Saturday, December 7, 2013

One Question (Homily 56)

Priorities, son.
"...who is lord over us?" Ps. 12:4b

The question of lordship is still the most practical question you can ask anyone. For every person, the buck ultimately stops somewhere, and wherever it stops can tell you a lot about that person: what they believe, what they care about, and what they're willing to put up with.

Now, Psalm 12 mentions two kinds of people: the godly and the proud (vs. 1-4). The former are failing and fading while the latter are flourishing. The dichotomy is simple enough---there are those to whom God is their ultimate authority and those who are their own ultimate authority. That dichotomy is pretty well maintained throughout Scripture. There are those who "fear the Lord" and those who say "there is no God." Every human being can be boiled down to one of those two categories.

This is not merely a matter of God's existence. There are plenty of people who believe in God's existence that still live like atheists in day-to-day practical life. Rather, it is a matter of relevance, i.e., what is His relation to you and your life? Is he everything or nothing? That sounds like a false choice fallacy, but remember the dichotomy: if God is not everything to you, then He really is nothing to you, no matter how much you patronize Him. The greatest commandment is to love God with all that you are and got (Matt. 22:36-38), and he who transgresses one law is guilty of them all (James 2:10), and we all have transgressed the greatest law: we have not loved God (Ps. 14:2-3; Rom. 1:21-25, 3:10-11).

All sin and righteousness comes down to the one question Jesus asked his disciples: "Who do you say that I am?" (Matt. 16:13-16; c.f. Mark 8:27-29; Luke 9:18-20). The answer to that means everything, affects everything: what you live for and are willing to die for. Where the buck stops. Where the final line in the sand is drawn. Christian living, the life of faith, is the fight to recognize the lordship of God both in Christ and over your life. "You are not your own. You are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God" (I Cor. 6:19-20)---that is the way of life, and life more abundant.

The center is still the center.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2013

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