The letter J is a tough one.

God is Jealous! God is Just. God is Jolly? So there are not as many J words to choose from as there are for other letters. But even when I decided on this word, there was still a doubt in the back of my mind. Jealous and Just were both the leaders for a while. In fact, the word I am blogging about here almost did not even make the list. Why?

There was simply too much information about Jesus.

Yep. Jesus.

The Word Jesus

The Worth – There have been thousands of books written about Jesus. In my life alone, I’ve heard hundreds or even thousands of sermons about him. Millions, perhaps billions of conversations have revolved around Jesus.

What am I going to add in two minutes? Not sure but here goes!

In John 8:58, Jesus says this confounding statement, “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” NIV, Underline is mine. 

Here is a link to the whole chapter for more context.  John 8

These are the thoughts about Jesus that I gather from that passage.

 

  • The Creating Jesus was at the beginning of the world. The Old Testament contains numerous verses about this Jesus.
  • The Crucified Jesus is illuminated in the New Testament specifically Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He died and was then risen from the grave.
  • The Current Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us right now. See John 14.
  • The Conquering Jesus is found in Revelation. When He returns, watch out bad guys! There will be a great battle but Jesus will be victorious!

God can be misunderstood. He can be unclear to us. We don’t always agree on what God is, does, or looks like.

So in order for us to have a better picture, God gave us Himself…

…in the form of Jesus. And He was born as a baby. That way we could completely identify and understand who Jesus is.

If we understand Jesus, then we can understand God.

God is Jesus. Jesus is God. I like how it is stated in Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…”

The Work – Action must be taken now that we know God gave us His son. Jesus died for us. We must choose Him or deny Him. Access to our hearts can be granted or denied. Remaining neutral is not an option. If I am not choosing to grow and move forward in Jesus, then I am declining or going backwards.

When I started writing this, I was not sure how it was going to end. Apparently, I have brought a challenge to all who read this blog. I myself am included in said challenge.

Let the timeless Jesus whom I have briefly described overtake your heart and mind. Allow Him to soak into your dry soul. Give Him the key to every closet in your life.

You will never regret opening your heart to Him.


Thanks for two minutes of your time. See you soon for the letter K.

 

 

It is finished…?

When I was growing up, Saturday mornings were not structured. Sleeping late was common. I never really worked early on Saturdays so the mornings were free.

Many times that my dad would be out running his errands on these mornings. Almost every time he was gone, a note would have been left on the dining room table. He would have instructions or chores for us to do.

It was on one of these notes that I first learned a particular word.

Now imagine a 14-year-old boy who is supposed to do his chores. Let’s pick vacuuming. Nothing would ever get moved. I would just hit the large, open areas of the floor. It seemed that I only would hit roughly 50% of the carpet!

Ironically, my son vacuums the way I used to. Anyway…

So on this specific morning, my dad included a word that described how I am supposed to do my chores. I was instructed to be diligent.

The Word – Diligent

The Worth – Here is the definition from Dictionary.com:

adjective

1. constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything:

2. done or pursued with persevering attention; painstaking:


My dad was frustrated with my chores because I was cutting corners and taking shortcuts. Yes, I would vacuum but certainly not with any care or diligence.
Transition with me here. Diligent can be used to describe God. The work that he accomplished through sending His son to die on a cross and then be resurrected was an amazing thing. He took attention to detail. Every little problem or issue was taken into account. God did the job and saw it through unto completion.
Hebrews 1:1-3 says, “1In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.NIV
I added the underline because those words tell me that the job was complete. I do not have to work for my salvation. I do, however, continue to work out how I live for God. It is a maturing process. But my soul is saved! He loved me enough to send His son. He was diligent enough so that the work of salvation is finished.
Jesus said so on the cross. It is finished!
The Work – By all means, keep seeking God in your life. He will answer prayer for you. He will guide and direct you. You are not alone! But sometimes there can be sad or discouraging times. Be encouraged as I close with some familiar verses.
Philippians 1:3-6, ” 3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.NIV
it-is-finished

 

Bacon and Eggs

A chicken and a pig were talking one day. They were expressing their joy of living on the farm. Specifically, Farmer Joe’s farm. Having Farmer Joe take care of them was really a joy for these animals. So much so, they decided to throw a big breakfast in the farmer’s honor. Upon reviewing menu options, it was decided that Bacon and Eggs would be served. The chicken said that he was in support of this idea. After realizing what this breakfast would mean, the pig replied to the chicken saying, “You may be involved but I am committed!”

bacon-and-eggs

 

The Word – Committed

The Worth – Does this word scare anybody? People say men are afraid of commitment. As a minister, I talk with couples about marital commitment. My dad told me a long time ago that commitment is the most important aspect of a marriage. Are you committed to your family, your job, your passions?

Did you know that God is committed? How many times does the Bible talk about His grace, forgiveness, mercy, and unfailing love? This blog would take hours to read if I put all those verses in the post. So I am going to narrow it down to two verses.

Click on the verse to read the whole chapter.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God did not do salvation half way. He didn’t just provide enough to barely pass. He was committed! So much that His own son hung on a cross for you and for me. Our sins were paid for by the blood of Jesus. Everything you and I need for life (and even abundant life!) is found in the cross.

God loves us too much to be less than anything other than 100% committed!

The Work – So how is it even possible for me to live for God in return knowing I cannot repay Him?

You can’t. Accept the gift and live for God. Do your best for Him. Daily apply grace and mercy to your situation and keep moving forward. The Holy Spirit is right along side of you. Even after Jesus left this earth, the Holy Spirit was sent so we would not be alone.

God is fully committed. Are you?

commitment-quotes

 

 

Something new for 2017…

Hey all! Happy New Year!

Well, for me, a new year usually brings something new. 2017 is bringing a new series to my blog! And along with the new series, there will be a new format!

And there was much rejoicing!

best-day-ever

I know, all this new stuff is crazy right? Generally, I don’t like change. But sometimes, change is good.

So here it is. The Word, the Worth, the Work.

The Word – The topic of the blog in one Word.

The Worth – This part contains my thoughts about the Word.

The Work – I conclude with a practical application of the Word.

And without further delay…

The WordAbsolute

The Worth – So many people today do not have absolutes in their lives.

“If I feel like it…”

“I don’t want to…”

“One drink is okay…”

“But I am a good person…”

Even in the church, people sway between ideas.

It is as if people do not read or know their bible.

It is my opinion that any one would fall short of that goal.

But here is the good thing.

Jesus is absolute. His existence is not dependent upon anything else. He is the same now as he has ever been. The same will be true a million years from now. He never changes! See Hebrews 13:8

The Work – With the knowledge that Jesus is always going to be the same, we can have peace in the middle of our storm. He is the rock to which we can anchor. In all things good, he is the source!

  • Quote that verse everyday for a week and see if you start to believe it.
  • Read your bible everyday and start to see God doing things in your life.

Remember, He does not change. We must change. And He will give us the courage to start, the strength to continue and the grace to finish.

hebrews-13-8

 

 

Page 715

Page 715 in my bible only has three words on it. It is blank on the back.

All it says is “The New Testament”. Here are some pics.

Page 714 ends with the last verses of Malachi. Page 718 starts with Matthew.

Think about the bible for a moment…

It covers thousands of years of history. There are many genres and writing styles used by 40 some authors. Can you count all of the people of which the bible speaks?

But yet, in all of that amazing stuff there is a period of silence. Page 715 

That single page represents silence. History tells us that the silence between Malachi and Matthew is 400 years. 400 years of nothing.

No prophets. No judges. No stories. No wars. Just…nothing.

Where was God?

Is your life stuck on page 715? Do you feel like God is not there? No voice? Nothing happening? There is silence and it is deafening.

But, (and there is always a But), God. Yep, He is still there. 

Let’s jump to page 867 in my bible to Galatians 4:4. This is my favorite Christmas verse.

Here is the first half of the verse in various translations:

New International Version
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son,

New Living Translation
But when the right time came, God sent his Son,

Berean Study Bible
But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, 

New American Standard Bible 
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, 

King James Bible
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, 

International Standard Version
But when the appropriate time had come, God sent his Son, 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But when the end of time arrived, God sent his Son

GOD’S WORD® Translation
But when the right time came, God sent his Son [into the world]. 

 

After 400 years, God sent His son.

From silence came the Word.

From nothing came a Baby.

From darkness came the Light.

my-bible-3

 

Have hope this season. Christ is alive and well. You don’t need to live on page 715.

So turn the page and keep reading! God has great things for you this December!

Stay tuned next week for another Christmas post.

Have a fantastic day and Merry Christmas!