do they want to know what it means to call Jesus their true Lord. They have said His name and called Him Lord, but they do not know Him as Lord. And that is why so many are being hurt in our churches today. We have taken the name of God in vain, we have tossed around the title given to Jesus Christ, our God, our Savior and have lost the full understanding of what it means to be His and His alone.
There is a difference between calling Him Lord and acknowledging Him as Lord. I can call your name all the time, but if I never do anything about it, then I use your name in vain. If He is Lord then He has complete control over you, and you are His- without question. But for those who call Him Lord and go about their days as if He is non-existent, then I pray that these words will open your eyes and you will see and know that He desires to be more than just a title you claim, but He desires to be Lord of all- including you. When you call Jesus your Lord, you are telling Him that He is your Master and you are His slave. Is Jesus your Lord? If He is, then we will do what He says, and it will show in our lives. Remember, Jesus tells us that many will call Him Lord in that day but He will tell them to depart, for He does not know them. Calling Him Lord is one thing, but we must let Him be Lord if we are to receive the reward waiting for us. Is Jesus your Lord?