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Jesus Is the Subject

Jesus Is the Subject

Last Sunday I was in Orlando, Florida, for the last day of a five-day Church of God Convention.

The theme of the Church of God is Jesus Is the Subject. During the convention, there was an impressive reminder of the truth of that statement - a truth for all people, not only in this country, but around the world. The reminder came in the wide variety of people who attended. They included a range of age and race and both men and women. They included a range of responsibilities, from pastors to laypeople, from national leaders to office staff, from missionaries in one spot to directors of continents, from those seen and known by thousands to maybe just one or two people. They included people from many of this nation’s 50 states and from many other nations around the world, including Canada, Honduras, Malawi and Uganda, Russia, Japan, France, India and Pakistan. Those last two nations are enemies, yet ministers from there attended in peace.

Jesus Is the Subject. Our work must always be with Him in mind. It must always be done to help others and ourselves to know Jesus, accept Him, learn about and from Him, and obey Him. That is our hope. That is the only hope for the world. The only way to have hope now and for all eternity in Heaven.

How do we know Jesus is worthy of being the subject? One way we know is through the promises He offers.

There are many, many promises throughout the Bible. There are four that will be considered in this message.

The first one is Jesus promises His forgiveness. For that, let’s think about I John 1:9.

In the verses right before and after I John 1:9, it is stated very clearly that we have all sinned at least at some time in our lives. Verse 8 teaches that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Verse 10 teaches that if we say we have not sinned, we make Jesus a liar.

We know sin separates us from God, which means we all should be lost spiritually. Which we are until we do what is stated in verse 9.

“If we confess our sins…” That makes this first promise conditional. We have to take the step of confessing our sins - admitting them and being so saddened by them we will promise, with the Lord’s help, to never do them again. We must take that step.

But here is the promise. When “we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.” The benefit of that is restoring us to be in a good, right relationship with God.

And the forgiveness will include Him “cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” That cleansing is what makes it possible for us not only turn away, but then stay away from sins.

Forgiveness of sins. Can we comprehend what a wonderful gift that is? The gift of being restored now, so that we can receive God’s blessings now, and in the future, so when our time on earth is done, we will be with Him forever in Heaven.

We can also rejoice at how complete the Lord’s forgiveness is. That is described in Psalm 103:12. The Psalmist David wrote that “as far as the east is from the west, that is how far the LORD removes our transgressions” - our sins - from us.

Do we understand the significance of that? The wording is not as far as the north is from the south because if we take off straight north, when we reach the North Pole, we will start going south, meaning we will meet the south. Then when we reach the South Pole, we will meet the north. But if we head east, we will never start going west. And if we start out to the west, we will never head east.

What a wonderful promise forgiveness of sins is. It is a gift we all have needed. If you have not yet accepted Jesus, you still do need that gift. Forgiveness has been or will be given to any and all who confess their sins to the Lord. Doing that confessing lets the Lord know you are ready to receive that promise of His.

Say it with me. Jesus is the subject. The promise of forgiveness of our sins makes Him worthy of being the subject of our lives.

Another promise is the Lord’s continual presence. For this, Hebrews 13:5, which begins with the reminder this is another conditional promise. “Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have for,” Jesus said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.”

A quick reminder that the Bible does not teach against money. There is nothing inherently wrong with having money. The problem is loving money. Wanting it more than wanting a good relationship with God. Making money the focus of all or most of what you do, I can extend to doing things contrary to the teachings of the Lord if doing so is necessary to get more money.

We are to stay away from the love of money, which means we are to be content with what we have, which similarly does not teach that getting a raise or a better-paying job or a bigger Social Security check is bad. It is just that our focus is to be on the Lord, trusting Him to take care of our needs.

The promise is that when we choose to rely on the Lord rather than on money, He will honor us by not failing us or forsaking us.

The world is so uncertain.There are so many things that can at least threaten our sense of security. How important that no matter what, we can have Jesus Himself with us. What a stabilizing force that should be. And all that is required is to rely on Him, which includes accepting Him as the Savior.

And yes, that does extend to every situation. Including one addressed in Psalm 23:4. This is another Psalm of David. As it is worded in the King James Version, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” That speaks of all kinds of problems. All sorts of dangers, including physical ones. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Why? “For Thou, O LORD, art with me.” The LORD’s presence includes His rod and His staff, which refer to beating off enemies, including spiritual ones, and having something by which we can be lifted onto proper paths if we happen go get off them. The LORD’s “rod and staff, they comfort me.”

Say it with me. Jesus is the subject. The promise of His presence makes Him worthy of being the subject of our lives.

Another promise is hope, expressed this way in Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace.” Joy is happiness. Christian joy is happiness based on knowing the Lord will help all the time in every circumstance, pleasant or difficult. Peace in this context refers to an acceptance of whatever happens. Not a morbid, defeated acceptance in bad times, but confidence that we can thrive at all times, again knowing the Lord is available to help.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” That is a reminder that Christian joy and Christian peace are possible only through believing in Jesus. Interestingly, that also makes this promise conditional. The condition is to believe in Jesus. But when we have joy and peace because we believe, the rest of the verse states that “by the power of the Holy Spirit we will abound in hope,” including hope that the Lord does forgive those who their sins, hope that the Lord will continue to be present with us, hope that no matter what, He loves us and cares for us and will help us celebrate our good times and get us through our difficult times.

Such hope is also spoken about in the Old Testament, including to the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. Plans for welfare [plans to prosper you[ and not to harm you [not for evil].” Why? “To give you a future and a hope.”

For all time, the Lord has been interested in His people having hope. It is a gift promised to all who believe in Him.

Say it with me. Jesus is the subject. His promise of hope makes Him worthy of being the subject of our lives.

Then the promise of a future of forever being in His presence. That most certainly includes being in the Lord’s presence as long as our lives here on earth continue, but how wonderful to know that being in His presence will not, for those who accept Him, which also makes this a conditional promise, end at our physical deaths. It will continue for all eternity in Heaven.

One place that promise is found is I Thessalonians 4:17, which speaks of the return of Jesus. His second coming.

In verse 16 is the promise of the Lord “descending from Heaven.” He will “come with a cry of command. The trumpet of God will be sounding. The dead in Christ will rise.” Then verse 17. “Then those who are alive shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord.” The promise is that we - those who believe in Jesus - those who are Christians - shall always be with the Lord.

Let’s return to Psalm 23. Earlier we talked about verse 4 of that Psalm addressing the topic of the LORD’s continual presence here. Even in the valley of death, the LORD will help us with His rod and staff. 

Now verse 6, which begins with a repeat of the promise of having the LORD’s presence while we live. David wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” It ends with the promise of having the LORD’s presence even after that. “And I [again, this is a promise for those who are Christians so make sure you have accepted Jesus and if you have not, please do so] will dwell in the house of the LORD [which is Heaven] forever.”

Say it with me. Jesus is the subject. The promise of forgiveness of our sins makes Him worthy of being the subject of our lives. The promise of His continual presence here makes Him worthy of being the subject of our lives. His promise of hope makes Him worthy of being the subject of our lives. The promise of a future of forever being in His presence makes Him worthy of being the subject of our lives.

One more time, say it. Jesus is the subject.

As mentioned earlier, He is the subject, not just for us, but for all who accept Him around the world. Including prominent people and normal people like me, pastors and laypeople, national leaders and office staff, those whose Christian service is seen by thousands and those who affect only one or two people at a time. May we always remember that Jesus is and deserves to be the subject. Let’s keep Him the main subject in our lives.

The closing song for today is ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. Let’s change the words a bit, making this a statement to Jesus. Verses 1, 3, and 4.

’Tis so sweet to trust You, Jesus,

Just to take You at Your word;

Just to rest upon You promise;

Just to know, Thus saith You, Lord.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You,

How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er,

Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!

  O for grace to trust You more.


Yes, ’tis sweet to trust You, Jesus,

And from sin and self to cease;

Just from You simply taking

Life, and rest, and joy, and peace.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You,

How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er,

Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!

  O for grace to trust You more.


I’m so glad I learned to trust You,

Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;

And I know that Thou art with me,

Will be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You,

How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er,

Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!

  O for grace to trust You more.

Jesus, You need to be the subject of our lives. You prove that by Your promises, including forgiveness, Your Presence, hope, and Heaven. Thank You, too, that Your promises are known not only here. They are known around the world. Help us to proclaim Your promises, thereby proving that You are and will remain the subject of our lives. Amen.



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