By Pastor Mark Jeske
Third, “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” do all these things who by his life, his obedience, his suffering, death, burial, and resurrection has declared you to be a friend of God. Your needs and requests may be brought to God because he always has time for you, always listens to you, always makes you feel important.
Jesus is the one who brings all your needs there. So as you’re filled with the Spirit and thanking the Father and praying in Jesus’ name, do you see how the Trinity brings the Father, Son, and Spirit’s unique activities and abilities to bear on your life? The Trinity is engaged in your life. All three—Father, Son, and Spirit—love you and are committed to you.
“Thank God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (verse 21). And you might think, “Well, that’s an extraneous thought! What does that have to do with anything?”
I’ll tell you what—it’s not instinctive to submit. We don’t like to submit to anybody. In fact, the very first sin was Eve saying to God, “I don’t like your rules. I don’t trust them. I think you’re cheating me out of something I have a right to. I don’t want to obey. I want to define what’s good for me, and I don’t like you defining for me what’s in my best interest.” You and I reenact that original sin of Eve over and over and over.
Wives don’t want to submit to their husbands. Husbands don’t want to submit to their wives.
Children most certainly do not want to submit to their parents or their teachers. But parents don’t want to submit to the needs of their children either. These are learned behaviors, and they’re inspired by Christ, driven by Christ, and modeled by Christ. Therefore out of reverence for Christ, Paul says, “When you become interested in God’s agenda, you will find serving other people your greater joy, rather than manipulating them for your benefit.”
Submitting to other people means paying attention to them to see what they need, not viewing their needs as annoyances or something that derails your agenda or wastes your time. You were put here to see other people’s needs.
As you’re digesting this sort of unsettling thought, “Me submit to somebody else? Me let go of control?” let me put it out to you that maybe helping the people around you is not a distraction of your life work or an annoyance or a detour. Maybe it is your work—that God finds enormous value in the transaction of you helping somebody else! You’ll never know what others need if you don’t listen . And you’ll never be able to help anybody if you’re not willing to put down your obsession for a minute or two and make that interaction happen.
Why? Because that’s what Jesus did for you, and he invites you to find the joy and satisfaction of being like him. Give glory to your Maker and realize every piece of your body and life was created and given to you as a gift of love. Give glory and praise to the Son, who by his blood has redeemed you, now and forever, and made his home your home. And give praise to the Holy Spirit, who now helps you to know God’s agenda so that your life may be joyful and fruitful according to God’s measurements and you will be an awesome CEO of the company of you.
You know, we use the word Trinity all the time, but it’s an unexplainable concept. We can get the basic gist of it from the Scriptures, but to really understand it is something that’s just beyond us. It’s hard to visualize, isn’t it? How do you visualize God as a spirit? How can something be three and one at the same time? How do you envision God the Holy Spirit? So the best we can do is just let the Bible tell us who God is, how he describes himself and what he’s done, and then just bask in it; just wallow in it . And that’s basically what I’d like to invite you to do as well. Don’t work so hard at trying to understand the Trinity but just appreciate what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do for you to give meaning to your life right now and to give hope for your eternity.
Let’s come before the Holy Trinity in prayer: Father, we thank you for your creative work and the protective work of sending your holy angels to guard us and provide for us. Lord Jesus, we thank you for your grace and mercy. Through you alone we have the forgiveness of our sins and promise of immortality. Holy Spirit, we believe this because of your work. Thank you for the gift of faith and keep us in that faith. In the name of the Holy Trinity, we pray. Amen.
Time of Grace with Pastor Mark Jeske airs locally on these channels:
WDJT CBS Ch. 58, Sundays at 7:30 a.m.
WPXE ION Ch. 55, Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.
WTMJ NBC Ch. 4, Friday night, 1:05 a.m.
Also find Pastor Jeske, Time of Grace, and more resources at timeofgrace.org.
Time of Grace is an international Christian outreach media ministry with the mission to share the gospel through the most effective technology available. Its centerpiece, a weekly 30-minute television program, is broadcast on over 125 over-the-air stations and 6 cable and satellite networks, including the American Forces Network (AFN), that reach across the country and around the world. (For a complete broadcast schedule, visit timeofgrace.org/waystowatch.) Pastor Mark Jeske delivers Bible-based messages that provide the real hope and truth of God’s Word in down-toearth “straight talk.” The ministry’s mobile-compatible website also offers programs via streaming video and audio podcasts, as well as study guides, daily devotions, a prayer wall, and other resources. In addition to television, Time of Grace actively uses the Internet, e-communication, social media, and print publications to do outreach. For more information call 800.661.3311.
St. Marcus Sunday worship schedule each week:
8:00 a.m. Worship
10:30 a.m. Worship
2:00 p.m. Gospel Worship of Hope
5:30 p.m. Sunday Night Worship
St. Marcus Lutheran Church
2215 North Palmer Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212