In my college years, I remember the following saying among Evangelical Christians, “Jesus is Lord of all or He’s not Lord at all in your life.” Conversely, today, many Christians seem to “order Jesus ‘a la carte’”. In other words, “I want a bit of this and a bit of that, but I am not interested in ‘this other thing’ being a part of my life…it just doesn’t fit well with what I want my life to look like.” Too often we pick and choose “a la carte” who Jesus is in our lives minimizing the instructions defined and explained in the Bible.
There is a powerful, sobering story told in Mark 10:17-22 about a rich young ruler who encountered Jesus. “As He started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” This rich young man built his religion around what he felt in his mind would be enough to get him into heaven. He shopped and ordered Jesus “a la carte”. However, Jesus, looking at him, loving him recognized a heart that was not controlled by Him. Even though this young man was a good man and well respected in this world, he was caught up with riches and status of this world and chose not to surrender himself to Jesus as Lord. “If Jesus is not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all in your life.”
Jesus let His disciples know from the beginning of His ministry that He wanted to be Lord of their lives. He was not to be shopped and ordered “a la carte”. Luke 9:23 was crystal clear, “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.’” If you are going to follow Jesus, He wants to be Lord of your life! Once you do “sell out” to Him, you discover true, abundant life with God living in your heart. John 10:10 is an amazing verse, “The thief (the god of this world, Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
You are called out of this backbiting, contentious world full of conflicted agendas, to live in a community of Jesus and His children. Here is what the life of Jesus looks like, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we become his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10). You exchange your worldly, flesh driven life for abundant life guided by grace and mercy. Please, dear friend, stop shopping and ordering Jesus “a la carte”. Allow Him to be Lord of your life.