31 Days with the Savior: God

Gentle Reader,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” – John 1:1-2 (NKJV)

The first thing that we need to know about Jesus is that He is God. He is not “a” god, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses assert in mistranslating these verses. He is not part of a tritheistic, divisible “head,” as in Mormon teaching. He does not exist in a pantheon from which we can pick and choose. He is not the archangel Michael. He is not a part of the unsound understanding that splits the names “Elohim” and “YHWH” into two entities. He is not the product of God the Father having sex with Mary. He is not the brother of Lucifer, nor is Lucifer His equal. He is not, nor ever was, married. He is not an “enlightened” teacher like Buddha. He is not lesser than Muhammed.

Jesus is God. He is not created. He has no beginning. He has no end.

Defining Jesus as anything other than God is to miss Him completely. He the eternal Son, consubstantial (of the same substance or essence) with the Father and the Spirit. (Note: This one Trinity is not at all the same as believing in three gods. If you are unsure, please do some reading. This article is a good place to start). The Father is one hundred percent God. The Spirit is one hundred percent God. Jesus is one hundred percent God.

Jesus explicitly told us that He is God (see John 5:17-18, John 8:58, John 10, John 14:9, Mark 2:5-7 for just a small sampling). Let us therefore end with this, from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this Man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Grace and peace along the way.

For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.

31 Days with the Savior: Introduction

31 Days Big

Gentle Reader,

Welcome to 31 Days 2014!

For the last few weeks I’ve been trying to come up with a good topic. I thought I might write about organizing, but, to be perfectly honest, my best tip in that area is: Clean up after yourself. I thought I might write about chronic illness, but The Detox Diaries covered that. I thought I might do a series on speaking the truth, but I worried that I’d wind up using this blog to deal with issues rather than go to people directly.

What to do? What to do?

Last Thursday night as I flipped through my Bible, searching for comforting words to share with my husband who just suffered the loss of his grandmother, it hit me.

Jesus.

His words, His actions, His person. All of Scripture is centered around the Lord and expresses His holiness, His majesty. It also expresses His great mercy in redemption. There is no figure in all of history so magnetic. There is none more important.

Starting tomorrow, we will be enjoying 31 days with the Savior. We’ll look at moments both beloved and obscure during His years of earthly ministry. We’ll consider how He has always been, and how He always will be, the True and Righteous King. We’ll look at His role and presence in creation. We’ll look forward to His return.

Let us begin this by loving the Lord, and let us end this by loving Him more.

Grace and peace along the way.

For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.

31 Days of Brave: Closing

Gentle Reader,

How to put a bow on this?

I don’t know when fear became the marker of my life. I don’t know why I chose to buy into those screeching lies. Maybe they were easier to believe than the truth. Maybe I got tired of fighting. I guess the why and the when don’t really matter, difficult as that is for me to type. What matters is that my story doesn’t have to end the way it began.

Neither does yours.

The Enemy wants us to believe that bravery is impossible. The walk with Christ requires courage. We can’t make the choices we need to make, say the things we need to say or believe the things we need to believe without it. Take out courage, take out the person. Satan can’t take our salvation away from us, but he can certainly keep us from walking in victory and freedom.

If we let him.

That, I think, is my big take away. Bravery is all about choice. We forget that we have choices. I’m not usually emotionally demonstrative, but as I’m writing this I’m feeling the lump rise in my throat. The Cross and Resurrection did everything for us, and that everything includes restoring our power to choose. We’re not helpless. We’re not permanently inclined toward selfishness, brutality, fear or whatever else marked us before. Before the forgiveness of the Lord. Before the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

God Himself defines us. And He says that we are brave. He says that we have the power that raised a man from the dead within us (Rom. 8:9-11, Eph. 1:19-20). He says that we are not just conquerors – we are MORE than conquerors (Rom. 8:31-39).

So let’s end with this:

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

- Psalm 27 (NKJV)

Grace and peace along the way.