Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

The Cure for Seasickness

Our friend expressed his fear of getting a boat, especially when the water is choppy.  A fisherman responded, “Just keep your eyes on something that doesn’t move—a mountain, for example.  Then you’ll be fine.” 

I often feel seasick with all the changes going on around me—or just plain sick!  What is not changing?  When I have learned how to use one computer program, it’s time for a “new, improved” version!  When I have figured out how to use the latest kind of appliances in a public restroom, there’s a new way to make something turn on or come out of a dispenser or flush down!  When I have gotten used to the new structure in my organization—guess what!  We get a new one.  But just wait a year or two and it will change again.  I hope I’m learning to be flexible and go with the flow.

But those are not the important things.  Far more alarming are the shifting waves of cultural norms, what is good and what is bad.  Things that used to be wrong are now embraced with open arms by many and foisted on others.  And things that used to be good are mocked and even called “evil.”  Why?  Do right and wrong change?  Or is there no right or wrong after all?

Beyond all these changing waves stands a steady lighthouse or mountain.  It will not change and can help me stay sane if I keep my eyes fixed there.  Is it a coincidence that God compares Himself to a rock (Psalm 18:2), a fortress (Psalm 91:2), and an anchor (Hebrews 6:19)?

Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.  (James 1:6b-8)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.  He never changes … (James 1:17)

I am the Lord your God and I never change.  (Malachi 3:6)

Jesus is the Rock:

The Biggest Questions

Today on a blog, I found a series of questions that everyone asks sometime in their life.

  1. Who am I?
  2. Why am I here?
  3. Where am I going?
  4. What is true?
  5. What is it you are really willing to do to live your life? 
    Neil Thrussel’s blog, Best U Can B)

Also this morning, as I began reading the Gospel of John again, I wrote a suggestion at the top of the page for the sake of my granddaughter who will later receive this Bible, to watch for these key questions that arise repeatedly in this book:

Who is Jesus?
Where did he come from?
Where is he going?
(It also says a lot about truth.)

The answers were and are straightforward for anyone who believes Jesus’ own words about himself: 

Who is Jesus?  He is the Son of God who took on human nature in order to show humankind the face of God and then to take the punishment for our sins.

Where did he come from?  From heaven, born in Bethlehem as a human baby.

Where was he going?  Back to his Father.

Truth?  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Quite simple, but impossible for those who chose not to believe.  As it still is today.

Now what about me?  Based on my relationship with Jesus, my answers would be much like his:

Who am I?  A much-loved child of God, saved from the well-deserved punishment for my sins.

Where did I come from?  God specially designed me before the world was made, chose me to be his, and skillfully put me together in my mother’s womb (Ephesians 1:4; Psalm 139).

Where am I going?  I am a citizen of heaven, and that’s where I will be going when this life is over. 

What is absolute truth?  God and His word is the source and standard of all truth.

That leaves us with the last question in the blog quoted above: 
What is it you are really willing to do to live your life? 

Do you dare to risk everything on the premise that Jesus Christ is who he says he is?  This means total commitment.  It means assurance of God’s love and forgiveness, presence and power for each day no matter what the circumstances.  It means citizenship in heaven where you will retire someday and fulfill all the dreams you ever dared to dream—and more!  What could be more important than that?


Off the Foundation

Notch off foundations


Several years ago, a flash flood lifted a huge building in our neighborhood off its foundations so that it would never be usable again.  It had to be dismantled.  At that time, it was discovered that the building had never actually been secured to the foundation.  The builders must have assumed that its weight would keep it there. (In the photo, you can see the pieces of metal sticking up from the square foundations where the building had originally rested.)

It reminds me of the children’s song based on Jesus’ parable in Luke 6:46-49: “The wise man built his house upon a rock…and the foolish man built his house upon the sand,” Whether there is a foundation or not, the building is not secure unless it’s fastened to it. 

Jesus’ concern wasn’t architecture but the stability of a life.  If our security is in our youth, beauty, health, wealth, talent, intellect, or popularity—those things don’t last.  Our health fails, the economy flounders, crowds are fickle, and our world fizzles. If our security is in our friends and family, their loyalty may fail and sooner or later they will die. 

Only one thing will serve as a strong, certain, secure foundation for our lives: Jesus Christ.  Are you fastened to Him, trusting in His death for your sins?  This is our only hope, and what a glorious hope it is!

Here’s Fernando Ortega singing “How Firm a Foundation.”

Why the Fish?

Have you seen those fish emblems on cars or jewelry and wondered “Why the fish?”  It’s a an ancient and meaningful symbol.  I was delighted to recently purchase one for myself, which I consider an ID of my relationship to Jesus Christ.  Here’s what Wikipedia says:

ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) is an acronym for “Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ“, (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”.  The first letters of these words, when put together, spell “fish” in Greek!

Photo of fish necklace

  • Iota (i) is the first letter of Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς), Greek for “Jesus“.
  • Chi (ch) is the first letter of Christos (Χριστός), Greek for “anointed”.
  • Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou (Θεου), Greek for “God’s”, the genitive case of Θεóς, Theos, Greek for “God”.
  • Ypsilon (y) is the first letter of (h)yios[4] (Υἱός), Greek for “Son”.
  • Sigma (s) is the first letter of sōtēr (Σωτήρ), Greek for “Savior”.
According to tradition, ancient Christians, during their persecution by the Roman Empire in the first few centuries after Christ, used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.
According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company.
Christianity Today, Elesha Coffman, “Ask The Expert”[2]

Do you suppose that soon Christ-followers will again be using the arcs to assess our personal safety as we maintain our loyalty to Him in an increasingly hostile world?

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

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