WHO IS ON THE THRONE 11-26-17

Who is on the Throne?

November 26th, 2017

 

               I worked for five years as an administrative assistant at Carber in Morris.  During this time I was handed many job applications to pass on to our manager.  Some included very professional-looking resume’s and impressive credentials.  Some were filled in by hand with poor spelling and even poorer penmanship.  Interviews were set up and questions asked.  Some potential candidates had all the right answers in grammatically correct sentences using exceptional vocabulary.  Others said a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘I, uh, you know…  I, uh, really need this job’ type of answers.  One time my boss actually asked me for my advice in choosing which candidate to hire.  I suggested he put the application aside, put the interview temporarily out of his mind, and punch in each candidate’s name into facebook.  Not that everyone is totally transparent on facebook, but very often you can tell a great deal about a person by what they post on social media.  I have seen people post insults about the person they work for, the company they represent, and about their co-workers.  Is that someone you want working for you or with you or representing your company?  I have seen people that do nothing but complain, moaning about their hours, about what they have to do at work, about how they wish they were somewhere else, doing something else, and about even having to get up in the morning.  Is that someone you can count on at work to go above and beyond? 

          But now let’s apply that concept to my message title, “Who is on the Throne?”  Would someone be able to tell that God is supreme in your life by reading what you post on facebook?  Do your posts glorify God, or do they glorify yourself?  Do they encourage other people, or do they belittle them?  Are they respectful of those the Bible says we are to respect, or do they make a mockery of them?  Even if you are not on facebook, how you treat others in day to day life reveals what is in your heart.  The apostle John said, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar.”  (1 John 4:20). 

          How you spend your time is another indicator of who or what is on the throne of your heart.  I am not saying we should not love our spouse, our children, our relatives and friends.  Obviously, we are.  The Bible says we are to love one another, even our enemies.  But remember what Jesus replied when asked what the greatest commandment is?  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.” (Matthew 22:37-38).   The first and greatest commandment puts God on the throne.  In fact, Jesus even said, Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37) The key words in this verse is “more than”.   No person is to replace God on the throne of our heart.  Love them, love them dearly, but do not love them more than you love God.

          And what about the things in your life?  Sometimes it is not a person or persons who we put on the throne in God’s place.  Sometimes it is a job, or a hobby, or even a possession.  What is the driving force in your life?  What is your life’s ambition?  Your ultimate goal?  I am not saying everyone should set out to be a preacher or a missionary, or spend hours a day memorizing Scripture, or that we have to live like the Amish (God bless them).   Jesus came that we would have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).  It is OK to enjoy the blessings He gives us.  It is OK to have a good job.  It is OK to have fun!  I have hobbies, I have things I love to do, and I don’t think anyone views me as holier than thou (at least I hope not!).  Jesus ate with the sinners as well as with the rich Pharisees.  But he also fed the hungry crowd who came to listen to him.  Jesus loved to spend time with the children, and told the adults to be like them.  But He also taught in the temple.  Many criticized his life, his actions, his words…  But Jesus was perfect, sinless, and His heart was 100% pure.  And it is the heart that is what matters.  It is the heart that is what God sees.  You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can never fool God!  The Bible says, The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  (1 Samuel 16:7). 

          Could you pray in all confidence as the psalmist did when he said, “Search me, God, and know my heart”? Are willing to pray with him, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me.” (Psalm 139:23,24)?  And then, like him, ask God to lead you in the way everlasting?  Are you willing to give God His rightful place in your heart, or would you rather cling to whatever has replaced Him?  Is Jesus your first love, or your last resort? 

          The day is coming when He will return.  The day is coming when every knee will bow to the name of Jesus, and every tongue confess that He is Lord.  To those whose hearts are right with Him now, there will be eternal rewards waiting.  To those whose hearts are not right with Him, they will wish they had made Jesus their King sooner.  The things of this life won’t matter anymore.   All that will matter is how we loved God, and how we loved each other because we loved God.  Money won’t matter. Personal prestige, achievements, and recognition won’t matter.  It won’t matter if we had the fanciest house or the fastest car.  It won’t matter if we had a figure like Barbie or hair like Rapunzel.  None of it will matter.

          My third Scripture reading from Revelation chapter 2, was written to the church in Ephesus.  Now let me read you what God said to the church in Laodecia in the next chapter, To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” 

          Did you catch that last part?  “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne.”  Put God on the throne of your heart today, and you will also sit with Jesus on His throne.  If the rest of my sermon wasn’t enough to encourage you, perhaps this promise of Jesus’ will.  May He take His rightful place in your heart today.  Amen.

CHILDREN'S MESSAGE:

I am a princess or a prince,

A true child of the King!

For Jesus reigns in my heart,

And praise to Him I gladly sing.