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Christ The King” Your Heart Enlightened, Nov. 26, 2023

Eph 1:20-23. I’ve had a lot of jobs in my short life.  I started at about 12 years old stocking shelves in the grocery store, so I’ve been working for about 60 years.  Some of you have been working for over 70 years.  That’s a lot of “OJT,” “on the job training.” 

          In high school I had about 7 different part-time and summer jobs.  And in my 9 years of trying to get my four-year college degree I had at least 15 different part-time and full-time jobs. 

          My last two jobs have lasted over 46 years.  I had 20 years as a teacher and now over 26 years as a pastor. 

          So that means I’ve had a lot of bosses.  In some jobs, I had 4 or 5 bosses.  Even now my immediate bosses, or supervisors are

          You All and the Harmonie Church Board of Directors.  One of my main bosses is my wife, Hope.  That is nice, having Hope for a boss, if you know what I mean.

            Many of you have had many jobs and many bosses; many people to answer to.  Some of you have been farmers, so in some ways you were your own boss. 

          If you have owned your own business, you were your own boss.  Each and every boss is different. 

          We have all had good bosses, bad bosses, and ugly bosses.  To do what your boss wants you to do, you have to know your boss.  You have to understand what they are saying and sometimes even read their body language.

          And with some bosses we just don’t care what they want, we are just trying to survive and make a buck.  Some times we just can’t see our true boss.  “Who’s the Boss?” Of course,

          The BIG BOSS is KING JESUS! 

          Who’s the Boss?  As Christians, we need to know that we have one main boss that all the other bosses fall under.  If the sub-bosses orders do not follow what the main boss says, we need to ignore the sub-boss and listen to the BIG BOSS.  We must be able to really see our BIG BOSS for who he really is, not just what we want to see. 

          “Christian” means little Christ.  We are following Christ Jesus, our King and we must really see King Jesus, not the Jesus that we want to see.

          Where do we get to see Jesus and get our marching orders?  That’s right, the Bible; and of course, through the Holy Spirit. 

          Today is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday in the Christian calendar year.  Next Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent and considered the first Sunday in the Christian Calendar.  Today’s scripture lesson from the Apostle Paul can really help us to see and understand our big boss by having

          The eyes’ of our hearts enlightened!!

          On pew Bible p. 976, you will find please hear today’s scripture from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, a sea port place that had a variety of people worshipping all kinds of gods.  Listen for Paul’s understanding of Jesus Christ our BIG BOSS AND THE BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS HE OFFERS US!!!

          Ephesians chapter 1 verse 1 and following.  “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

          Spiritual Blessings in Christ

          3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.  

          In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

          to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

          11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

          Thanksgiving and Prayer

          15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,

          may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

                    My friends, in Ephesians chapter 1, Paul is making the extraordinary claim that God’s plan for the salvation of humanity is carried by the church!!  Jesus is the head of the church!! 

          Who’s the Boss? 

          JESUS CHRIST IS THE BOSS AND WE ARE HIS CHURCH!!  GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT WILL OPEN THE EYES OF OUR HEARTS!!

          Folks, I believe that Jesus is the ultimate politician, but most of us don’t like his politics because it got him hung on the cross. 

          Many earthly politicians have earned a bad name, but Jesus was a politician.  As a politician he was a servant leader; he was a shepherd king; Jesus came to serve not to be served; and a lot of people don’t like those kinds of policies. 

          That is the King we follow.  We must listen to and see King Jesus for who he really is, not just what we want to see.

                    Now the hard part.  Are the eyes of your heart enlightened?  If we realize that Jesus is our King, our loving Shepherd, our Lord, our Risen Savior, our Master, our witnessing Judge, the Incarnate Word of God, and our Big Boss, who did not hesitate to lay down his life for those he loved, what does that mean for us, then we will love Jesus, we will listen to Him, and follow in His lead. 

          Not with a sword like Peter tried to do, not by denying that we are followers of Jesus, but by striving to serve like Jesus has taught us. 

          We follow Jesus by washing each others feet, by loving each other, not by talking behind each others backs, not by talking nasty to each other, not by being greedy, not by holding back out of fear, but by loving Jesus and loving one another.

          In John’s Gospel Jesus tells us that he is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  On pew Bible p. 900, Jesus leads by example, John 13:14, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

          Skipping to verse 34 in chapter 13, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 

          And on to pew Bible 902, John 15:9 and following, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 

          Verse 13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”

                    WHO’S YOUR BOSS?  I don’t know about you, but I’ve made a lot of other bosses king of my life: my jobs, my family, my lifestyle, my friends, others’ expectations and none of those should be king of my life. 

          Only King Jesus should be my King, who commands us to love GOD and love one another.  Ephesians makes the case that our purpose is to praise God’s glory!!  To truly praise God we need to perceive God’s redeeming power of LOVE!!  Jesus is the BIG BOSS!!  Allow God’s Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart.

          What others bosses do you need to get rid of or at least make sure they are sub-bosses to King Jesus.  Let’s come together to serve King Jesus.

                    If we serve Jesus as our King, our loving Shepherd, our Lord, our Risen Savior, our Master, our witnessing Judge, the Incarnate Word of God, and our Big Boss, who did not hesitate to lay down his life for those he loved, then we come together in one accord. 

          If we come together in one accord, the Holy Spirit will be poured over us and the eyes of our hearts enlightened.  We will be anointed by God in this community and we will truly go and grow for King Jesus.  “Jesus who died, now glorified, King of All Kings.

         

          In the name of King Jesus we pray, together we say, “Amen!”

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