Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” (Psalm 16:1–2, ESV).
Christians casually, sometimes even flippantly, refer to Jesus as Lord. It’s not without precedent—in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is referred to as Lord 740 times. But what does it really mean to call Him “Lord”? It means Jesus is our ruler, sovereign, owner, master, and sole authority. He is Lord.
Without Jesus as your Lord, you have no good thing. As David expressed in Psalm 16, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” Don’t be deceived by what you think you have—youth is fleeting, wealth is empty, gifts and abilities are ultimately worthless. Without Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, you have no good thing. Surrendering to His lordship is the starting point and purpose for true life.
A popular but terribly misguided notion is that Jesus can be your Savior without being Lord. Perhaps you’ve even thought this way: I’m trusting in Jesus to forgive my sins; later in life I’ll make Him Lord. That thinking is false—nobody makes Jesus Lord. He is Lord. The question is whether you will bow your knee to Him willingly in this life or under compulsion in the next (Philippians 2:10–11). He doesn’t just want to forgive you and escort you to heaven. He wants to live through you and change you on the way.
So what does it mean to experience Jesus Christ as Lord of your life? It means you are yielding to His rule over every area of your life. He is . . .
Lord of your conduct. Jesus wants His desires and His will to rule over your actions, your words and feelings—your very character.
Lord of your relationships. Jesus wants to preside over your dating relationship or how you treat your spouse. He wants to rule over the way you parent. Jesus wants to be Lord over every interaction with business associates. All your relationships should yield to His rule.
Lord of your time. What should you do with your available time? How should you invest your life? If you want to live a life of purpose, you need to be about more than just flipping pages on the calendar. Jesus wants His priorities to be yours.
Lord of your talents. When you become a Christian, you are given some unique gifts; they are supernatural abilities intended to build God’s kingdom. Jesus wants to be Lord of the talents He gave you—whether those are gifts of music, teaching, mercy, helping, etc. Jesus wants to rule over how you invest those gifts in His kingdom.
Lord of your treasure. According to Christ, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Jesus doesn’t care about the cash that’s burning a hole in your wallet. He cares about your money because He knows that until He has what you have, He doesn’t have you. When you surrender all you have to the lordship of Jesus, He gives it back so you can use it for Him. And He wants you to experience the joy in that.
Have you embraced Jesus as Lord? Nothing in your life will ever make sense until this does. If you ever wonder, What is life really about? How shall I invest my life?—here is your answer. Everything flows from this: Jesus Christ as Lord.
God, I echo the psalmist and say, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” Without You I have no good thing. With You I have everything I need. Reveal the fullness of the Lordship of Christ to me. I embrace Him as my Master and submit to the Holy Spirit’s control. Help me see the areas of my life where I am resisting. I give them to You and kneel before Your Son Jesus Christ as my Lord. In His holy name I pray, amen.