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Victorious Life

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Lesson 82 of 127
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Is Jesus Just Your Advisor?

Is Jesus Just Your Advisor?

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

Please turn to Revelation 3:20 for this morning’s reading. “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Come into my heart, Lord Jesus and sit there and advice me. It seems so utterly inadequate. That’s what came home to me. This is Christ, the son of our Maker, in whom we ourselves were created. Of course he has expressed his deep love for us. He is ready to be meek and lowly of heart and to be despised and rejected for us. He has as his purpose to live his Father’s life over again in each of us.

It’s hard for him to get room there. We have drifted in to a very superior position. We have drifted into such a preoccupation with ourselves. “Oh, yes, I try to think what would Jesus do. I’m even further on than that, I from time to time ask him. I study his word here so that I know the kind of thing he does do. I live my life by his directions here in his word.” He doesn’t get much opportunity to live in himself. He doesn’t get great opportunity to do the living because we are doing the living with his help and advice.

I suddenly saw the reason we are here is for him to live his life in us. That’s the whole reason we are here. We get our value from being part of him and being an expression of him. We aren’t terribly conscious of that. We often argue — you don’t want to get too mystical, do you? We are caught by things like St. Patrick’s prayer-the breastplate. Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ without me. Christ above me, Christ below me. It’s very easy to slip into, “A little overdone maybe. A little over exaggeration, a little taking of licence there.” But actually that is the authentic voice of Jesus there. Patrick was expressing it as it really is.

We are the ones on the periphery. We’ve got him in the right box. We know where we got him and we are doing our best to witness for him and do his will. But not much of ‘Savior, this is your life, what do you think here? What are you thinking, Lord?’ It’s probably the cause of despair over a flat tire. Or, more seriously, our attitude in the discovery of cancer. The cause of all our anxieties is generally we know he is in us and we know we are here to do his will, but we are not overwhelmed by it being his life. It’s mainly our life with him on the side lines, with him prompting us and guiding us and, time to time, helping us. He’s not the primary person, we are. He’s the secondary person.

I suddenly saw how out of balance it is — how lacking reality it is. How offensive it has to be for our Lord. Of course, how it makes us weak and often at our wits end because this is still our life. We are still doing our best to live it his way. In a kind of way, it’s still his life but we don’t mean that. It’s not his life, it is our life. We always think first what would I like to eat today. We always think what would I enjoy wearing today. We always think how would I enjoy spending Christmas this year. There isn’t much bowing of the mind and will and the inward ear to get his line on things.

I thought how dreadful it is. If he, at this moment, wishes I would take him not only into my heart that verse goes on, “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him.” The second step is “he with me.” I will come in and eat with him as the host and I am the guest. Then it will turn around and he will eat with

me. I will be the host and he the guest.

It hit me sometime in the middle of the night that we are very full of ourselves. Our blessed Lord must feel shouldered out at times. We keep calling ourselves Christians. We are kind of Christ followers. We try to follow Christ but in the sense of Christ running our lives — living this life instead of us — in the sense that this life Christ lives within me. In that sense much of our lives are spent keeping him in his position which is an inferior one and maintaining ourselves as the main movers. What I’d ask you to do is think about it. I may be wrong — your life is very different from mine.

I know how it came home to my heart that my attitude is often Jesus is with me and he will speak through me when I give him the chance. But most of my actions are motivated by what do I want to do, what do I think of. So I’d ask each of us to think about the elevated position God has given Christ and is that the same position he has in my life. Is Jesus enjoying life here on earth? Is He enjoying living in me, Ernest O’Neill? Is He enjoying living in Peg? Does he see this as his life? Does he see this life as his life? Does he really think and feel I can do what I like in this life today?

It’s a very different situation when he is in complete charge and we are his spokes people. It seems to me to correspond far more to the position he is given in the book of Hebrews if you read it this afternoon or, even in a book like Colossians where he is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. It seems to me that heaven will be a continuation of here on earth and we find ourselves fitting in immediately. You would want to do that, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t want to get through those gates and find that you had utterly underestimated Jesus and his importance and position. So it is worth thinking about.

Let us pray.

Now the grace of our Lord Jesus, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us throughout this coming week. Amen.