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Archive for the ‘Who is Jesus’ Category

You don’t have to like football to recognize the name Tim Tebow. The young man has garnered worldwide attention as a football phenom and outspoken Christian. Born in Makita City in the Philippines to missionary parents Bob and Pam Tebow, Tim is the youngest of five children. Recruited to the University of Florida, Tebow’s fan base erupted. Leading the team to two national titles and snatching the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, the first one to do so in the history of the Heisman, Tim had certainly earned the hype that followed. Drafted to the Denver Broncos and later traded to the New York Jets, Tebow has never shied away from proclaiming his faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He uses the platform God has given him to share the love of Jesus, and for his stand he has been both applauded and criticized. It has been said that the young man is a remarkable role model for our children, but I am certain that Tim Tebow does not want you to follow him. Rather, it is his hope and prayer that you follow the One who forever changed his life: Jesus Christ.

 

You see, while Tim Tebow is a godly young man, a man with character and leadership, it is not him we should be following. It is not him that we or our children should look to as our ultimate role model. It is the One and Only Jesus Christ we should follow and look to for guidance. Philippians 2:5-8 instructs believers: “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death – even to death on a cross.” It is the character of God the Son that we should strive to emulate. The selfless humility and flawless obedience displayed on the cross of Calvary offers for us clear insight and guidance on the lives we must live to bring glory to God. The suffering Christ endured for our salvation is our example. “For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow His steps,” encourages the Apostle Peter in I Peter 2:21.

 

The Father of Lies would want nothing more than to see you follow the enticements of the world instead of following Jesus. Won’t you decide today to be a true follower of Jesus Christ? Make Him your role model, mentor, and guide. He is beckoning you, my sister, to follow Him. Don’t follow Him from a distance. Follow Him so closely that He directs your paths. Say with assurance and conviction that you have decided to follow Jesus. The path we take when we follow Jesus will not be easy. He doesn’t promise that, but He does promise to be with us and to never leave us.

 

I like to imagine myself on a hike with Jesus in the mountains, deep valleys surrounding us and the rushing waters of rambling brooks whispering to me from a distance. The hike will be difficult, that I am sure, but I know that He knows the way. He know the views I will see when I reach the crest of the mountain and He assures me that it is worth it. He continues to encourage me and call out to me, “Follow Me.” I follow Him anxiously, wondering where this trail will take me but confident that what He has for me will be more wonderful than my mind can fathom. I just have to keep my eyes on Him.

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Are you listening? Did you hear me? What did I just say? As a wife and mother of four, I find myself asking these questions often. I give instructions to my children and on many occasions feel as if I am talking to the wind. At times, it seems as if their hearing must surely be impaired. And then, there are the distractions of the world, namely the phones and television, which seem to hamper my communication with my spouse. Perhaps you can relate. If I want him to truly listen or at least assure myself that he is, I will ask if we can simply extinguish the technology for a moment so that I can be heard and actually acknowledged. I, too, find that my listening capabilities could be much improved if I would simply shut down the random thoughts that distract my focus when a friend is sharing a concern or tune out the duties on my list so I can be “all in” when it comes to any conversation whether it be with a family member or friend.

Yes, as imperfect people in a fallen world, we struggle with listening, keeping confidences, and caring wholeheartedly. Nonetheless, there is One who never fails in this arena, or any other for that matter. Jesus always listens. He always keeps confidences. He always cares. In I John 5:14, God’s Word assures us that He hears us: “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” We long in this life to be heard. We want our children to hear us, our spouse, and our friends to hear us. Oh, the joy in knowing that God the Son hears us! We are not talking to the wind when we talk to Him. We are talking to the “Friend who stays closer than a brother” and He listens like no other (Proverbs 18:24). Psalm 69:33 declares, “The Lord listens to the needy.”

There is no greater friend you and I will find than Jesus Christ. In speaking to His disciples in John 15:13-15, Jesus declares, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father.” To think that the Son of the Most High would call me His friend humbles me and awakens me to the truth of His deep love. The people of this world will fail us, our family will fail us, our spouse will fail us, but rest assured, my friend, Jesus never fails you. He listens to you and loves you more than you can fathom. Today, and everyday, may this truth give you hope and may you know that when you cast your cares upon Him, my sister in Christ, He cares for you (I Peter 5:7).

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Today would you like someone to step into the middle of a situation you are experiencing and bring peace, order, clarity and speak with such authority that others listen?  Jesus Christ has that authority and is the only One who can bring that power, clarity and peace into every situation.    

I know I need Jesus to intervene today.  Perhaps you do as well.  Jesus Christ will hold the highest possible position for eternity—that of High Priest.  Jesus Christ is  not only the perfect model I can emulate, but also will never disappoint and never bring a negative unintended consequence in my life because I follow Him.  Jesus Christ is the High Priest that provides leadership, modeling, motivation and consistent integrity in all He says and does. 

In fact, Hebrews 4:14 offers assurance that Jesus is the High Priest that has already entered into heaven and we can hold firmly to His principles.  Hebrews 6:20 reminds that Jesus has already gone before us into every situation, including eternity.  I am most encouraged by the reminder that “But because Jesus lives forever, His priesthood lasts forever.  Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him.  He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:24-25

There is One who not only will lead my life to the very best God has for me, but also will speak with authority into my life God’s truths to grow me into the person I need to be to receive all of the blessings God waits to shower on me.  Jesus Christ is that One.  What peace and security I have because Jesus Christ is in charge.  He waits to welcome me as a Friend, Lead me in the path I should walk, intervene as my Advocate, and speak with authority into my circumstances as my Judge and, most importantly, to intervene in my day to promote peace, stability and security.  You can trust Him today as your High Priest.  Please ask me how if you haven’t met Jesus Christ personally or click on the tab above at the top of this blog page that explains how to begin a relationship with God.

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God, for whom and through whom everything was made,

chose to bring many children into glory.

And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering,

a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.

                                                                        Hebrews 2:10

 John C. Maxwell, world-renowned leader, teacher, pastor and author with more than 60 books published on leadership often acknowledges that the foundational principles he teaches come out of examination of the life of Jesus Christ and God’s Word.   One of those lessons I have had reinforced multiple times from Maxwell’s teachings and God’s word is that no organization, no family, no couple—in fact, no relationship—can succeed if there are two leaders competing for control; two heads makes something abnormal, not able to function properly. 

Ephesians 5:23 reminds us that Jesus Christ is head of His church, and since my body is to be a holy temple, that means Jesus Christ should be the leader and head of this “church”—my life.  Oh, I struggled with that for years!!! I wanted control.  I wanted independence and not to be “told” what to do by another.  This attitude leads to competition in my marriage, rather than partnership and a constant struggle in every relationship. 

How has that attitude worked for me?  Not so well.  Fighting for leadership in my own heart or in relationships with others means I haven’t always chosen God’s best for me, but rather what I thought was best.  Equally, it has meant I haven’t led others well.  After all, I can’t be an effective leader unless I first learn how to follow.  Those I lead must also see that I am willing to submit myself to the mission of another (ladies, this is the definition of submission), and when I fail to submit to Christ’s leadership, I lose credibility in my testimony with others. 

It is easier to identify the leadership of Jesus Christ in writings and to acknowledge my need to submit to that leadership than it is to take the action steps in my heart that will assure Jesus Christ is the leader of my life.  So, today, I acknowledge that struggle and will seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to give me the strength to take the steps to submit and acknowledge with my actions and words that He is the leader of my life. 

How about you?

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Advocate–to speak out in favor and in support of a cause, policy or individual.  

 

One of the names in Scripture for Jesus Christ is advocate.  Reflecting on that name, I am overwhelmed with the memories flashing past of so many times Christ has been my advocate.  Today, as I waited for medical results, He was present with the doctors advocating for my best interest…when I sought God’s mercies for family members, I knew through the power of Christ’s love for me and for them, He too was advocating for mercy and grace.  So many occasions when I needed His advocacy…so many times when I couldn’t speak for myself because of the heaviness in my heart…He was and is always there.

 

Just as when Jesus Christ stood at Lazarus grave and sought God’s mercy on behalf of His friends, Jesus Christ is present to advocate for you and for me.  That doesn’t always mean our prayers will be answered the way we believe they should be, but we can be assured that our prayers will always be answered with God’s best for our lives because Jesus Christ is our Advocate.

 

Micah 6:8 is a clarion call to all of us to be an advocate for those less fortunate, just as Jesus Christ as advocated for us.  May your day overflow with His mercy and grace as you reach out to others to advocate in His love.

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I have been known to be very cynical about our legal system and the justice people experience in the courts. But there is one judge who doesn’t take into account the political system, the dynamics of the relationship he has with those appearing in front of him, or the precedent set by prior courts and decisions.  Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, is not only culturally and politically “blind” but He metes out truly unbiased judgment.  I John 2:1 reminds us that He is the ultimate lawgiver and judge.

Today, whether or not I face the legal system or just my family and friends, I am well aware that I not only need Jesus as my friend, but as my advocate and judge.  He is the One I need to examine the facts in my life and extend grace and mercy–oh, do I need His mercy today.  I need to hear “your sins are forgiven”…a more powerful phrase than “not guilty” or “case dismissed.” We are reminded that God remembers our sin no more and sends them as far as the east is from the west because of the Gift of Grace Jesus Christ gave us on the cross of Calvary.  Even with a not guilty verdict or dismissal, there remains a permanent legal record of the case, but not so when Jesus is my advocate and judge.

This week I want to dialog with you about Jesus my friend who advocates for me and is a far more fair judge than any court in the land.  Please share with me your stories of how you have experienced Jesus advocating for you.

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This past week has been all about Jesus as the picture of hope!

~He is the perfect reflection of God Almighty.  (Hebrews 1:3)

~ Jesus serves as our God-appointed mediator. (I Timothy 2:5,6)

~He is our hope of true glory, not glory as the world defines it but glory as God defines it in fullness of relationship with Him.  (Colossians 1:27 and 2:9)

~Jesus is the hope that brings us confidence for today. (2 Corinthians 3:4-6)

~And today’s blog?  Not only does He give hope for today, but He gives us confidence for our future!

 

“…being confident of this,

that he who began a good work in you

will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 1:6

 

This life on earth isn’t all there is for us. God wants our eternal life to be spent with Him in heaven, enjoying life and relationship with Him.  And so He invites you to let Him begin a “good work in you” through salvation.

 

If you have never placed your trust in Him, if you have never accepted Christ as your God-appointed mediator between you and God, now is a really great time to do it!  It is simply a matter of acknowledging you have sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard of behavior and accepting that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin when He died on the cross.  “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”  (Acts  16:31)

 

If you have already placed your trust in Jesus Christ, but have not been experiencing the hope that He wants you to have because you have been focusing on things other than God, now is a great time to turn around and come back in to His loving arms of hope.

 

We can be confident that the God of all hope who began a good work in us will carry it on throughout eternity!  Thank you, dear God!

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