Assumed Authority


The early Christians grew to understand the meaning of Christ’s resurrection as they experienced the Risen Lord. We seek the Holy Spirit to guide us to new understandings of faith as we hear the recorded Word. Join your hearts with mine in prayer.

Faithful God, now is the time to worship and grow in faith on this day we’ve been given. Let us use this time wisely as our Lord speaks to us from the living Word of God, individually in our hearts, and corporately as your people. We will listen to the reading of Scripture that are spoken, to the music that is played, to the lyrics that are sung, to the voices that speak of joys or sorrows, and most of all we will wait for you to speak to us today. In Christ’s name we pray through the power of your Spirit. Amen.

THE FIRST SCRIPTURE            Psalm 96:1-9           Praise to God Who Comes in Judgment

O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.

Worship the LORD in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

May the Lord bless this Holy Word to our understanding.


A TIME WITH GOD’S CHILDREN#333    “Seek Ye First” (v.1)


SECOND SCRIPTURE READING        Luke 7:1-10  Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, ask

ing him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us."

And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and the slave does it." When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

THE SERMON           “Assumed Authority”

A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.”       –Thomas Paine

As I looked for ideas on our attitude towards authority, I found this quote by Thomas Paine from the Revolutionary War and the time of establishing our nation. On this Memorial Day Weekend, we reflect on those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our Constitution. We remember, men and women who died to preserve our freedoms under the authority of a strong federal government. Memorial Day, a federal holiday, began as Decoration Day to remember those who died in the Civil War, the definitive battle between federal authority and states’ rights.

As discovered that the term Assumed Authority held legal implications, a government or person assumes the authority over another. They take possession without the consent of the previous owner. The British assumed authority over the Patriots igniting the War of Independence. This Assumed Authority stand in contrast to the meaning I intended as I reflected on Luke’s description of Jesus healing the Centurion’s servant.

The Centurion, a soldier with authority of others, assumes Jesus possesses authority with healing power. The Centurion considers himself unworthy to assume authority over Jesus and trusts that Jesus’ authority can heal his servant without actually being physically present. The Centurion possesses a faith in Jesus’ authority to heal even from a distant. He assumes that Jesus can command the spiritual power to bring health and wholeness to his slave. Jesus restores the good health of the slave.

Luke describes Jesus’ amazement at the faith of the Centurion. Remember the number of stories in Scripture, where people brought friends to Jesus to be healed. Their believed that Jesus could heal through his touch. The men who tore open the roof to lower their friend on a mat so Jesus could heal him to walk. Jesus healed the leper and the women with a flow of blood. Jesus assumed the authority of Almighty God to heal the lame, the blind, and the deaf.

I’m always glad to pray with and for those who need healing. I attempt to be present at the hospital within 24 hours of hearing a member is admitted. Please remind family and friends to call me as the hospital staff doesn’t always call, especially over the weekend. I would always rather get two or three calls then not hear until someone is home. I consider it a privilege to share in prayer for healing before someone enters the operating room, even for minor procedures. I realize some of you don’t want anyone to see them in a hospital gown when they don’t feel their best.

Others consider they are imposing on my schedule, to have me drive to the hospital, especially if it’s up in Madison. I tell you the truth; I don’t consider it an imposition. I believe this to be a vital ministry. I always respect the patient’s wish. Some I’m sure believe like the Centurion that the prayer of the faithful is effective, either in the hospital or from afar. We trust the authority of Jesus to provide healing. We believe that the Lord offers wisdom to doctors and extends healing through medicines. God’s authority provides healing. We assume God’s activity continues each and every day.

As we celebrate the accomplishments of our High School graduates and send them out into the world, we trust in the authority of Jesus to go with them. We pray that God will guide them in their decisions. We hope they will assume Jesus will remain active in their life. We expect that Jesus will always be present and protecting them from harm, even when they don’t realize He is near. We confidently assume that if our young people trust the authority of God they will find success in life.

So, I invite you to think about your understanding of Jesus’ authority in your life. We can assume that Jesus will be there and delegate our life to Christ or we can reject any authority but our own. I believe many in our world have chosen the latter. They refuse to submit to Christ’s authority, they assume they can make it on their own power. Unfortunately, we see the effects when society relies on human authority instead of Heavenly authority.

The pervasive lack of interest in our fellow human beings infects our society. We see greed, lust for power, and self-centered attitudes. When we assume Christ to be our Savior and Lord, we seek the interest of our neighbors, and follow God’s commandments. We will be amazed at what Christ can do when we trust that his authority will bring change in us and in our world. Let Christ assume the authoritative role in your life. TGBTG. Amen

  January 2018  
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