Anyone who follows the international news is used to hearing members of the British Royal Family referred to by only their first name—such as Prince Charles, Prince William, or Queen Elizabeth. Members of England’s (or any) Royal Family follow the centuries-old tradition of having first names and titles only. But modern conventions demand last names as well. But what is the surname for members of the Royal Family? The surname for the Royal Family has been Windsor since 1917. Queen Elizabeth chose to include a reference to her husband’s ancestry, so her descendants have the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor. However, Prince William and his family could use the name “Cambridge,” since he is the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry could use the name “Sussex,” in accordance to his royal title. The name they choose to use does not change their ancestry, it just exemplifies their role in the monarchy.
“Royal Watching” is perhaps second only to soccer as Britain’s national pastime. There is a widespread fascination with the monarchy and the lifestyle they experience as royalty. Many of us, as children, read fairy tales about dragon-slaying princes and golden-haired princesses who lived happily ever after. To fulfill the royal fantasy for at least some American women, one of the most popular radio and television shows in American broadcast history (1945-1964) was called “Queen for a Day,” where the winning contestant received prizes fit for a queen.
As Christians, we have another Royal Family we look up to. Through our Bible study, we are used to the idea of kingship and monarchies. Indeed, the entire Old Testament, from the time of Saul to the advent of Jesus Christ, is the story of a throne to be filled: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion,” God declared in Psalm 2:6. It was God’s intent that His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, should inherit the throne of Jesus’ forefather, David—a throne to which “every knee should bow” across the face of the earth (Philippians 2:10). Man’s rejection of God’s King did not destroy His authority, however. His throne will be established one day in the future, in the New Jerusalem, and His royal rule will “run down like water . . . like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).
But there is an aspect of God’s royalty with which many Christians are unfamiliar: their own personal royal lineage. You and I may not be in line to inherit the throne of Great Britain, but that doesn’t mean we are not part of a Royal Family. Indeed, our family heritage stretches back much further than the thousand or so years of England’s history (or the history of any other earthly monarchy). Our King, Jesus Christ, is an eternal King—and we have been named as His royal brothers and sisters according to Romans 8:16-17: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
We will not inherit the throne of David—that throne will be filled for all eternity by Christ alone (Acts 2:29-35). But we will, as His spiritual brethren (Romans 8:29), receive a royal inheritance. From all eternity we were chosen to be adopted as God’s children, joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and our designation as joint heirs should have a profound impact on how we think and how we live.
If the lives of earthly royal families are impacted by their historical lineage, how much more should our eternal spiritual lineage impact us—and how much more should we impact others? Through your daily quiet time with the Lord, expand your awareness of your place in God’s royal family and His kingdom—and be motivated to live like the spiritual prince or princess you are!
David Jeremiah is the Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point. For more information, visit the website www.DavidJeremiah.org.
The Benissimo (“I Am Fine”) Mask is uniquely Venetian, for Venice is famous not only for its canals and masks but also for its glassmakers. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the principal center of European glassmaking was the Venetian island of Murano. Great cathedrals across Europe adorn their windows and mosaics with the superb stained glass from Venice.
It isn’t surprising, then, that the stained glass mask was among the most popular on the city’s Grand Canal. People wearing the mask appeared religious when in fact they were perhaps nothing of the kind.
The Benissimo Mask is equally popular among American churchgoers. On the outside, we often give the appearance that all is well. “I’m fine,” we say if asked. “I attend a great church. I have a marvelous family. My job’s great.”
But beneath the mask is a heart that says, “Things are not all right. My marriage is rocky. My kids are drifting. I’m lapsing in hidden areas of my life. I don’t feel close to God. I’m hurting.”
Could you be wearing this mask? Are you giving others the impression you’re doing better than you really are?The Doubter’s Hands
“Doubting” was his nickname. Never mind that prior to his lapse, he volunteered to die with Jesus. Never mind that after his lapse, he took the Gospel to India where, according to our best traditions, he was martyred. We remember him most for his qualms following the Crucifixion, and we call him D. T.—“Doubting Thomas.”
We identify with him. It’s not that we struggle with doubts about the resurrection of Christ. We’re convinced of that. But none of us trusts as we ought. So the Bible gives us Thomas, the forerunner of all who occasionally question; and his story assures us of the patience of our Lord Jesus.
When Jesus spent a final night teaching His disciples in the Upper Room, Thomas broke in with the question they all wanted to ask: “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5) On the day of our Lord’s crucifixion, however, D. T. was nowhere to be seen, nor did he meet with the other disciples three days later amid the flurry of rumors and reports of the Resurrection. We can only assume he was embittered and disillusioned, no longer wanting to associate with the Twelve.The Champion: Blood and Sand
“Blood and sand” has two meanings in history—one negative, the other positive. The sand covering the floor of Roman coliseums was turned red by the blood of men and beasts who fought and died to satisfy the boredom of a populace.
But blood and sand were mingled together on another day in history for a point and purpose elevated far above mankind’s base motives: redemption from the Law instead of death by the Law. The blood of Roman gladiators was poured out on Mediterranean sands as a result of Roman law condemning them to die. But the blood of Jesus was poured out on Judean sands to free the human race from spiritual condemnation by God’s righteous Law.
Throughout history, the world has known countless kings: some noteworthy, but all flawed. That’s the difference between the world’s kings and the King of kings. Dr. David Jeremiah takes a closer look at the kingship of Christ.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah