Names of Christ #3–Son of God

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

The second part of the Trinity–Son of God. This name for Christ is a familiar one. It might even be one that you say “well, duh.” However, what does it mean for Jesus to be the Son of God?

To be a son means to have the full benefits of that family. To be a part of those people you call parents. For biological sons, it may even mean having physical characteristics like your father. Our son is tall just like his father, he has a dimple in his chin like his dad, he also has the high forehead his dad has. Many people say he looks like his dad. I, personally, think he is a good combination of both of us. My son’s son, also has similarities to his father. The dimpled chin and the high forehead. When holding up a photo of my son as a baby next to our grandson, oh, boy, is there ever a similarity.

So, how is Christ like His father. What characteristics does He have that the Father in heaven has? How about: holy, all-knowing, all-powerful, righteous, merciful, gracious, kind, judicious, promise keeper, faithful, and just.

Jesus, himself, said to know Him was to know the Father (Matthew 11:27–All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him).

He is the exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:3–The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word).

So, for us to know Jesus Christ, believe in Him with our whole heart, and accept Him as our Lord and Savior means we know God the Father also. Because, Jesus IS God.

John 20:31–But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Here is another song for you to listen to this week and to reflect on Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus Son of God by Chris Tomlin

Those are my thoughts for today.

Week #1–Lamb of God

Week #2–Son of Man

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Names of Christ #2–Son of Man

Jesus Christ used the title “Son of man” for himself. It is used 82x in the New Testament (NIV). Most of the references are found in the Gospels—all four of them actually. It occurs only three times in the New Testament outside the Gospels (Acts 7:56; Rev. 1:13; 14:14). The term points to the humanity and servanthood of Christ, but also reflects Daniel’s (7:13 & 14) vision of the son of man as a coming figure of judgment and authority.

According to the Holman Bible Handbook, Jesus used the title Son of man in four different ways: (1) Jesus was simply referring to himself (Matthew 26:24); (2) the Son of Man is one who exercises divine authority (Matthew 9:6); (3) the Son of man fulfills His earthly mission by death and resurrection (Matthew 12:40, 17:9, 12:23); and (4) the Son of man will return in great glory to establish His kingdom (Matthew 16:27-28, 19:28). In this way, Jesus defined who He, the messianic Son of man, is.

Here are some passages to meditate on when considering our Messiah, the Son of man, Jesus Christ.

Mark 10:45:

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,

and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Here Christ shows us that His greatest act of service was giving His life as the payment for the price of our sin. For us, also, we should desire to serve others above being served.

John 12:23:

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

We may think of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross here. But, His resurrection reveals His glory and his eternal life. By believing in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we, too, can have the same eternal life.

Matthew 9:6:

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.

Here, Jesus has healed a paralyzed man. The teachers of the law accuse Him of blaspheming. But Christ lets them (and us) know that He has the power to forgive and the power to heal. He still has the power to forgive (if we but ask) and the power to heal.

Matthew 24:44:

So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come

at an hour when you do not expect him.

We are not to worry about the exact date or time when Jesus will return, our emphasis should be on being ready, at all times.

Luke 12:8:

I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.

No better reason to be bold in our witness. By our actions and our words, we need to show others Jesus Christ. Because when we do, he tells the angels about us!

John 3:13:

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

Christ came down out of His home in heaven to live among us for a brief time. After His resurrection and 40 more days on earth, He went back to His home to sit at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. Jesus is our only way to heaven. He became the connection between heaven and earth.

Here is a song, an oldie, but fits so well with my Lenten theme of Names of Christ:

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Names of Christ #1–Lamb of God.

Those are my thoughts for today.

2013 Reading Challenge–my non-fiction check-in

Initially for my non-fiction books, I was going to read some classics. There was a list put out in 2000 of the top 100 Christian books of the previous century. I’ve long wanted to wade through that list and that was my intent for 2013.

But, as with most resolutions, I changed my mind. As I was looking at my e-reader and my bookshelves, I realized I had quite a few great non-fiction selections right at my finger tips. No need to go to the public library or our library at church or try to find the book on-line. So, instead of the classics, I am going to read what I already have purchased.

First up is Everything by Mary DeMuth. As I previously stated in my earlier post, I didn’t intend to read both my fiction and non-fiction books in January by the same author. It just happened.

I enjoyed and got a lot more out of Everything than I did The Quarryman’s Wife (my fiction selection).

1400203988rgbDeMuth states her reason for this book: “As I’ve pondered my journey and mined the pathways of Everything Christians—those who learned the secret of giving Him every part of their lives—I’ve realized something–Some folks grow while others stagnate. Why? What causes growthlessness? What, on the other hand, makes people more Jesusy—more like Him? My exploration of the whys behind that kind of radical change forms the framework of this book.” And explores it she does. She looks at three areas of our liveswhere we need to give God Everything in order to live the life He has for us: (1) Head–What we think; (2) Heart–Who we are; (3) Hands–How we live

DeMuth’s basic question throughout the book is “What accounts for maturity, the hallmark of growth? Why do some languish and while others thrive?” And a good question it is. Not only when looking at other believers, but at ourselves, too. Why do we thrive and grow like a weed in our faith sometimes and why during other times are we stagnant like a scummy pond?

DeMuth tells us that what we think about God matters; how we allow Him to reign in our hearts matters; and how we obey Him in the moment matters.

She covers each of the three areas very well. My copy has a lot of highlighting in it–my test of a book that is worth reading and can offer lessons to be learned. It did take me awhile to get through it. Don’t know why, probably life getting in the way, but you might want to allow some time for reading Everything so that you can get the most out of it and take time to digest what DeMuth is teaching.

One of my favorite lines in the book:

We may live ordinary lives, but we are indwelt by an extraordinary God.

I’m participating in the Deliberate Reader’s 2013 reading challenge. I’ve linked up there. If you’d like to join in on the challenge, go here.

Those are my thoughts for today.

Devotions for Lent–The Names of Christ

Today starts Lent. That season in the Christian calendar when we believers in Jesus Christ take 40 days (not counting Sundays) to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. Each week during Lent, I am going to write on one of the names of Jesus. In doing so, I pray that both you and I will gain a deeper appreciation of who our Savior is and will be evermore thankful on Easter Sunday for what he has done for each of us.

This week: The Lamb of God.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29)

Lately, I have been studying the life of Abraham. I’ve done this study before but since it was many years ago, I am gleaning new things from this study. One of those new things is the similarity that can be drawn between Isaac’s sacrifice and the sacrifice made by Jesus. I don’t believe I’ve ever paid attention to that fact. I’ve just always looked at Abraham’s faith and obedience. But Isaac was a dutiful son just like Christ was to God the Father. Both were born after a delay from a promise, both of their names have special meanings, both of their mothers were given the promise of their births along with the fathers, and both of their births brought abundant joy.

In Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to take his son, his only son, whom he loves (v. 2) and to sacrifice him at Mt. Moriah. Just as God the Father gave his Son, his only Son, whom he loves (Matt. 3:17) as a sacrifice for us. In v. 4, Abraham, Isaac, and their servants have traveled for three days to get to the place God told Abraham to go to for the sacrifice. Three days, the same amount of time before Christ’s resurrection. Abraham, too, believed his son would defy death. He told his servants that they would return after their time of worship (v. 5). However, Christ did truly rise from the dead. Isaac at some point died.

Isaac in v. 6 is given the wood for the sacrificial fire to carry by his father. Christ had to carry his own cross of wood to his place of sacrifice. Both of them obeying their fathers; not questioning or backing away. Both being obedient sons and willingly offering themselves because of their confidence in their fathers’ requests.

The similarities end at v. 13. For Isaac, a substitute was provided—a ram. For Jesus, no substitute could be provided because He himself was the substitute. He died in our place, for our sins. Christ died for us because of His love for His father and His love for us.

Jesus Christ IS the Lamb of God. There is no salvation without faith in the Lamb’s sacrifice. When you know and believe in the Lamb, you will follow Him wherever, whenever, however.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)

Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:18-19)

In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12)

Those are my thoughts for today.

Credit needs to be given to Bible Study Fellowship and Pastor Ken Idleman of Crossroads Christian Church, Evansville, IN for providing inspiration in the writing of this blog.

I’ve linked up with Christian Mommy blogger for Fellowship Fridays.

Am I being Terah to my husband?

For 2013, I am trying to be more obedient to God. To make sure I am in His will and doing what He desires for me to do with my life.

Several weeks ago, the senior pastor at our church mentioned something during his message that struck me and has continued to play around in my head. In Genesis 11, it mentions that Terah, the father of Abraham left Ur with Abraham, Sarah, and Lot and went to Harran. Terah died in Harran.

What our pastor said was that he wondered if Terah delayed Abraham’s trip to Canaan. You see in

Genesis 12 we learn that God has called Abraham to leave Ur and go to the land God will show him. Abraham was obedient and left. However, there seems to be a bit of a lay-over in Harran. One that lasted possibly several years.

So, the question is, did Terah cause Abraham to delay his travels because he was ill, because he liked Harran and wanted to stay there, or just something else happened? Then our pastor posed this question to us — who are we being Terah to?

Not only am I to say “yes” to God and be obedient in what He is calling me to do, but I am also not to hinder someone else’s obedience. Wow! That hit me. I certainly hope I am not keeping someone from being obedient.

My first thought was my husband. As a wife, I know that I have some influence with my husband, but am I hindering his call? You see, my husband has a deep desire to help and mentor young engineers in Uganda. He went there two years ago and has wanted to go back ever since. I, on the otherhand, haven’t felt drawn to go to Uganda. Oh, sure, I’d love to go to Africa some day for a vacation. Take a safari, etc. But, I don’t see myself serving there in any kind of capacity. Not like my husband. His service comes out of his business experience and desire to mentor. I’m not a business person, I don’t see what I could possibly do on a business as missions trip to Africa.

So, am I being Terah to my husband? Am I hindering his call from God? I don’t have an answer to those questions yet, but I certainly am seeking the answers. Because if 2013 is my year of obedience, I suspect it is not just my personal obedience but also allowing and encouraging obedience in others, most especially my husband.

Those are my thoughts for today.

Today I am linking up at Fellowship Fridays with Christian Mommy Blogger.

2013 Reading Challenge–February check-in

2013 Reading Challenge Progress

For 2013, my goal was to read one fiction and one non-fiction book each month. For January, I met my goal for one fiction book; however, I am still reading my non-fiction book so will have to write a review of that one later in the month.

I did not intentionally plan to read both my fiction and non-fiction books by the same author, but it just happened. Both of them are by Mary DeMuth, a blogger that I follow. For my fiction read of the month, I read her first novel, The Quarryman’s Wife. For my non-fiction choice, I read her newest submission Everything.

 

I started The Quarryman’s Wife sometime in the fall. At that time, it didn’t keep my attention. After Christmas, when I was trying to find something to read, I ran across this book on my e-reader and decided to give it another try. This is a memoir based on DeMuth’s great-grandmother. Just like the main character, Augusta, DeMuth’s great-grandmother lost her husband and had to raise her children as a widow.

The time-frame for the novel is the depression. The setting is Ohio. However, I found myself losing track of where the family lived and what time period we were in. Now, that might be a good thing, making the novel universal. But, I found it to be distracting as I was constantly trying to remember when and where the characters were placed.

I, also, had a hard time being sympathetic to Augusta. I don’t think DeMuth expressed her grief well enough for me to empathize. I also had a hard time remembering the six children and their birth order. I did like the youngest son John-John. His character seemed to be the most fleshed out. I was also taken with the secondary character of Olya who was from the Ukraine and wanted to get her family here to the United States. I found myself wanting to know more about Olya and her husband (who was hurt in the same quarry accident which killed Augusta’s husband) and hoping her family could come to the U.S.

The novel was a little long for me. I felt like things could have been wrapped up sooner and that all of the side stories with each of the children caused some disconnect with the main story, which was how Augusta was dealing with her grief and trying to raise six children on her own. As I said before, I didn’t find much empathy with her maybe because her story just didn’t seem to be emphasized enough for being the main character.

DeMuth, herself, says on her web site, that she probably won’t write an historical fiction novel again. She has several other novels she has written since The Quarryman’s Wife. I don’t know if I’ll try them or not.

I am enjoying Everything, my non-fiction read and also by DeMuth, so maybe that is her strength.

For February’s fiction book, I am reading Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts. Check back at the beginning of March to see how I like that one (so far, better than The Quarryman’s Wife).

Those are my thoughts for today.

Being obedient to God in 2013

Some people like to pick a word for the year. They pray about it and seek God’s guidance on what that word should be, what they should focus on in their faith walk for the year. I’ve read several blogs this year of women who are doing this. I’ve never done it and have never heard of such a thing.

At first, I balked at it. Seemed like it would tie you down and not give the Holy Spirit room to guide you on things you needed to change throughout the year. Plus, I find myself moving away from things I see as Christian “fads.”

However, God has been driving home “obedience” to me. I don’t know if that should be my WORD for the year, but I do know that He is making it clear to me that I’m not being obedient. In what, I’ve yet to figure out. But, I’m going to make sure I’m not getting in the way of something He is telling me to do.

I’m in Bible Study Fellowship and this year we are studying Genesis. Obedience is all over Genesis. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden by being disobedient. Noah was obedient in building the ark. People were disbursed and given many languages by being disobedient at Babble. Abraham was obedient by leaving Ur and going to a place he did not know. Then he was disobedient by having a child with Hagar. That disobedience is still being felt in the world today!

I certainly do not want to be disobedient to the point of causing future generations to suffer. Plus, by being obedient to God’s call on my life, I reap blessings I might never have received.

So, where have I been obedient this week? I met with our church’s women’s ministry director about starting a group for women who are entering this new phase of life (empty nesting or for me, almost empty nesting). How do we be parents of these young adult kids? How do we handle them wandering away from the Lord? How do we move from not blaming ourselves to realizing their choices are their choices and their consequences are their consequences?

I’ve been thinking about this ministry for some time. God kept bringing it to mind and finally I realized that I was being disobedient by not taking that step of seeing if I could start a group. So, I did. It feels good to be obedient. It is also scary–stepping out and doing something new. I’ve led women’s Bible studies before, but this will be a little different. God is growing me. He’ll need to grow me a lot more!

So, for 2013, I suspect Obedience is going to be my theme. Unless He shows me otherwise.

Those are my thoughts for today

Pray for a personal revival–Blackout Thursday

Blackout Current Prompt

“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.” Psalm 85:6-9

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Diving into life

It’s Five-Minute Friday, where a flash mob of folks spend five minutes all writing on the same topic and then share ‘em over at Lisa-Jo Baker, the gypsy mama. Today’s word: dive. And, here I go, diving in on what “dive” means to me today (sorry, just had to!).

I’m trying to dive in. Trying to make life meaningful. It is a new season of life. Each season comes with changes. With this one (over 50), I want to dive in and try new things. To not let fear or worry consume me as it has in the past. To live life Fully Alive (as Ken Davis says). I don’t believe God wants us to rest or “retire”. I believe He wants us to live our lives fully devoted to Him and serving Him to our full capacities. We need to dive into whatever God desires for us and make sure our lives count each and every moment.

2013 has started and is booming its way into our lives. I, for one, want to make sure my 51st year is filled with exciting adventures, new serving opportunities for the Lord, and growth both mentally and spiritually that I can’t even anticipate right now. So, I’m diving into searching God’s will for me and searching out what new dive I should take.

Those are my thoughts for today.