Friday, January 30, 2009

#26 Eminent Domain

" are not your have been bought with a price: therefore
glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB

Before becoming a pastor I had a plethora of jobs. Such was even the case
while I was in high school. I could never really find my niche. I tried
grocery work, restaurant work, I worked in a slaughter house and a chicken
house, and that was just high school. When I graduated in 1992 I went into
road construction and eventually worked for a company that drilled holes in
rock and blew it up with explosives. That job was a real bang-ha ha-but it
too left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. I eventually left construction
to work driving a dump truck because I wanted to get my commercial driver's
license (CDL). I did that for a while and still felt like I was not doing
what God wanted me to do. I had a friend from church who offered me the
opportunity to come to work with him as a partner in his land surveying
business. In high school I took three years of drafting and during my
senior year I took a self-study class in computer aided design. Land
surveying was a very interesting business. You might be amazed to discover
that people would and will squabble over where a corner on a piece of
property goes. Yes, 20 feet one way or another would be significant, but I
have seen arguments over moving the pin on the back side of a 1,000 acre
tract 12 inches. We are talking about land that no one used or even saw
once every 20 years. The funniest thing about land arguments is that people
are fighting over something that they do not even own. What do I mean? The
fact is that you really never own your land. The state entity allows you to
pay taxes on it and say that it is yours, but in reality it belongs to the
state by right of eminent domain. Eminent domain says that the state or
federal government has the right to appropriate-which means take by
force-any land that they deem is needed for the greater public good. Sure,
they have to compensate the so-called owners monetarily but even that can
and is often well below what the property holder would like to be paid. So
if you read about a new road project coming through your neck of the woods
please be aware that the state or federal government could choose to take
back their land.

On a more uplifting note, I want to challenge each of you to apply part of
the eminent domain concept to your spiritual life. I want you to consider
or perhaps re-consider the fact that once you come to Christ you are no
longer your own. Paul challenges us to realize that we have been bought by
a price; a price that could only be paid by Jesus. He is the Lamb of God
that takes away the sin of the world. He stands ready, willing, and able to
take away each of our sins if we come to Him with a repentant heart. Yes, I
know most if not all of you realize that, but do we fully recognize that
when we come to Christ He becomes the new owner of us? Christ then has
eminent domain over each of us so to speak. Yes, He still allows us to make
choices because He does not expect us to be automatons and to just cease to
think. But when we consider those choices we should each stop and ask,
"Lord, how can I make this decision in a way that honors You?" I believe
that when we do that we will come a little closer to realizing that it must
be Jesus that is in control of our lives. How is the greater public good
served when we do this? Great question, I am glad that you asked me! The
greater public good is served because when we let Jesus have control we will
set aside our selfish desires and we will be much more intently focused on
our Father's business and much less focused on trying to keep up with the
trends of this world that seek only to trap us into thinking that we need
this or that. What we really need is to be fully surrendered to Jesus in
every aspect of our lives. We need to let Him take full ownership. We need
to respect and honor His right to eminent domain over those whom He has
purchased with His precious blood. Surely when He was on the cross, we were
on His mind.

Dear Father God,
Please help us to have a deeper recognition of the fact that we need You
desperately. Please help us to more fully understand that when we accept
Jesus as Savior that He must also be allowed to become Lord. We must allow
Him to take possession of that which He has purchased with His own blood and
we need You to give us the courage to let Him have full control. Help us
Father to glorify you in our bodies. In what we eat, what we say, what we
do, what we wear, what we take into our minds, and in every function of our
lives. We long to be connected with You and we long for the day when Jesus
will come to take us to heaven. Help us prepare for that day now in this
moment. I pray in Jesus holy name, Amen.

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