and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Jesus, Son of

       In our culture, many last names were made up using the person's father's name with son at the end: Johnson, Erickson, Grayson, Stevenson, etc., so the name started out by indicating of whom you came.  It is interesting that name in the NT (3686: onoma) is used of everything which the name covers, all the thoughts, feelings aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering the name ie for one's rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellence, deeds etc.  The phrase "Son of"- is used among the ancients to refer to one who has the same nature as... 
       Here are some of the "son of" names that Jesus called Himself (in red) or others called Him (in black).  Remember, names remind us of who a person is and of whom they are like.
Son of man- Means Jesus was born within the lineage of humanity.
Mt. 9:6; 12:8; Mr. 9:31; 14:62; Lk. 9:56; 12:40; Jh. 3:13; 6:53; Ac. 7:56; Hb. 2:6; Rv. 1:13

-It was important for Jesus to be human so that He could be tempted as us (Hb. 4:15) yet without sin (2Cr. 5:21) and also understand sorrow and suffering (Is. 53:3).
Son of David- Means Jesus is a King, a descendent of David, being an heir to his throne.Mt. 1:1; 12:23; Mr. 10:47; Lk. 18:39; Rv. 22:16
-This is important to fulfill Scripture that Jesus would be born of David's line (Is. 9:7), a kingly line (Jr. 23:5), and He would be legal heir to the throne (Ac. 2:29,30)- the eternal one God promised David (1Ch. 17:11-14).
Son of Abraham- Means Jesus is of Jewish descent particularly from the Abraham written about in Genesis.
Lk. 19:9; (note word: also) Mt. 1:1; 12:23
-Abraham pleased God who then blessed his family line, and God promised his Seed would bless the earth. (Gn. 22:18) (also Jacob Nm. 24:17- Lk. 3:34) (also Judah Mc. 5:2- Lk. 3:34)
Son of GodMeans Jesus is God just as the Father is God. Son of God, means he has the same nature as God. He was called THE Son of God, being unique one of a kind.
Jh. 9:35-37; 10:36; Rv. 2:18; Jh. 20:31; Ac. 8:37; 2Cr. 1:19; Gl. 2:20; 1Jh. 4:15
-This is very important. 
God wanted people to be saved and only God can be sinless to do it.
The sacrifice had to be perfect and only God is perfect.
Only Jesus, son of man, Son of God lived a sinless life which means only His blood can cleanse our sinful selves and save us from damnation in Hell.
Only the Son of God could be the first to be raised from the dead (as a holy sacrifice) acceptable to God to make atonement.
Thank You Father for making a plan of salvation, and Jesus for being all we needed You to be, and Spirit for coming to dwell in us and open our eyes to the Truth!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

        It was standard practice, as a younger Christian, when I would read of the Hebrew children in the desert after leaving Egypt, that I would shake my head thinking, 'Man, they are so faithless, and always complaining about one thing or another; especially after the miracles they saw!!!  I would never do that!'  Of course, it would NEVER dawn on me that I was looking into a mirror at myself: my lack of faith, especially coming from this side of the cross, and my propensity for complaining to God myself.
       But that's all changed now.  I have faith.  I don't complain like that anymore.  It's all good now, right?  Of course, around the time we start thinking that way, the Lord is good to drop another mirror in front of our face to remind us how we really look.  Lately I've been soooooooo busy with all the driving--- at least I complain to everyone I can about it.  I hate driving.  Basically I have five times of driving from the house to bring or pick up a child a day.  Five times!  Phew!  Did you know, I hate driving?  And it exhausts me!
                                                And I don't get much done because of that!
Of course, after the mirror dropped in front of my face and God said to me "stop complaining", I realized how stupid I was being.  He brought to my mind all these blessings related to my driving:

       -my daughter is in college- triple blessing
(a girl, in
       college, knows what she wants and has a talent for it)
       -my son will graduate high school this year at his out of
       district arts school
       -my daughter has a job after school- and worked all
       -my son puts in community service hours at a place he
       -my daughter is learning to drive and often practices on the way home from work
       -my husband is working steady and we can afford the gas
       -the car is still drivable- and we have two vehicles
       -we have public health care for doctor appointments
       -we have private health care for mostly everything else- that I also drive us to
       -we have the money to stop by the grocery store to buy food we eat
       -my mom is still alive to drive where she needs to go
       Shucks God, I did it again, didn't I?  Repent.  Change again, wishing it was forever but remembering my propensity for complaining... 
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1Th. 5:18
Do all things without murmurings and disputings, Php. 2:14
And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled... Nm. 11:1
Nor murmur as some of them also murmured... 1Cr. 10:10
       Notice the last Scripture in context is speaking about the Hebrew children with Moses, that we shouldn't be like them in certain ways (v.5-9) like their murmuring, and they are examples to us as warnings (v.11)  so we won't do the same things.  "So let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." (v.12)  I'm tired, but it's a good tired- because of the many blessings of the Lord.  And in the end, He even helps me: to understand myself better, realize the blessings He's given me, and that He loves me enough to chastise me because I'm His child.  Whoa God, what a blessed life I lead.  Thank You!
I'm forever Yours...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Farmer and His Son

       One of my favorite stories I have heard is that of a farmer and his son.  They owned many acres for crops and some cattle.  The farmer told his son that in order to plant the crops in a straight line he should fix his eyes on something at the far end of the field.  After watching his son start out to plant, the farmer left to plant another field.

       When the farmer came back for lunch he noticed the crops had not been planted in straight lines, but they were all over the place.  He asked his son why the lines were not straight and the son replied, “I don’t know Dad, I did exactly what you said; I fixed my eyes on something at the end of the field and followed in that direction.”  Not understanding what went wrong, the farmer questioned, “Well, what was it you chose to fix your eyes on Son?”  To which the son said, “The cow at the far end of the field!”
       Obviously if you were planting a field and fixed your eyes on a movable object, then it follows that your trajectory might move along with it.  So, big deal, who cares if the crops are crooked or not?  Well, (before no till days) if your crops weren’t straight, there would be a lot of wasted land plus it made it harder to work the land to keep the weeds down and help the soil absorb water thereby growing better.  Basically crooked lines meant reduced crops which meant less food or income. 
       We should learn from this farmer and his son.  If we keep our eyes fixed on a movable target then our lives will become messy and will not produce as much as they should.  Money comes and goes, glory fades, power corrupts, people change, morals degrade, success never satisfies, and pleasures are fleeting.  Only one person remains stable and strong.  He is our Lord, our Rock, and our High Tower*.  We need to keep our eyes on Him,** for He is the same yesterday, today and forever, (Heb. 13:8) and only He is reliable to fix our eyes upon.
       And remember what happened to Peter when he took his eyes off of Jesus (Mt. 14:22-33).  It was a windy, wavy evening and Jesus walked on the water to the boat.  Peter wanted proof it was Jesus so he asked the Lord to tell him to come, which the Lord did.  Peter walked toward Jesus but then took his eyes off the Lord and looked at the wind and waves, became afraid and began to sink.  He cried out for Jesus to save him; Jesus did but then He said this, "Little-faith! Why did you doubt?" (v.31)  That tells me Peter's problem was trusting in Jesus, and doubting His ability to help or save.

       When we keep our eyes on Jesus, leaning in to trust our lives in His hands, believing He wants the best for us, knowing His power and strength will be with us through it all, then we will not fear the winds and waves of our lives.  And when we are going through our daily tasks, plowing our fields and we keep our eyes on Him, our lives turn out better than we can ever imagine, and certainly easier to continue our work in!
*Ps. 18:2- The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. KJV
**Heb. 1b,2a- …let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. NIV  Is. 45:22

(this is an early post reprint from Mar. 28, 2011 with extra thoughts on the topic.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Natural Consequences

       Many modern parenting counselors say you shouldn't punish your children, but rather let them suffer the natural consequences of their 'negative' behaviour or decisions.  Well, I'm not going to get into what I think of their advice and it's impact on the children of today, but I did find that sometimes letting kids face the consequences was a good learning lesson for them.  Don't want to wear that winter coat in freezing weather, guess you'll soon be freezing.  Don't want to play nice with your toy, now it's broken and too dangerous to play with.  Act nasty to your friend, well, now he doesn't want to play with you.
       The Lord is clearly pointing out to me how I often make specific choices that have natural consequences that I don't want in my life, especially in one particular area: the area of the flesh.  You see, He wants me to know I have a decision to make, one that entails many smaller decisions daily: do I truly want to live by the Spirit, because if I do want more than anything to live by the Spirit, then I must choose the things daily (Lk. 9:23) that deny the flesh.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will never fulfill the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh wants is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to the flesh...
Gl 5:16,17 ISV
But those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gl. 5:24,25
For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if you through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. Rm. 8:13
       For example- in my life this means not watching tv.  I can watch tv, but it doesn't feed my spirit or help me grow in godliness, rather, it feeds my fleshly desires: basically of putting my pleasures above all else in life.  Now, I can choose to watch one show, but that is time I forever lose to feed my Spirit in prayer, the Word, or in His presence. 
        I can choose to read that woodworking magazine or novel just for pleasure, or spend time with the Lord.  I can spend half an hour making a visually appealing lunch, or grab something healthy and spend the extra time in the Word.  See, I've spent most of my Christian life fitting God into my plans, my desires and my dreams only to realize that true peace, joy, life and fulfillment can only be found when I give all these things, really my whole life, into God's control.
       So now when my body says "Cookies!!!" I ask myself, do I need cookies or am I feeding my flesh by giving in to my fleshly desires.  When I watch that tv show by myself just to vegitate, is it causing growth in my spirit or my flesh, because if it's my flesh but I want my spirit to grow, then why would I choose to watch it.  When I listen to music is it just to tune out the silence, a distraction from life, or is there a God connection there?
Spirit and flesh oppose each other.
       Though we think of the following verse in terms of God and the devil,  in reality, it can also mean our flesh, "No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other..." (Mt. 6:24)  We cannot continually serve our flesh (and expect that we will spiritually grow or live in the Spirit) or we are loving our own desires above God and therefore 'hating' God.  Denying the flesh is no easy thing, but I think in North America, we are so used to giving in to the flesh so often we no longer even realize we are doing it.  So...
       Does that mean we can't do anything for fun, to relax or just for pleasure?  Who says we can't have fun, relax or find pleasure in the things of God, things which promote the Spirit, our spirit and spiritual growth? 
Funny how we don't think that way, isn't it...

Monday, November 18, 2013

What Would You Do?

       There is a tv show by this name that I have seen a few times.  (It reminds me a little of the good Samaritan story in the Bible.)  Anyway, the show has actors playing parts in an incident of some type to see what the bystanders will do.  One time an older lady couldn't get her prescription filled because she didn't have enough money.  Some of the bystanders paid the difference for her.
       On the darker side are ones where people are being injured, humiliated, abused or racially discriminated and the bystanders do nothing about it.  One time it was overboard college hazing: when the humiliation was to men, a few people stood against the hazers, but when the humiliation was to women, the bystanders admitted to finding it fun to watch.  Imagine that!
       There is an old saying which is of uncertain origin that says, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  History books are full of examples of millions being slaughtered while thousands watched it happen and did nothing.  Cain asked God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gn. 4:9)  Throughout the Bible the Lord speaks about us being just, giving, loving, helping, sharing, caring, having compassion etc. So yes, he expects us to be our brother's keeper*.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Rm. 12:21

evil- kakos- of a bad nature, thinking/ feeling/ acting base, wrong, wicked, troublesome, injurious, destructive, baneful
apathy- indifference, lack of interest or concern, passivity, unresponsiveness

       When we see something wrong we have a choice: to step in or step away.  Whatever the reason we decide not to 'step in' to the issue, remember, what we choose today may someday affect us, and who will be there to help us, if anyone?  There is a statement made by Martin Niemoller that resounds to many people. (there are many variations by Martin himself)
       First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
       because I was not a Socialist.
       Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
       because I was not a Trade Unionist.
       Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
       because I was not a Jew.
       Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up--
       because I was a Protestant.
       Then they came for me--
       and there was no one left to speak out for me.
       We can make a difference in this world by doing good, and maybe, just maybe, our love will show through and others will see Jesus' love through us so that they would desire to be saved.  Consider others, consider helping, lifting up, pulling out, pushing forward, encouraging on, only allowing 'just' things to happen, vocally calling out evil, and standing up for what's right no matter who is watching, if we get no reward, or even if we get persecuted for it.  "Do not let each man look upon his own things, but each man also on the things of others." (Php. 2:4)
Lord, help us to overcome evil with good!

*Gl. 6:2; Mt. 25:35; Pr. 3:27; 1Pt. 3:8; Hb. 13:16; 1Jh. 3:17; Rm. 15:1...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Power Outage

       The rain poured, the thunder roared, and the wind started howling; so not too bad of a night for us considering the damage that was done further south.  Of course, ten minutes before the end of The Amazing Race, the power went out and we didn't get to watch the end... figures!  And it stayed off for an hour, of course the hour I was going to write my post, then I had some work to do, and now I sit at the computer unsure of where this is heading and I realize my brain isn't functioning at optimum or even reasonable anymore.
       As the lights were out, we found ourselves grateful for candles, flashlights, and L.E.D. lighting to dispel the darkness so we could function.  Thank God for the light...
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for possession,
so that you might speak of the praises of Him
who has called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light;
1Pt. 2:9