Return and Submit to Authority


Genesis 16:9 states that the angel of the Lord (pre-incarnate Christ) told Hagar, who was running away from her mistress, Sarai, to return and submit to the authority of Sarai (under her hands). Interestingly, just before the angel of the Lord commanded Hagar to return and submit, he had asked Hagar, where she was going? Hagar had not responded to this question and irrespective of where she was set out to go, the angel of the Lord, answered this question for her.

Herein is a lesson, we all ought to learn, which is about returning and submitting to authority – authority that God has ordained over us, on one hand, but more importantly, to the ultimate authority over all – the authority of God (2 Chronicles 20:6; Psalm 47:8).

Points to ponder:
Jesus is the ultimate authority over all (1 Corinthians 15:27) for God has put everything under Jesus’ feet and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church (Ephesians 1:22). While it is important and necessary for us to submit to governing authorities that God has allowed over us (Romans 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13), it is even more important for us to return and submit to the authority of God, of Jesus Christ, the ruler over all. Jesus laid the best example for us to follow, for he submitted to the authority of God by declaring that “Into (or you can say under) God’s hands, he commended his Spirit” (Luke 23:46). Let us return and submit to the authority – the Ultimate Authority – Jesus Christ.

If God was to ask us today, where are you going? Let our answer and action be, “Returning to Submit to God’s authority.” Let us be able to truly say, “Lord God, Into your hands, I commend my all – heart, soul, strength, and mind”

Genesis 16:9 (KJV)
And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 7th saying from the Cross


This is the 7th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Seven: “Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit.
The Cross verb today is “commend”.

To “commend” is to entrust or to give in charge of and here we see that Jesus commended his spirit to God willingly, trusting God to be in charge of his spirit, after the life he had lived on earth in human form, would ebb away, so that God would resurrect him from his death.

Points to ponder:
The Cross verb “commend” calls us to action – to entrust God with the spirit, the Holy Spirit that God has given to all who believe, so that the Spirit is always victorious over the flesh. We need to commit the spiritual things to God first so that the physical things can be taken care of, for we are commanded to seek God’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). We are called to “commend” as Jesus commended, trusting God to keep us alive, even if life on earth as we know it now, ebbs away. Are you and I a commender?

Prayer: God, let me always remember and recognize that the spiritual things matter more than the physical and I commend my spirit that you have earnestly deposited in me, for I have believed in your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, I give you charge over all aspects of my life, both spiritual and physical … you take and be in control. Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit.  

Luke 23:46 (KJV)
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 6th saying from the Cross


This is the 6th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Six: “It is finished.
The Cross verb today is “finish”.

Jesus’ word, “Tetelastai” which is to mean, “It is finished”, affirmed that the work that God has sent him to do, which was to reconcile mankind with God, was complete. There was nothing else left to be done. He finished the work so that we do not have to.

Points to ponder:
The Cross verb “finish” calls us to action – to first fix our eyes if Jesus and to stay on the course of our faith, keeping it and finishing the race, setting aside any weight that encumbers and pull us down and any sin that besets us.  Jesus finished the act of reconciling God with man and is the author and finisher of our faith. We can finish the work that God has given us to do which is to share the gospel of Christ, who saves all who believe in him, by grace, through faith in him, because Christ Jesus is a finisher. We are called to “finish” for it is only the finisher (and not the quitter) that receives the praise and the victor’s crown. Are you and I a finisher?

Prayer: Lord, let me not be a quitter, but let me be like you – being able to finally proclaim, “I have fought a good fight (as you did bearing our Cross), I have finished the course (as you boldly proclaimed – It is finished) and I have kept the faith (as you have demonstrated, how great your faithfulness is, in accepting us, an adulterous people).”  Lord Jesus, I thank you, that you who began the good work in me, would complete it, and I pray that you be with me (as you have promised) and help me be a finisher. 

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 5th saying from the Cross


This is the 5th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Five: “I thirst.
The Cross verb today is “thirst”.

It is no surprise that Jesus physically thirsted after all the agony of torture and the crucifixion that he had endured, but we must be careful to not merely overlook this as just an expression. The Bible records that Jesus expressed his thirst as a way to show that all scripture (prophecy) had to be fulfilled (John 19:28). Jesus’ thirst was to fulfill God’s will in his life. Furthermore, isn’t it ironic to notice, that the one from whom could flow the living waters was now needing to be quenched? The Bible records the Holy Spirit of God to be the living waters that flow from the one who believes in Jesus (John 7:38-39). When Jesus became sin on the Cross (2 Corinthians 5:21), the Holy Spirit of God, that had descended upon him in his baptism, could no longer reside with Christ, for what communion can holiness (righteousness) have with sin (unrighteousness), or light with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). So in a spiritual sense, it is extremely likely that Jesus thirsted for the companionship and comfort of the Holy Spirit of God, when he was God forsaken – Father and Holy Spirit forsaken.

Points to ponder:
The Cross verb “thirst” calls us to action – to thirst to fulfill the will and purpose of God, in the physical elements of our life, but more importantly, it is imperative for us to always have a thirst for the Holy Spirit of God. When we sin, God’s Spirit cannot indwell in our lives (1 Samuel 16:14) and our lives can be deemed Ichabod (1 Samuel 4:21). So like David, we need to repent and thirst for a clean heart and God’s right(eous) Spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).
Jesus thirsted so we can thirst. God’s thirst calls for us to thirst. Are you thirsty?

Prayer: Lord, because of my sin, do not forsake  me Lord, for your love is unfailing, your grace indescribable and your mercy unending and enduring. Let me thirst, not just physically, but let me thirst to be renewed by Holy Spirit, so that you are my companionship and comfort constantly.  Lord, let me thirst … as the deer pants for water 

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 4th saying from the Cross


This is the 4th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Four: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
The Cross verbs today is “forsaken”.

Jesus was forsaken by God his father, so that God would not have to forsake us, his children. What is equally important for us to recognize is that Jesus willingly forsook all his glory in heaven for us on earth (Philippians 2:5-8)

Points to ponder:
God was forsaken by God so that he would not have to forsake us (man). Jesus forsook his heavenly glory of much worth for the us, who are fashioned out of the dust of this world.
The Cross verb “forsaken” calls us to action – to forsake the ephemeral and earthly things of this world for the eternal glory that is in the heavens.

Prayer: Eloi Eloi, we thank you for not forsaking us and pray that we have the mind as that of Christ Jesus, one which forsakes. Help us to forsake the worthless things of the world for the glory in the heavens. Lord, let us forsake. 

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 3rd saying from the Cross


This is the 3rd post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Three: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
The Cross verbs today is “behold”.

To behold is to look or to see.  What is interesting to note, is that Jesus first beheld (saw) his mother and the disciple, whom he loved and then asked his mother to behold her son (the disciple) and the disciple to behold his mother.

Points to ponder:
Jesus looks at us first and then he wants us to look around and see familial relationships that need to be established.
The Cross verb “behold” calls us to action – to behold Christ Jesus first and to behold relationships around us that we need to embrace – relationships of a family. Are we beholding or turning a blind eye, when we ought to look?

Prayer: Lord, let us fix our eyes on you as you have fixed yours on us and let us behold and see the relationship of a family that needs to be established as you have adopted us into yours. Let us behold!

John 19:26-27 (KJV)
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 2nd saying from the Cross


This is the 2nd post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Two: Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
The Cross verbs today is “say” and “be with”.

He “said” words of assurance to a sinner who recognized him as Lord and King, so that we can say “true words of assurance” pointing others to where Jesus is, which is paradise.
He assured the sinner who recognized him as Lord and King of “being with” him in his presence, so that we as sinner who recognize Jesus as Lord and King, can also be assured access into God’s presence, so that we can “be with” him, as well.

Points to ponder:
Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68) and he has commanded us to go and teach (say to) all nations, of his blessed assurance. Are you with him, and are his words of eternal life, in you (John 15:7)? Are you abiding in him for without him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
The Cross verbs “said” and “be with” calls us to action – to say of his sacrifice (Saviorship) and Sovereignty, so that all who believe in him, as Savior and Lord, can be with him, as he most assuredly promised.

Prayer:Let your words remain in me, I pray; and these words of eternal life, let me say – say to all who are not with you, so that they may be with you!

Luke 23:43 (KJV)
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

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