THE BOSS OF THE WHOLE WORLD

Jul
2019
27

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“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”                        (2 Timothy 1:7)

My friend has often reminded me of the story of her son when he was just a child. One snowy evening as he sat next to her, he begged her to stay home from work the next day. She informed him that would not be possible because she had responsibilities, and her boss would expect her to be there. The youngster looked up and innocently asked if her boss was “the boss of the whole world.” Their interaction became a teaching moment about commitment. The mother did the right thing by modeling an image of accountability to her son at such an early age. Furthermore, her sense of loyalty turned the relationship with her manager into a life-long friendship. I would know, because I am “the boss” in the story. We smile together each time she repeats the tale. Over the years, employees like my friend have become more difficult to find. The values of our society have weakened the importance of dedication. Simply having an association with one’s employer does not always guarantee any form of devotion.

Unfortunately, the same is often true for persons of faith. They frequently live by the example of “one foot in the world and the other in Heaven.” It is pervasive in our society and is sometimes regrettably displayed by our community leaders. The issue of separation of Church and State placed city officials in a South Carolina town in a ‘no-win’ situation recently. A monument featuring a prayer for officers had been placed in front of the new police station by a women’s group. When a collection of local residents complained, representatives plastered over the word “Lord” so as to appease those in opposition. As a result, the community became divided over the modification of three references to “Lord” and city officials made a decision to remove the monument. While some stated that God and government must remain separated from religious references, others noted that the nation was founded by many who believed that America could not expect to be blessed if it failed to acknowledge and honor Almighty God. The latter would agree with the Apostle Paul who wrote: “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8).

In today’s world, people readily blame others for their lack of character and self-control. They often fault society, their parents, their boss, the government, or others in positions of authority. Not wanting to accept any personal responsibility for their own shortcomings, they seek to find a scapegoat. Followers of Christ have found a better answer, but they must be clear for what and who they stand. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels’” (Luke 12:8-9). Public acknowledgement of our Christian values can be difficult in a society where our greatest struggle in exercising self-control might be as simple as saying ‘no’ to another cookie, or as difficult as spending an additional half hour on Netflix or Facebook. If we face our Christian walk with a similar approach, we still have a lot to learn.

It is important to understand that self-control is a work of the Holy Spirit, not a work of the individual. After all, Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the Christian. Because self-control is a gift produced in and through us by God’s Spirit, Christians should be hopeful about maturing in the faith. For in Jesus, we have a source for true self-control far beyond that of our personal weaknesses. Similar to an athlete preparing for a higher vision, we have a firm expectation for ourselves.  “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” (1 Corinthians 9:25). When all is said and done and we decide to journey with Christ, we face two tasks before us. The first of these is to form a relationship with the Lord. The second is just as important: we must decide Who will be in control of our lives. When we finally decide to ‘let go and let God’ – then we have discovered who is truly “the boss of the whole world.”

REFLECTION: Does it comfort or distress you that God can have an influence on the world through you?  How does increasing your knowledge of His role in your life help you to trust that He is ultimately in control? In a world that often feels out of control, can you justify to others it is important to trust God?

A NEW LOOKUP  DEVOTION IS UPLOADED EACH WEEK. THE NEXT WEEKLY POSTING WILL BE ON SAT., AUGUST 3, 2019. COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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