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But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:14-16

The reminder that Jesus alone is Lord shouldn’t sound like something new or profound or novel. But it has been for me in the past week. I guess I am just exceptionally easily persuaded to bow to other “lords” who would tell me how I should be thinking about something, or feeling, or responding or acting.

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments…For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Col. 2:2-4, 9-10

Jesus is the head over every power and every authority. EVERY power and EVERY authority! Wow. For me, cynical people speak with such authority that I am immediately silenced. The same thing happens for me with naysayers and mockers. I am equally disoriented by loud, angry and unpredictable people. Satan so cleverly turns my head and pulls the rug out from under me because he always uses true statements or experiences and twists them just ever so slightly, drawing my attention to the accurate technicalities and away from my Lord.

Godly Christians are not my Lord, nor are admired friends, influential acquaintances, opinionated neighbors or much loved family. I can only serve the pleasures of One master. I can only rest in the security of One. Just like the Pharisees, I love the praises of men more than the praise of God. I already have the praise of God through the completed work of Jesus on my behalf, but I still want the approval of men. My need for the approval of others enslaves me to them, so that I am no longer loving them freely but using them to meet my need.

On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 1 Thes. 2:4

When Jesus alone is my Lord, the threatening or judgmental words of someone else vying for the position just don’t hold the same power over my inner well being. When Jesus alone is my Lord, even the highest praises of men seem unsatisfying in addition to the riches of His grace and the perfection of His love. Since the Lord Jesus has already been judged in my place, all further judgments offered by self-serving lords are irrelevant. Why then do I so quickly lay prostrate before the judgments, praises or gazes of other lords?

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2 The truth is, I am often shaken. But the better truth is that when I am shaken, my only true Lord draws my attention back to Himself and away from the counterfeit lords in whom I sought rest, shelter and protection. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6

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