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Chapel Talk (see endnote)–

“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

‘Jesus is the Lord . . . ‘

It’s old news to you who saw it on the news last week, when a brawny cab driver reported how he outmaneuvered a would-be armed robber in his cab. “When he stuck the gun to my head,” he said, “I just told him: ‘Jesus is the Lord of this cab, and if you don’t put that gun down, you’re going to jail.'”

When the guy did not put the gun down, the cabbie repeated: “Jesus is the Lord here, so you’re the one in trouble!” That went on until the cabbie wore down the crook, who reportedly finally agreed: “I know that Jesus is the lord.” (I think the crook has since been arrested.)

Then the newsanchor cautioned the viewers: “That’s not the way to cope with a guy who puts a gun in your face.” In other words: “Kids, do NOT try that trick at home.”

And that leaves me torn between being thrilled and being appalled.

I am thrilled to think that there are still people who feel so secure about their place in this planet under the Lordship of Jesus that they have no fear what men can do unto them. It summons up images of the early Christian martyrs who faced death, yet confessed: “Jesus is the Lord of my life, and into His hands I commend myself, my body and life.” It reminds one of the courage of Luther and other reformers who–when not only their positions and social security were on the line, but their lives were in grave danger–were nonetheless able to stand up to the powerful Roman Catholic Papacy and confess: “Jesus is the Lord of the Church of redeemed souls, and to Him alone we yield in obedience.”

If the afore-mentioned story was not a media event, but genuinely a work of God, that cabbie was simply living his conviction. Perhaps in the hearts of that cabbie the miracle had been worked: “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

That’s the thrilling part. We rejoice that our foreign missionaires in hostile societies are doing that every day: relying on Jesus to get them through each day’s dangers. They must hold onto that and say it, at least to themselves, time and again: “Jesus is the Lord of my life; I will not fear what men can do unto me.” Perhaps today our missionaries in Nigeria and India are saying that very thing. And Jesus will get them through whatever they must bear for His sake. Praise the Lord!

Now what distresses me is that on TV it is so easy to exploit such a situation for TV ratings. Thus Satan can use the media to trivialize even such a good confession as: “Jesus is the Lord where I live and work.”

Even more annoying was the newsanchor’s condescending comment: “This is not something you should try at home,” as though it were a superstitious trick. On the contrary. This is indeed that a Christian should be doing at home and at work!

When is it too dangerous to assert that ‘Jesus is the Lord of my life’? If you were faced with what that cabbie faced, wouldn’t you be saying it in your heart: “Lord Jesus, I do not know how I am going to handle this, so I commit myself, my body and life and all things to YOU to handle for me”?

And just maybe you couldn’t keep from saying it out loud: “Jesus is the Lord of my life, and I’ve got to talk to you about where you stand today in God’s sight.” — That’s too important to NOT do with a stranger or with an acquaintance.

And even with yourself. It is essential that you can say it and mean it: “Jesus is the Lord of my life.”

The gun put to your head today will not be as obvious as the confrontation the cabbie faced. But the world has its big guns trained on the Christian. Perhaps it is the Hubble telescope’s awesome photos displayed in Time magzine that will try to blow you away from believing that there IS a God in heaven who minds your destiny. Or maybe the artillery of the secular humanist mindset will fire upon your soul to get you to retreat from God your Father. Or the gun will be in your own hand if you are playing Russian roulette with your favorite fascinating sin. Or shallow moralism will shoot you down from the citadel of Biblical Christian theology held by your pastor and your church and still held by you.

In other words, the cabbie episode smacks of TV drama. While your and my confrontations with evil will be less dramatic, they are fully as dangerous. You’ll have to recognize your moment of crisis and gather your resources to say it and mean it: “Jesus is the Lord here in my heart and life; where I live and work I am in His care and under His guidance.” Amen.


Note: in perusing Spokesman files, we came upon this ILC chapel devotion of Prof. em. Paul Koch.

It becomes clear that the devotion was delivered to the students before the rash of school shootings in the nation; and in particular before the Columbine disaster where apparently at least one of the victims, upon being questioned by a gunman, openly confessed faith in Jesus Christ.

Had the school shootings preceded this message, parts of it may have been stated a bit differently. Yet the poignancy of the content would hardly have changed. — Editor