I don’t know what I was thinking when I joined my students to go whitewater rafting. We chose the adventure package, even though none of us knew how to swim. About 20 minutes into the fun, I suddenly found myself in the rapid water, being pulled under and fighting for dear life. Thankfully, a lifeguard came to my rescue and pulled me out of the water. He saved my life.
It reminded me of an event when I was seven years old. I invited Jesus into my heart to be my Savior and Lord. What does it mean to have Jesus as Savior and Lord? The names Savior and Lord are often thought to have similar meaning among Christians, but there is a difference.
Why do we need a Savior?
Let’s look at the difference between Savior and Lord.
Savior– means Redeemer, Rescuer, Protector, and Deliverer. It refers to what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross to save us from our sins and give us eternal life. This gift of salvation was motivated by love.
My drowning experience in the rapids is a good example to illustrate why we need a savior. Had the lifeguard not saved me, I may have drowned and died. Without a savior, we would all drown and die in our sins.
Perhaps you are thinking, I have no sins. As Adam’s offspring, we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Furthermore, Paul reminds us that no one is righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10-12). Hence, we need a Savior.
Jesus is our Savior. He rescued us from sin, shame, and death when he laid down his life for your life and my life. Through this act, he gave us his precious gift of salvation and abundant life. We are saved when we accept this gift (John 3:16).
Greater Love has no one than this that he laid down his life for his friends (John 15:13)
Have you accepted the gift of Salvation?
Lord– means Ruler, Authority over another, In control, and Master. This refers to our position and response to being saved. We cannot fully enjoy the benefits of salvation without recognizing his position over us as Lord.
Salvation is only one part of the equation. Accepting him as Lord means we see Jesus as the supreme master and give him access to every area of our lives. For example, the Centurion accepted that Jesus was superior and even called him Lord (Luke 7:4-9).
How have I encountered Jesus as Savior and Lord?
I am grateful that Jesus became my Savior when I was 7 years old. Having Jesus as Lord of my life has meant giving him total access. This has been a lifelong process that is renewed day by day. It requires me to be intentional to pursue a personal relationship with him.
As I give him access to my heart and life, he continues to reveal areas I still need to surrender. For a long time, he and I worked on forgiveness and letting go of selfishness and bitterness. I am a work in progress in this area.
- As Lord, it is a privilege to talk with him daily and ask him for help. I see his blessings in my life and see him in everything.
- As Lord, he is my GPS. I go to him for direction and daily guidance. He provides guidance often in the form of gentle nudges in the spirit. He is available 24/7.
- Jesus, as Lord provides me with experiences that help me to be compassionate.
- He helps me navigate the mountains and valleys of life.
- As Lord, he helps me to understand his word better and apply it.
Embracing Jesus as Savior and Lord will change our understanding of who He is and influence the way we live.
How have you experienced Jesus as Savior and Lord? Share in the comments below.
This is the second post in our series on Encountering God by Name. Next week is Jehovah Jireh.