Early in his ministry Jesus claims to have authority to forgive sin and calls himself the Lord of the Sabbath. This sounds like blasphemy unless Jesus is actually God.
Thank you for sending Jesus to us who experienced what we experience and went through what we go through. He gives us a way to truly relate to God.
We thank you also that while here on earth he exercised divine authority. In doing so he shows us that he truly is God as well as a perfect man.
Help us to be more like him in desiring to see sinners saved. Help us to never consider ourselves too good for someone else. Help us to never see ourselves as better than those around us. Help us to serve them well in order to better serve you.
Let us remain flexible, eager to grow and change for the better so that we can continuously be used by you. If you should decide to do something new and exciting, we want to be a part of it.
Help us to recognize when you are working in our lives. We need and truly want to be effective in our service to you and your kingdom. We ask you to mold our hearts, our attitudes, our character and our desires.
Conform us to the image of Christ,
The resurrection turns the ultimate defeat into the ultimate victory. Sin, death and Satan have now been dealt with forever because the Son of God has risen from the grave. The consequences of humanity’s fall into sin are reversed, never to take control of us again.
Just before issuing his Great Commission to the disciples, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” That means the sin, death and Satan combined have approximately zero authority.
Since this deals once and for all with our biggest problem, lesser problems also come into a proper perspective. All of the hurts, problems and defeats that I have experienced or that I have caused are reduced to times that my team and I have fallen behind in a winning game. It may look bad for the moment but our final victory is ultimately assured.
There is never a reason big enough to give up hope. Christ is risen and someday we too will be resurrected into a completely new life in him.
Jesus enters Jerusalem where his authority is challenged. This begins the last stage of his earthly ministry.
Matthew 21.mp3 (Jake Medlong)
We declare Jesus to be King of kings, Lord of lords and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. We also declare him to be King, Lord and Ruler over our lives.
May your Kingdom come and your will be done. We ask your help in discerning your will so that we will more faithfully represent Christ as we go about our earthly business. Help us to know how to exercise Christ’s authority in the spiritual realm, in our families, in our church and in our daily community life. Help us to see when we are not doing so, especially when that is the result of a lack of faith. We admit that our faith needs to grow.
Help us also to see all those numerous cases when submission to earthly rulers is the right thing to do. We thank you that we live in a place where we are free to worship you. We pray that you would give those that govern wisdom to govern according to your will. We also pray that you would have mercy on them and lead each of them into a saving knowledge of you.
And finally, we look forward to the soon return of Jesus Christ.
5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I often pray “in Jesus’ name,” but I am not sure I recognize his authority or my own unworthiness to ever have you answer my prayers. Neither is my heart sufficiently moved by the needs of others. Give me the faith of this centurion.
Let it start by being willing to ask. So often I simply fail to pray when I know full well that I am in need of answers from you.
Further, I sometimes retain a hint of my own self-righteousness. I expect you to do things for me because of who I am or what I have done, or the justness of my cause. In reality I deserve nothing. All that I have or ever will have from you is purely of grace. I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.
I also see that this centurion was praying for his servant. He was clearly not an arrogant man in his dealings with others. Considering his rank and position I wonder if it might have been completely acceptable for him to to care very little about this servant’s well-being. His concern was personal as he transformed his servant’s need into his own. Move me to that kind of intercession.
Finally, there is the matter of Christ’s authority. I am not certain that I see him as Lord of the universe and Lord of my life as I pray in his name. Maybe I know these things as facts, but there are too many times when I treat Christ as more of my servant than my Master. Help me to make this a thing of the past and never treat Christ as anything but the King of kings that he is.
Again, give me the faith of this centurion as I lift up my requests to you.
In Christ my Lord,