Last week I shared that some folks are afraid to call on Jesus because they believe He accuses and condemns. Bible verses were selected to explain why that idea is the total opposite of God’s truth. It’s satan who is our accuser and Jesus is the One who saves us.
This week I want to share how having faith in Jesus not only helps us grow closer to Him and receive Him as our savior, but faith also gives us power in the middle of a storm-faith helps us to overcome.
The word gospel originally was defined by the Christian message itself–the truth that Jesus is the son of God, fully human yet fully God, was born on earth by a virgin, spent the last three years of His life on earth sharing who His is with others, and then gave Himself , though faultless, as a sacrifice for all sin so that believers may receive salvation and spend eternity in heaven.
Over time, gospel came to be used for the books in which the story of salvation through Jesus is written: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each of the four gospels are written by a different author, and are originally directed at different audiences. Though the tone and setting of each book differ, their main purpose is clear throughout–to explain in their own style without a doubt the purpose of Jesus on earth.
Thank you, blog readers, for following me into a new year and a new decade! 2019 saw the most hits to the Lift Him Up site since its inception in 2014. I appreciate each and every one of you who choose to spend a few of your precious minutes each week to read my posts. Thank you!
From A to Z, Lift Him Up readers are scattered around the world. A sampling of our site’s daily visitors hail from: Argentina, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Mauritius, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Tanzania, Uruguay and Zimbabwe, just to name a few! There are 170 counted countries that have viewed the words lovingly arranged in these posts, all written specifically to glorify and Lift Up God’s name.
So maybe your year didn’t pan out exactly as you had hoped? Sadly, mine didn’t. I penned a Christian screenplay with high hopes of finding a producer/director who would read it. There definitely is disappointment in my heart as 2019 ends with no readers so far.
I’m allowed to wallow a bit, right? Temporarily of course, because I know there’s something more important in life than an unread manuscript.
The joy of our risen Savior.
I know through Jesus all things are possible. Of course humans can’t see or know what will happen the in future, but we can, however, fully trust that what Jesus did for us in the past on the cross is eternally sufficient.
Are experiencing disappointment, frustration, anxiety, or sadness from 2019? If so, please know God is always with you. And right now–the start of a new year–is the perfect time to turn your pain over to Christ and allow Him into your life.
The word “Christ” comes from christos, a Greek word meaning “anointed.” It is equal to the word mashiach, or Messiah, in Hebrew. Jesus the Christ means Jesus is “the anointed one of God.” To be the anointed One of God, one would have distinct qualities unto oneself. It is only Jesus who possesses the many distinct qualities identifying our Savior, beginning with His virgin birth.
Jesus’ virgin birth took place two thousand years ago, as foretold over seven hundred years prior by the the prophet Isaiah. How very distinct–having a virgin as His mother and prophets foretelling His conception!
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
God isn’t big because He takes up more space than us. God is big because He is more than us. And when we read His word we become blessed with knowledge of His vastness. A vastness so deep and so wide, many writers of the Bible–including prophets, king David, and Moses–have written about God yet I believe they really can’t explain it to us in human terms.
God is so much more than can be explained or understood. Creation, humankind, sin, mercy, and grace are just a few of His immeasurable traits. God is involved in every aspect of life, even in the lives of those who chose not to believe–because God is life!
And not only does God create life, God holds all things together.
Hebrews 1:3a The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
One of Jesus’ closest apostles was John. He was the son of Zebedee and his brother, James, also a member of Jesus’ Twelve. And because John believed, having spent time with Jesus, witnessed His miracles, absorbed His teachings, broke bread with Him, and was filled with the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension, John was zealous to proclaim the truth. And what is the truth?
God came to us in the flesh through Jesus Christ.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The surest way to turn a good day bad, for yourself and for others, is to spew negative words. In truth, if we often speak negativity, it turns into our norm. I know someone in particular whose conversation overflows with negativity. When I know I’ll be around that person, I approach the event mentally prepared.
Negative words and thoughts are not worthless, they do carry power. They trigger bleak emotion, aggressive action, cause pain, and forbid joy to evolve within you. Negativity does not nurture joy.
Matthew 15:10-11 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
Society spends boundless time, energy, and money trying to find “the answer” to living the ever unattainable utopian lifestyle. Social Media, television, and those magazines at the grocery store check-out line all try to suggest what will make our lives complete. Their suggestions usually include:
- Eating healthy foods
- Organizational and time saving tips
- Books on mental health
- Balance family and work
- _________________ (You fill in the blank.)
In truth we need only turn to the One source who created us. Jesus—the source of all we need!
Folks, the time is here. Don’t think it won’t happen to you. Don’t think courts have your back when it comes to protecting freedom to publicly pray. The state of Washington certainly is not protecting high school football coach Joe Kennedy for his action of prayer on the playing field. If anything, the system is all about stripping him of his freedom to pray,—and you may be next!
In a years long ordeal Coach Kennedy, a man with twenty years of military service to our country, has been fighting to preserve his first Amendment right to pray at work.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”