Recently at church, the closing hymn was Jesus Is Lord of All. I was singing without thinking, I’m sorry to say, but I glanced up at the screen just as the chorus rolled across, and these words seemed to leap at me: Lord of my thoughts and my service each day, Jesus is Lord of all.
The first thing that popped in my mind was Really?
And the next thing was Ouch.
I wish it were so, but honesty is the best policy, and that requires me to admit that Jesus is not always Lord of my thoughts or my service. He is Lord of my mouth, thankfully, most of the time, but I truly want Him to be more. I don’t want the ungodly thoughts to form in the first place, nor do I want to waste time with things that He has not called me to do.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV Study Bible 1984)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (Colossians 3:23)
Now, let’s add insult to injury. My pastor recently preached from Matthew 12:33-37, and I found myself faced with the question, “Am I good, or am I evil?” Verse 36 hammers in the last nail: “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
That drew me to Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” In other words, open your mouth, and your true feelings will fall right out there for all to hear. And you’ll be judged.
Don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little downtrodden.
Pastor Michael always ends on an encouraging note. Ezekiel 36:26 says this, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Folks, therein lies the Gospel. New heart. New spirit. I mess up. You mess up. Jesus covers it. Whatever you’re struggling with, run to Him, hand it over, get a new heart and a new spirit. No condemnation. Romans 8:1-2 guarantees it.
This world is full of so many distractions, and they attract my attention much easier than the still small voice of the Savior. But, I know He is with me, and I am attuned to His presence in a way that defies explanation even when I am rushing around to take care of this or that. I also know I will still mess up from time to time. So will you. But, there’s a set of strong, loving arms waiting to gather us in and wipe away the tears.