“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”
the Lord God
God is “Lord.” Once Peter himself said to God, “Not so, Lord” (Acts 10:14). Do you see the incongruity and inconsistency in this statement? If we say “Not so” to the Lord, we dare not call him “Lord.” How can we contradict the Lord as Lord??
Later in Acts 10, Luke calls him “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36). The old statement that “If he is not Lord of all, then he is not Lord at all” may not be entirely accurate, but there is some truth in it. The area of our life that we do not yield to him, he is not Lord over that area. He is still Lord in principle but not in that area of our experience.
Lk 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?”
Ro 14:8-9, “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”
Col. 3:23-25, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.”
in your hearts,
“Hearts” – our entire being. Our heart is the center point of the self. Reverential awe should rest at the center point of self. “Out of the heart are the issues of life.”
God holds the right to rule our lives.
The New Testament calls Jesus “Lord” 663 times and “Savior” 16 times. Jesus expects to be Lord of your life. He insists on being Lord of your home. He will not play second fiddle to your priorities.
The earlier we learn this lesson, the better. That will keep us from making our estimations as most important. He is Lord of our work. Whether you are an employer or an employee, he must be Lord at your workplace. He must be Lord at school. You dare not cheat because it is outside the domain of Jesus’ lordship over your life. He is Lord over your financial life and budget. He is Lord of your sex life. Your eyes and ears are his. You do not watch or listen to things that displease him. He has the right to do anything he pleases with his property without any whining from us. Our lives are not our own; they are his.
1 Cor. 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
When we set apart the Lord, we make him #1 in our lives. He is the priority.
Col. 1:18, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
Do we suppose that we can ignore Jesus’ lordship and still expect God’s blessing upon us? The more we make much of Jesus, the more blessing comes our way. It is impossible to make too much of Jesus. Nothing delights the Father more than making much of Jesus Christ (glorify him).
Jesus is not content with 90% of our affection. Your wife would be very unhappy with you giving 10% of your love to another woman! We cannot reserve anything for ourselves and still call him Lord of our lives. He will not play second fiddle. He will not take a minor role in your business or home. He cannot be Lord and take second place.
Put Christ in the center of the heart, and that will orient us to eternal things. If we give Jesus Christ a singular place in our hearts, nothing can impair our proper orientation to life. If we come to a reversal in life, we maintain stability.
Without this, we are vulnerable to the whims of life. If our relationship with God is the most important thing to us, we can never lose that. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday today and forever.” Because of the immutability of Christ, the chances and changes of life cannot touch us. Even in suffering, we are free from instability. None of us can escape suffering, but suffering cannot invade the things we value the most.