The Empty Throne

There’s a throne in the city of Havana, in the building known as the Palace of the “Capitanes Generales,” which housed the governors of Cuba during Spanish rule. The throne was built in the 18th century in preparation for a visit from the Spanish royalty. However, no Spanish monarch visited Cuba until 1999, about 100 years after the Cubans won their independence.

At that time, when King Juan Carlos visited Cuba, there was much speculation as to whether he would sit on the throne or not. But when Fidel Castro invited the Spaniard to sit in the place of honor, the king declined the offer. There was no point in trying to make up for the past.

When I looked at the throne and heard the story, I couldn’t help thinking about gestures, symbols, and empty titles. Spain once ruled Cuba, but that time had past. Now, Cubans could call him king and offer him a throne, but it wouldn’t really mean anything. Nothing would change.

In the same way, some of us call Jesus “Lord” and claim to offer Him the throne of our hearts… but nothing changes. We go on living as we did before.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

That was the question Jesus asked. Then He went on to make a striking comparison:

“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:47–49)

If I take Jesus’ words and apply them to my life, then He will really be my Lord. And my life will be built on a solid foundation. But if I listen to the words without taking them to heart, Jesus won’t be my Lord, no matter what my lips might say. And my life will be headed for ruin.

Make Jesus the Lord of your life. Learn His teachings. Put them into practice.

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