Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. Matthew 7:21
Accepting Christ as our Savior is easy and straightforward. We pray the sinner's prayer and we now belong to Christ. But then there is the whole living the Christian life that gets difficult. It's imperative that we make Christ, Lord of our lives. When we invite Jesus to be lord over our life, we give him the authority to make the rules, guide our steps, and teach us to be like Christ.
It's more than attending church on Sunday, reading a quick devotional in the morning, and paying a portion of your income to the church. In fact, the church doesn't need to exist for you to make Jesus Lord of your life. In the west, we have this idea that we have the intelligence, the technology, and the abilities to run our own lives. And we can make our own decisions and serve God where and when we deem it appropriate. However, Jesus never expected us to go it alone. He promised "... and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20b
We cannot truly live as "good and faithful servants" if we are not living in obedience to Christ. It is not only pastors and missionaries who must serve Christ with our whole being. Every Christian must love God with all his heart, soul, and strength. And you cannot fully love God if you do not make him Lord of your life.
In his book, The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship, Dallas Willard writes of the early Christians, "They thought of him as master of every domain of life... That is, they learned to do everything he said or did in cooperative action with Jesus, their always present teacher." (pg. 20). As a result the early church exploded, welcoming members from all over the world.
I have to wonder what would happen if, we, like the early Christians trusted Jesus with all of our decisions. Not just decisions about our faith life, but also what job we will take, who we will marry, and where we will live. What if we learned to love our friends, family and enemies by emulating Jesus? We may not be able to change the whole world, but we'll certainly change the world around us.
Will you, this day, make Christ Lord of your life and live in complete obedience to his will? That is a decision we must each make, and it's a decision that will change our lives here and in eternity..