Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military generals who ever lived, conquered almost the entire known world with his vast army. When a young soldier in his army was caught hiding cowardly in a cave during a fierce battle and he was brought before Alexander. Usually, the sentence would be death, but on hearing the name of this very young soldier Alexander the Great softened his heart. After he had asked the soldier his name for the third time and the young man had again nervously replied “My name is Alexander, sir.” Alexander the Great then looked the young soldier straight in the eye: “Soldier,” he said with intensity, “either change your name or change your conduct” and he released the soldier.
The word, Christian, means “Christ one” or “slave of Christ,” even as Caesarean meant “slave of Caesar”. To be a Christian therefore means that a person has surrendered his life to Christ, as his Lord and Master. To call Jesus “Lord” means to have committed oneself to following Him and His teaching. Why would someone call Jesus “Lord” and then refuse to obey His teachings? Jesus’ true followers not only hear His words, but they act on his words, allowing His message to make a difference in their lives.
The greatest blessing in my life was to come to know Christ personally when I was a child. Then a few years later, as a young person attending a Sunday School Teachers’ convention, I was challenged to yield my life to Christ, for Him to use me as He pleased. This was the turning point in my spiritual life. I am not calling this experience a second type of blessing, but a point to which I had come where God challenged me regarding His Lordship in my life. In Romans 6:13 Paul calls upon all Christians to “yield yourselves to God”. For me it was as if I had suddenly reached boiling point in my spiritual experience. Martin Lloyd-Jones calls this a “high water mark” in one’s spiritual experience. Subsequently, I have continually sought to be “led by the Spirit” (Romans 8:14). I must confess there have been times I have grieved the Holy Spirit, but through His patient work in my life I have been able to continue to call Him my Lord.
In my own experience a life yielded to God has not always been easy, but it has been the most rewarding and joyful that any human can experience. I trust that you have said to Jesus, “I’m willing to give all for you; I’m yielded to you, and day by day I will surrender my life to You.”
- T. Studd, a great English cricketer, who gave up his own ambitions to become a missionary in Africa, said “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
Our sermon this Sunday covers the end of 1 Thessalonians 5, “Faithful is He…”, completing a study by the Elders and myself on this book of the Bible.