EXTOL!  Not only does the Lord Jesus sit at the Father’s right hand; He IS the Father’s right hand.  He is the One by whom God is establishing, right now, order in the midst of chaos, justice in the midst of oppression, righteousness in the midst of rebellion, healing in the midst of suffering, restoration in the midst of disintegration, peace in the midst of conflict, love in the midst of hate. Day after day.  In a million lives.  In a million ways.  In a million places.  As God’s mighty right arm (Isaiah 59), Christ has been given all the resources of Heaven so that He will reign forever.

REJOICE!  Christ is all — all over the place!  Throughout the entire universe He has assumed all authority (Matthew 28; Philippians 2).  Jesus’ reign does not reside in some secluded corner of the universe.  Rather, with finality He purposes, upholds, energizes, preserves and consummates all things in heaven and earth.  All of life, whether for individuals, nations or churches, plays itself out under the impending, direct, unstoppable, and inescapable sovereignty of God’s Son.  His dominion is as deep and wide and extensive as creation itself.  He knows nothing of irreversible defeat.  His is the inexhaustible power for the salvation of all who believe, as well as the restoration of all His creation.

DECLARE! Whatever is essential to the final triumphs of His kingdom, Jesus is quite capable of activating right now.  Though He won’t reveal the full display of His supremacy and His glorious reign before the End, even now He is giving His people foretastes, approximations, foreshadows and previews of that Great Day when we will see the totality of His glory and power in resplendent, wide-open displays of His universal supremacy. At that time, we will discover fully how His reign over us then is inseparable from His reign over us now.

GLORIFY!  At the core of Jesus’ reign today is the work of reconciliation and re-creation.  As a result of His finished work for us — incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension — every obstacle to new beginnings has been removed from heaven’s side.  He is the “Mediator Monarch.”  His primary ongoing activity focuses on reclaiming everything for God’s purposes, from every corner of Creation (Colossians 1).  His Royal Majesty intends to reconcile, repair, renovate, and reconstitute all things that have been devastated by sin and Satan.  For all who seek the favor of the King, He gladly asserts His exclusive authority to forgive sins and make us clean before the Father forever.

SING!  Evil and suffering are not ultimate — Christ is!  Even though life so often seems random — so frequently painful and disabling — there is One who remains fully in charge, working out all things according to the council of His Father’s will.  All forces, good or evil, are being brought under His authority (Ephesians 1).  Our Royal Master is never caught off guard nor is He ever at a loss for what to do.  He always anticipates and outmaneuvers everything the dark schemes of men and demons might dare to throw at Him.

PROCLAIM!  His reign breaks through and transcends every label we Christians might come up with to define Him or contain Him or control Him for our own ends.  Our King is bigger than any one Church denomination, or theological system, or Christian cultural expression.  His kingdom is bigger than all of us put together.  It is a dominion that knows no end.  Under His rule, all believers, without exception, are invited daily into the same throne room together — to embrace Him, surrender to Him, learn from Him, obey Him, and then follow and proclaim Him to the ends of the earth.

CHEER!  Ever since Christ conquered death and ascended on high, He has been gathering the “spoils of war” — a people of His own, for whose sake He won the victory (Ephesians 4).  They have become His loyal subjects, enriched by all His triumphs and then scattered among the nations to proclaim His reign everywhere, even as their numbers increase.

TRUMPET!  His kingdom is not from this world.  Rather, it comes from another place into this world.  His coronation required no earthly pomp and circumstance, but came by way of the cross.  Even so, none of the world’s political platforms, past or present, could ever be broad enough to contain what His kingdom’s agenda is all about. As He responded in the wilderness when Satan offered Him the empires of the world, Jesus still resists every human or demonic plan for success.  More often than not, He chooses to expand His rule through fragile, weak, sinful people like us, who are redeemed by His blood and filled with His Spirit.  Unlike worldly regimes, His kingdom for now is mostly hidden, in the same way believers’ lives also are hidden with Christ in God until His triumphant return (Colossians 3).

MARVEL!  Death and destruction have no place in Christ’s kingdom. The Father’s plan is to eliminate both at the Climax of the age. But even now, Jesus stands opposed to all that brings us despair, affliction and grief.  At every turn, our Lord is there, executing His authority, exalting His name, defending His cause, redeeming His people from their tormenters, and stabilizing them with abounding hope about the final outcome — while He offers to fill them with the same Spirit-infused power that raised Him from the dead.

MAGNIFY!  His scepter is most often extended to and through the poorest of the poor.  His fame is usually not found in corporate boardrooms, or the halls of government or other places of stardom.  But, rather, His fame is seen among the poorest, the weakest, the most childlike, the most yielded and teachable, the most abused and broken, the most overlooked and despised.  He reigns most freely among those who know how much they need Him and say so. His reign brings justice to earth’s broken peoples, as He defends the defenseless, presses justice for the oppressed, and comforts those who mourn.

SHOUT!  In heaven, countless choirs of angelic hosts surround His throne singing about His lordship over them.  How their cherubic raptures must have intensified the moment He ascended before their eyes to put on the crown of victory.  Since then, day after day He is worshipped as the Captain of Heaven’s Armies, revered by ten thousand times ten thousand angels and archangels who wait to do His bidding and carry out His every decree (Revelation 4-5).

EXALT! The relevancy of Christ’s reign is seen by His effectiveness in carrying on the affairs of the universe.  Crowned on high, Jesus in His lordship impacts all dimensions of life in this age: governmental, physical, mental, relational, financial, as well as spiritual.  He fears no rivals, no substitutes, no competition.  He stands alone in the solitude of His sovereignty.  By the increasing subjugation of all things to Himself, Christ is actively restoring the world to all He created it to be.  All things are coming together at His feet for His perfect judgment.

REVEL!  Christ has absolute rights to a dominion that covers the entire world.  His lordship is more than a legal right.  His access to the throne is a legitimate right because it is based on who He already is, both to us and for us.  His incomparably deep sufferings, as much as His inherently divine sovereignty, provide Him the preeminent privilege to rule over us forever.  In other words, the passions of our Christ make His rule irreversible, universal, and eternal.

APPLAUD!  Right now, Christ has taken charge and is fully engaged among the nations.  The Lamb on the throne is no “absentee landlord,” preoccupied with other concerns.  To be sure, much of His authority is mediated, as he uses the peoples and powers of earth, often without their consent, to advance His will in every concern of life.  But one way or another, from His position on high, Jesus invades the ideas and events in every generation.  With Him, there are no public or private spheres.  He continually advances His purposes within every area of life.

 

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